Monday, November 10, 2008

Building scalable websites

Cal Henderson, chief geek at Flickr, wrote an O'Reilly book about making big websites. Big as in, serving millions of page views a day. That big. The website I work on is not that big, but we get millions a month, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to know how the big boys do it.

The first couple of chapters are aimed at the small, one-man-band, startup dev team. They cover source control, development environments, that sort of thing. The last four or five chapters are the meaty parts, covering caching, identifying bottlenecks, layering your application to improve flexibility, monitoring and defining apis. The focus is definitely on open-source tools, which is good, but he does cover some of the more common paid-for alternatives when needed. He also gives you some useful rules for working out what to choose, in terms of hardware and software.

There's some good stuff in here, that outweighs the less-relevant (to me) chapters.

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