Alex Handy at System Management News writes about Digg’s Kevin Rose and Ron Gorodetzky and how they are scaling Digg — see Digging His Way to Web Success.
With all the havoc about Twitter (if you spent the last few months on Mars, Google for it — there was even a post by Twitter’s founder describing what happened), it is refreshing to see someone who did it right and simple. The key point, I think, is that you have to start it simple — especially if you are a startup, you cannot and should not attempt to create the ultimate scalable system in version 1. Aside from this being impractical, it is also impossible for any system that’s actually interesting, because you don’t know which way your system will grow (trying to predict the future and plan for all possible cases is the surest way to never release anything).
Check out what Nati Shalom and Todd Hoff wrote about Twitter and scalability in a larger scope. Also, Todd Hoff’s excellent high scalability blog has a lot of useful info on how various big sites scaled, including Digg.
So how is this related to cloud computing: well, no matter how your application is deployed and operated, you still have do the architecture right for scaling: and not only in a static sense (a one time scalability design) but also in time, as your system grows and takes on different, usually unexpected directions to success. A good utility and/or cloud computing solution will help you in this: from offering ready made “best practices” stacks and solutions, to helping you build, debug, tune, monitor and operate your own particular architecture.
Onward and upward (or, for scalability freaks, outward!)