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Sheryl Villaroman

Craft of Code
Sheryl Villaroman

Weaving Innovations in Education

Nephila Web Technology delivers e-learning solutions to customers throughout Asia and around the globe. With its name derived from a species of spider known for its extraordinarily strong webs, Nephila Web lives up to the comparison by providing long-term learning solutions built to support customers as their needs grow.

And grow it has. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Nephila Web’s demand exploded, increasing clients by 315%, with average concurrent usage volume experiencing a similar spike.

Based in Quezon City, just northeast of Manila, in the Philippines, Nephila Web is driven by CEO Sheryl Villaroman and her mantra, “life is a continuous learning process.” The company offers open source online education tools and 24-7 support on technical and educational issues, ensuring customers understand their systems and make the most of them. Nephila Web provides services to diverse users, including K-12 schools, universities, technical schools, non-governmental organizations, and corporate users.

Since 2011, the company has been working with Moodle, the most widely used learning management system in the world, becoming an official Moodle Partner in 2016. As the only Moodle Partner in the Philippines, Nephila Web provides full-scale e-learning services, including hosting, deployment, training, support, and consultancy. In addition to Moodle, the company also offers its own school information system known as NeXSIS, which provides modules for various customer-facing tasks; and the popular open source integrated library system, Koha.

Driven by the tripling of demand, Nephila Web realized that most single-server solutions were no longer cutting it even for smaller customers. In response to the massive increase in demand, the company felt compelled to develop a more robust architecture based on a load-balancing process that organizes students’ requests among available servers to guarantee always-on reliability. 

Looking for a partner capable of supporting complex needs without inordinate expenses, Nephila Web decided to work with Linode.

Reliability, Openness, and Cost-Efficiency

Linode provides reliable cloud infrastructure with a strong track record with Linux, the backbone of the Moodle platform at Nephila Web. Linode met all the requirements and specifications for Moodle implementations—including security, privacy, and total customer ownership, to name a few. The company’s engineering team made a seamless transition to Linode for the deployment of its new products. It was also important for the team to work with a like-minded company dedicated to demonstrating the quality of open source software.

Aside from its strong performance quality, Linode offered the same array of services that Nephila Web was using before, at a better price point (not to mention the added opportunity of increasing returns at scale). For a lot of schools across Southeast Asia, price is always a critical factor. Fortunately, Linode’s cost efficiency solutions allow Nephila Web to pass those savings on to its educational customers—many of whom are extremely cost-sensitive or rely on fixed endowments.

“With Linode, we are becoming more competitive in the business and able to build smarter server infrastructures in cost-efficient ways,” said Sheryl. “Throughout the whole process, Linode has been really helpful in getting these resources configured and online. And they are orders of magnitude more responsive than giant cloud providers.”

With over 100,000 customers in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and the United States, Nephila Web aims to be more than just an e-learning solutions provider. The industry is growing fast, and Nephila Web is eager to provide additional valuable and comprehensive services, with outstanding technical support for even more users in 2021 and beyond.

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