Scaling for the Expected and Unexpected

Web Performance
Location: Regency 1 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.03, 31 ratings)

Lots of people talk about scaling and performance. But, are they preparing for all the things that could happen? There are multiple problems and there is not one solution to solve them all.

Everything is running fine and BAM! – your site is linked from the front page of Yahoo! What do you do? How can you handle that sudden rush of traffic. Requests per second are running 5x normal levels. Servers have CPU spikes. Daemons are hitting the maximums. You are running out of bandwidth. How could you have been prepared for this? What are the tools and techniques for this type of sudden rush?

Or, lets say you have just come out of a meeting where everyone discovered that your site is growing in traffic 70% – 80% year over year. That means that 1 million page views this month will be nearly 3 million this time in 2 years. How can you plan for that? You don’t want to redesign the whole architecture every 2 years. What methods could be used to deal with this constant long term growth?

While there is no magic bullet for either of these scenarios, there are techniques used by many sites out there to help you get through these situations. This session will cover some of these techniques and talk about their pros and cons.

Photo of Brian Moon

Brian Moon

Brian Moon has been working with the LAMP platform since before it was called LAMP. He is the Senior Web Engineer for He has made a few small contributions to the PHP project and been a casual participant in discussions on the PHP internals list. He is the founder and lead developer of the Phorum project, the first PHP/MySQL message board ever created.

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Calum Fitzgerald
06/23/2009 9:01am PDT

you mentioned that you needed to use Keynote or Gomez to generate load that you could not generate in house. Thought you might like to know about a load tool that has a cloud implementation. Its called The Grinder in the Cloud ( based on the open source load tool The Grinder ( Might allow you to do a homebrew load test on the scale that you need. Might be appropriate might not. hope it helps.

  • Keynote Systems
  • Google
  • Shopzilla
  • Aptimize
  • Facebook
  • NeuStar
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • SoftLayer
  • SpringSource
  • Sun Microsystems

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