Happiness is a Warm Server

Or 12 new warm servers, to be exact. The hungry beast that is Bloglines continues to grow and is demanding more horsepower.
When I first started ONElist, there was a period where we had to stop allowing new user registration because the system was so overloaded. That was a very painful lesson that we were luckily able to fully recover and learn from. I vowed then to never get back into a situation like that. A big part of avoiding that problem is architecting the system correctly in the first place. Back then, the database we were using was a simple GDBM thing that I had created. It couldn’t handle the load and wasn’t scalable in any way. I didn’t know any better; ONElist was the first Internet service that I had architected. Until we re-wrote the backend to use Oracle, we were dead in the water.
Bloglines doesn’t use Oracle (there’s no need these days; sorry Larry), but I did pay special attention to the database architecture when I first designed Bloglines. It meant a longer development time in the beginning, but now, we can just add more machines when things get overloaded.
This does not mean that Bloglines is overloaded right now. Based on our metrics, it’s still very responsive. But we can see the trend. Hence the 12 new servers to ensure that Bloglines is always responsive.