Monday, December 28, 2009

Tips and Tricks coming soon!

Meet Gavin.
Gavin is the VP of education at LinkTrust. For most of our partners, he's the first introduction to the system. Working with our partners he hears about the common issues that a lot of you might come across. Look for posts from Gavin explaining answers to common questions and even a few tips and tricks to make LinkTrust work better for you.

When Gavin isn't training new partners or figuring out the best way to make LinkTrust work, he raises bees and chickens in his backyard.

Welcome to the blog, Gavin!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

January Features

Bryan asked me to post this for him today:

I wanted to comment on a recent change that was made to the 6.0 Partner Center Login Page. We have some exciting features coming in January. Our development staff is putting the final touches on this great release.

The most exciting features are the Affiliate Fraud Scoring, Custom Affiliate Sign Up Filters, Affiliate Payment Log and Mass Creative Import.

Affiliate Fraud Scoring will allow you to see if an affiliate application matches a previously denied sign up or suspended affiliate throughout the LinkTrust system. It will also check for duplicates among existing affiliates in your account.

Custom Affiliate Sign Up Filters allow you to automatically deny applications which meet criteria you enter.

The Affiliate Payment Log will allow you to track payments made to affiliates. Affiliates will be able to see information on these payments in the Affiliate Center. This is the first of several features we are working on to help with accounting.

The Mass Creative Import will allow you to upload a tab-delimited file with creative information.

These are just a few of my favorite enhancements. More details will be posted here and on our support site in the next few weeks. Happy Holidays from the LinkTrust Technology Department!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SAN Project Update

I am pleased to post that the second phase of our SAN project was completed successfully Tuesday night. After a full day of monitoring, things are running great. Everything went well with the move and the performance gains are awesome.

Coordinating everything within a short maintenance window can be a challenge. Our careful planning paid off though, and we had the Partner Center, Affiliate Center and Merchant Center back up within 45 minutes. This will be the last phase of the SAN project we complete until after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

LinkTrust SAN Project

I'm excited to share some details about my latest project at LinkTrust, something we've been calling the SAN Project. Hopefully this will be the first of many posts on what is going on behind the scenes at LinkTrust.

My brain is always thinking about something. About a year ago it started pondering how we store all the data in LinkTrust. At the time we had about a terabyte of data and it was growing fast. I realized we needed to start looking at a new storage solution.

The problem for us isn’t so much that we have a lot of data. Our problem is we need to access the vast amount of data quickly. Performance and reliability are key to keeping LinkTrust running well for our partners.

These considerations lead me to begin looking at a SAN. In a nutshell, a SAN is a big black box full of hard drives that work together. It provides high-performance data storage with a high degree of reliability and redundancy.

We began the project by evaluating different SAN vendors. We had to separate what the sales people told us from what their products actually do. The importance of this decision meant we had to carefully look at all our options. In the end we decided to go with Compellent. Their product offers some very unique flexibility and optimizations that I felt made it our best choice.

Once we decided on a vendor the real work began. There are a myriad of configuration choices to be made when implementing a SAN. I really wanted to make sure we got this right. It was important to me we didn’t have any single points of failure.

To ensure every piece of the system worked well, we also upgraded our switching fabric to a new set of Juniper switches. I purchased new Cat 6 network cables to ensure we weren’t bitten by an old cable starting to give out. The devil is in the details as they say. Every little piece must be considered to ensure success.

Whenever we embark on a project I want it to make things better for our partners. It needs to be worth the time effort and money we spend on it. I also don’t want there to be a lot of pain associated with upgrades or changes we make.

I work hard and plan meticulously to ensure successful project implementation. With the efforts of my great team we successfully moved our first database to the SAN last week.

To ensure success we started relatively small. The database that was moved was selected because it allowed for a seamless move with no visible impact to our partners. At the same time, it had enough load on it we could see a visible benefit when it was moved to the SAN.

Even I was surprised to see we were able to index more than 20 million records in a matter of a few seconds with no impact to user performance. This was something our previous infrastructure couldn’t do.

There is still much work to be done. We’ve grouped remaining tasks into a series of phases to allow for minimal impact to our partners and maximum success. The next phase, which will begin this evening, will require we take the Partner Center, Affiliate Center and Merchant Center offline for about an hour. This is to ensure no changes are made to configuration settings while the move is occurring.

This project really started about nine months ago. Looking back it has been a long road. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can tangibly see the benefits that this new infrastructure will bring to the LinkTrust system. We’ve been able to make the upgrades with minimal impact to our partners. I’m thrilled to see the success we’ve had with this project thus far. I’m sure I’ll only be more excited by the final outcome.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hello from the LinkTrust Technology Department

Meet Bryan.
Bryan Call is the VP of technology at LinkTrust. He's responsible for overseeing the implementation and architecture of the LinkTrust system. When he's not working on the latest version of LinkTrust, he watches reruns of Star Trek or takes his wife ballroom dancing.

We're excited to have him become our first contributor to our blog... and bring some exciting news that will help LinkTrust perform at an even higher level. You'll definitely want to keep an eye out for his posts about the new SAN and what that means for you.

Welcome to the blog, Bryan!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

LinkTrust Wire-- December Issue

The second issue of the LinkTrust Wire was emailed to our subscription list today. Want to read the Wire? Sign up for the LinkTrust Wire here!

In each issue we have four sections:
TRADE, featuring a LinkTrust partner.
INSIDER, spotlighting a LinkTrust employee.
TICKER, the latest feature releases.
JUST IN, industry events and news.

In our TRADE section we featured
RevStars Media, a long-time LinkTrust partner. Find out more about them in the Wire.

For an INSIDER look at our new account manger, Jody Sears, check out
this article.

Follow the TICKER to see a few
highlighted features that were recently released.

Find out how current LinkTrust partners can win a ski trip from LinkTrust in the JUST IN section of
the Wire. Or email for more information about how you can win!