Building for the Cloud: Lessons Learned at Heroku

Mark Imbriaco (Pivotal)
Operations Mission City
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 12 ratings)

The Heroku platform grew from hosting 0 applications to more than
115,000 without ever buying a server. We’ll talk about the overall
architecture of the platform and dive into some of the operational
consequences of those architectural choices.

Some examples of the types of things that will be covered include:

  • Dynamic infrastructure. What are the pitfalls of having a constantly
    changing set of nodes running your infrastructure?
  • The noisy neighbor problem. How do you handle having widely variable
    performance from identical nodes?
  • How much dogfooding is too much? When your platform is the easiest
    way to deploy and application, it’s tempting to deploy parts of your
    infrastructure on your platform. Circular dependencies can be nasty,
    where do you draw the line?
  • Handling failures. Why everything should be as disposable as
  • Networking hacks. How do you host SSL sites when you can only get
    one IP address per server?
Photo of Mark Imbriaco

Mark Imbriaco


Mark has spent the last 17 years working for companies like Bank of America, America Online, and a number of smaller startups doing operations, system architecture, and software development. Prior to joining Heroku, he led the operations team at 37signals.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of H. "Waldo" Grunenwald
H. "Waldo" Grunenwald
06/19/2011 10:38pm PDT

I enjoyed this lessons-learned. My biggest takeaway was how Heroku handles the issue of stale nodes.

Picture of Mark Imbriaco
Mark Imbriaco
06/16/2011 8:05am PDT

Thanks for taking the time to rate my talk, I really appreciate it. Any additional feedback would be gratefully accepted.

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