UCAS' new cloud-based results day service came through its toughest test with flying colours, ensuring that more than 380,000 applicants were able to find out whether they had secured places at their chosen university or college.
At peak times, the 'Track' system saw more than 180 logins per second. Track was designed and built by UCAS' technology partner IPL, an IT services company specialising in mission-critical IT consultancy and software.
Following the successful introduction of a temporary cloud based system on results day in 2012, IPL and UCAS have worked together to extend the portal from being a read-only service to a fully interactive, 24/7 year-round scalable cloud solution for students applying to universities and colleges.
Applicants can now respond to offers online, change personal details in support of their applications and access Clearing using the cloud-based system.
Steve Jeffree, UCAS COO, said: "UCAS' job is to provide a robust service for universities and colleges across the country, especially during this key time. The higher education sector will benefit from the move to cloud computing for many years to come."
IPL harnessed the power of Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform to power the site because of its ability to provide security and reliability in handling substantial traffic volumes for major organisations.
Paul Jobbins, CEO at IPL, added: "UCAS needed a truly extraordinary solution to a completely one-off requirement. We had to provide a robust IT platform that could withstand a torrent of online access in one 24-hour period - and potentially within as little as one or two hours of that 24-hour period. Practically speaking, this was likely to be over half a million applicants wanting online access through browsers and mobile devices.
"The solution that IPL designed is a classic application of cloud-based technology, taking advantage of its inherent capability to scale massively when required, while remaining highly cost-effective and secure."