Yomiuri Shimbun’s Health Service Info Site yomiDr.

Comment from Kenichi Maruyama

Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo HQ Head of Medical Network Preparation Kenichi Maruyama

Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo HQ
Head of Medical Network Preparation
Kenichi Maruyama

yomiDr. was launched five years ago, and the system that was created for it at the time was now old, and our page views fell to 2,300,000 a month. We didn’t have mobile capability or prevention against data loss, so we thought about renewing the site. For our next CMS, we placed importance on the ease of updating multiple articles. Eventually, we received proposals from three companies, and we considered their skills, achievements in WordPress for enterprises, maintenance availability and cost. We entrusted our site to Prime Strategy. By using KUSANAGI for Microsoft Azure, our site performance has greatly improved and we now have 300,000,000 page views a month. Also, time spent operating the site is 1/6th what it was, and costs have been reduced by 50%. On top of that, if a disaster strikes eastern Japan, we can restore the site from a backup in western Japan in less than an hour.


Page views increased by 300%, full restore in 1 hour,
operational costs reduced 50%

In a project spanning nine months, the field’s largest health service info site “yomiDr.” was renewed. We interviewed those involved about the background and results of switching to KUSANAGI for Microsoft Azure.

Why choose KUSANAGI

Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo HQ Editorial Department Asst. Director Akiyoshi Yamane

Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo HQ
Editorial Department Asst. Director
Akiyoshi Yamane

———Could you tell us some of the issues you faced with your previous site?

Yamane: When we needed to add a section or update contents, we only had one staff member who could do it, so it was a complicated 30-minute process. Maintenance on hospital and survey data was done once a month, and required spending half a day on the phone with the systems manager. Also, whenever we had spikes of high traffic, display of the site was delayed and the CSS would not load resulting in a broken site.

Sakai: Disaster recovery was an issue. Health information is needed in a disaster, and if there was high concentrated traffic, our site might possibly not be able to operate.

System restoration within one hour

Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo HQ Technical Production Dept. Shuhei Sakai

Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo HQ
Technical Production Dept.
Shuhei Sakai

———Did you have any time requirements in regards to system restoration?

Sakai: We hoped for less than a day from downtime. We were able to create a site that can be restored from a remote location within an hour even if eastern Japan suffered a major earthquake. We are extremely satisfied the time was shorter than we expected.

Reduced operational work load

———Are your CMS issues dealt with?

Yamane: The time it takes to create a new section was reduced from 30 minutes to 5, and processes have been optimized so that many staff can update contents. The plan to link the 160,000 hospitals and survey data was re-written many times in order to move smoothly.

Change to a flexible and quick configuration

Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd. Head of Partner Business Development Yusuke Jinnai

Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd.
Head of Partner Business Development
Yusuke Jinnai

Sakai: This renewal project was originally planned for 100,000,000 page views a month. But our site access was rising, and we needed to increase those page views to 300,000,000 in the later half of the project. At that time we realized with Microsoft Azure that by just changing the instance you could account for that increase. When we tested the infrastructure it was already very good, and with Microsoft Azure Portal you can view a lot of information so that it is extremely easy to maintain.

Jinnai: Thank you very much for your kind words. We take a lot of pride in our customer approval as well as Microsoft Azure’s performance, functional aspects, and cost. We would love to help with the further development of yomiDr.

Operational cost reduction

fig-05-300x190———I would imagine your costs have increased now that you have load balancing and efficient system restoration.

Maruyama: The operational costs were cut in half compared to our previous system. Cost reduction was a major issue with our renewal, and we were very glad to receive a proposal for Microsoft Azure.

A proposal offered with experience

Prime Strategy Co., Ltd. Project Manager Chieko Aihara

Prime Strategy Co., Ltd.
Project Manager
Chieko Aihara

———How was your experience with our staff on this project?

Maruyama: They were on board for the page view change to 300,000,000 a month, they created a campaign site, and responded to sudden requests, so we are very grateful.

Sakai: In was enjoyable conducting an infrastructure test with them.

Yamane: Whenever we consulted them, they never responded with “we can’t”, but rather proposed even more appropriate addons such as plugins, that was possible due to their experience. I am glad we chose a company that understands WordPress so well.

Aihara: Thank you for speaking so well of us. It was a challenging project with many difficulties, but I am grateful to everyone who participated and collaborated. We have discussed new features and policies, so we look forward to developing the site even more.


Prime Strategy Co., Ltd. Executive CTO Hitoshi Omagari

Prime Strategy Co., Ltd.
Executive CTO
Hitoshi Omagari

———What are your plans for development in the future?

Yamane: We want to increase paid membership and proactively respond to the diversification of outside distribution.

Maruyama: I have plans to perfect our subsites now that we can upload videos.

Omagari: yomiDr. not only uses the latest technology such as always-on SSL, HTTP/2, and PHP 7, but it is operating with the stability provided from the cloud and years of site construction knowledge. I believe you will easily be able to further develop.


Prime Strategy Co., Ltd. Board Director Tadashi Yoshimasa

Prime Strategy Co., Ltd.
Board Director
Tadashi Yoshimasa

Yoshimasa: Thank you everyone. Prime Strategy’s strengths are its top-class WordPress construction achievements and know-how, on top of the high performance of our UltraFast WordPress Virtual Machine KUSANAGI. I believe we received this evaluation based on our precise proposal and skills.