Aug 25, 2011

Enterprise scaling – hardware & server tips


Things change when you are delivering to a large enterprise audience. What are the most important things to think about in relation to your server or server farm when scaling to a very large user base?


Best advise is to not scale until you need to. It is a hard enough balance to get right but you don’t want to spend thousands buying new hardware that isn’t used, while at the same time you don’t want your system (assuming single application system) to go down because of load.

Graphing everything using something like cacti is very useful for watching trends. It’ll show you how quickly space is getting used, bandwidth is growing, memory is being used etc. If you can monitor response times in here too it will also give a great view of how upgrades go in future.

Make sure that your sys admins talk to the application people. There are many things that application designers can do to reduce load on your cluster/farm. Same goes that there are many things they can do that’ll shoot the load up no end. Smart devs should be able to give points of slowness (through code profiling) which will help the admins in deciding where to spend time increasing speed.

Related posts:

  1. First steps in scaling servers up for a Ruby on Rails application
  2. How can I measure the load capacity of my video encoding server and plan for scaling?
  3. Is anyone else using OpenBSD as a router in the enterprise? What hardware are you running it on?
  4. Scaling server cluster setup
  5. Where to go for a TCP software load balancer with automatic scaling?

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