Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Why scalability matters?

Otherwise, you get this:

image

And that is one sale that isn’t going to happen!

Comments

Frans Bouma
06/13/2012 09:15 AM by
Frans Bouma

And that is one sale that isn’t going to happen!

nah. It's apple, the sheeple will simply accept it and wait. Trust me ;)

Thomas Krause
06/13/2012 09:27 AM by
Thomas Krause

@Frans: Not only that, but later the newspaper will report that the demand for their new product was so high that apples servers couldn't handle it, generating more buzz and the impression that the demand must be incredibly high and the product great.

Although I have to admit that the new MacBooks Pros are impressive ;-)

Sathish
06/13/2012 12:22 PM by
Sathish

Wish I had the screen shot of HP Site during last year Touchpad fire sale!

David
06/13/2012 02:05 PM by
David

What is the point of this post? To point out that a site failed gracefully under a higher amount of load than any site any reader of this blog is unlikely to ever work with?

I can almost guarantee that Apple has scaling systems in place. During a highly hyped conference/product release they experienced a higher traffic volume, likely by an order of magnitude, than they would normally expect, were able to detect it, and display a message to users.

This seems like a win to me. But, sniping can be fun :)

Janus007
06/13/2012 05:10 PM by
Janus007

Strange post...

Dan
06/13/2012 05:18 PM by
Dan

Ironically, your blog loaded EXTREMELY slowly while I was waiting for this post to load :p

Patrick Smacchia
06/13/2012 06:07 PM by
Patrick Smacchia

In the long term, scalability matters because hardware is so much cheaper than developers: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/12/hardware-is-cheap-programmers-are-expensive.html

Better throw hardware than throw developer, and by definition, only scalability can allow that!

Eber I
06/13/2012 07:59 PM by
Eber I

point taken, but terrible example

Josh Rivers
06/13/2012 09:01 PM by
Josh Rivers

I love Apple. I love Apple hardware and operating systems. I believe their web properties are an embarrassment. The apple.com site is a horror to read on the iPhone, heavy and unable to adapt. MoblileMe was bad enough even Jobs made fun of it. But the Apple Store is the worst of them.

Despite being incapable of dealing with order volume every time there's a product release, the site seems to be completely wedded to a synchronous, session-based, 'web object' model that was really ahead of it's time when it was shipped in 1995. It's completely shocking to me that there's a lack of static content fallback, client-side UI, and asynchronous message-based order processing. Don't you lose money when you lose the orders?

....well, I guess not when you already sell as much as you can manufacture. Sigh.

Adam Langley
06/13/2012 09:16 PM by
Adam Langley

The message is not actually referring to internet traffic - they mean roading infrastructure in the supply chain has been overloaded by people racing to Apple Stores to get their hands on new machines, hence there isn't enough capacity for actual Apple trucks to deliver more product... so they're simply saving you the hassle of 'reserving the unreservable'.

;p

But just curious - forgetting this specific case... is it really reasonable to expect a web-site to be able to service every single human on the planet, simultaneously? Even if they were expecting it? I think it would be naiive to NOT build in a failure case. Whether or not the failure case occurs is out of the hands of developers. The money people will have put the kaibosh on eutopian capacity spending long before....

I think there's just gotta be a point where the business says "If we get that much traffic, then we're probably in such high demand that the customer isn't going to walk away just because they had to wait ten minutes for things to die down..."

Cassio Tavares
06/13/2012 11:19 PM by
Cassio Tavares

"In the long term, scalability matters because hardware is so much cheaper than developers:..."

I disagree so much on that...

Ayende Rahien
06/14/2012 01:57 PM by
Ayende Rahien

David, I run into this issue On January 6th, nothing much was happening then, and it was recurring problem for several days when I tried. It is an issue, and while it is fine to say "oh, it happens", it isn't fine when it is repeated offence. And this is a great way to show the correlation between scaling and actual revenue.

Ayende Rahien
06/14/2012 01:57 PM by
Ayende Rahien

CCassio, If you are cheaper than hardware, then that is very surprising.

Cassio Tavares
06/14/2012 03:49 PM by
Cassio Tavares

Maybe yes, I am cheaper than hardware, because I don't use all my time optimizing software. That's a little part of the job of some developers in most of the cases.

But that's not the point. To make software scale you need developers that must know how to make it scale. There are a lot of other arguments, but I'll stop here.

Stop scaling RavenDB and offer cheaper support, so your clients can invest the money on hardware. :)

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