NHS Choices

"Not everyone thinks about database scaling. That ScaleArc enables you to scale, right out of the box, is invaluable.”
— Paul Houghton, Technology Delivery Manager, NHS

NHS Choices Chooses ScaleArc for Better Site Uptime and Performance

NHS Choices is the public ‘front door’ to the National Health Service (NHS) in England, with over 50 million online visits monthly. One of the world's largest publicly funded health services, the NHS employs 1.5 million people and deals with more than 1 million patients every 36 hours in England alone.

The NHS Choices technology team is responsible for the performance and uptime of the back-end databases that support the tremendous traffic flow through The team currently supports a mixture of SQL Server 2008, 2012, and 2016. The group is looking to upgrade more of the older SQL Server deployments onto 2016 and runs its site on Azure.


  • Improve database performance due to the volume of users and increasing number of online interactions.
  • Eliminate downtime during database maintenance windows and unplanned outages.


The technology team wanted to see what ScaleArc could do to address latency issues and control uptime/downtime and were impressed with what they saw on a small scale.

The team then implemented a larger rollout and immediately saw a significant increase in uptime. The site now runs on Azure with ScaleArc front-ending all traffic.


  • Scale on demand to keep up with data growth and traffic surges without touching a single line of application code
  • Operate at 100% uptime with automatic failover, delivering zero downtime for maintenance, upgrades, and security updates
  • Increase performance through read/write split that turns idle secondary servers into active servers plus caching to serve responses without tapping the database
  • Provide real-time actionable analytics for instant troubleshooting capabilities as well as the ability to control application behavior from outside the application

NHS Choices



NHS Choices is the official website of the National Health Service in England. With over 48 million visits per month, they are the UK's biggest health website accounting for a quarter of all health-related web traffic.

Database Type:
SQL Server on Azure