Scaling Web Sites

For the last year or so I’ve been collecting Scaling Web Site war stories and I’ve been posting them to my Microsoft internal blog. I collect them for two reasons: 1) scaling web site problems all center around persistent state management and I’m a database guy so the interest is natural, and 2) it’s amazing how frequently the same trend appears: design a central DB. Move to functional partition. Move to a horizontal partition. Somewhere through that cycle, add caching at various levels. Most skip the step hardware evolution of starting with scale-up servers and then moving to scale out clusters but even that pattern shows up remarkably frequently (e.g. eBay, and Amazon).

Scaling web site war stories:

· Scaling Amazon: http://glinden.blogspot.com/2006/02/early-amazon-splitting-website.html

· Scaling Second Life: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/04/web_20_and_databases_part_1_se.html

· Scaling Technorati: http://www.royans.net/arch/2007/10/25/scaling-technorati-100-million-blogs-indexed-everyday/

· Scaling Flickr: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/04/database_war_stories_3_flickr.html

· Scaling Craigslist: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/04/database_war_stories_5_craigsl.html

· Scaling Findory: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2006/05/database_war_stories_8_findory_1.html

· MySpace 2006: http://sessions.visitmix.com/upperlayer.asp?event=&session=&id=1423&year=All&search=megasite&sortChoice=&stype=

· MySpace 2007: http://sessions.visitmix.com/upperlayer.asp?event=&session=&id=1521&year=All&search=scale&sortChoice=&stype=

· Twitter, Flickr, Live Journal, Six Apart, Bloglines, Last.fm, SlideShare, and eBay: http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/archives/2007/04/29/3616/the-top-10-presentation-on-scaling-websites-twitter-flickr-bloglines-vox-and-more

Thanks to Soumitra Sengupta for sending the Flickr and PoorButHappy pointer my way and to Jeremy Mazner for sending the MySpace references.

–jrh

James Hamilton, Windows Live Platform Services
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JamesRH@microsoft.com

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