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Scaling Up with Eric Lindvall


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It’s Up! A new series from PeepCode on real world scaling from 3 up to 10 servers.

The Internet is full of reviews or suggestions from people who have used a piece of software for 15 minutes or only on a single server. This series is about the strategies, stories, and tips learned by development and operations experts while running real sites with real traffic.

Eric Lindvall is co-founder of Papertrail, a log collection, searching, and reporting service. Previously, he sold Cloudvox, a telephony startup. He shares his knowledge from years of day to day development and deployment of multi-machine networked systems.

You’ll hear about Eric’s philosophies on efficient scaling, tools he finds invaluable, and techniques for handling unexpected errors or sudden floods of traffic.

General topics covered:

  • System Design
  • Database Issues
  • Uptime & Failover
  • Optimization & Deployment
  • Choosing Software
  • Measuring & Metrics
  • Errors
  • Business
  • Conclusion

Questions asked and answered:

  • How many servers are you running at Papertrail?
  • How do you decide how many servers to run?
  • What’s the most scalable programming language or database?
  • What parts of system configuration or design are often overlooked?
  • Using ID generation apart from a database.
  • Is using a single powerful database machine still a good idea?
  • What parts of a site should be the most available?
  • What does a failover system look like?
  • What services only need a single machine?
  • How can you minimize unexpected issues on production that weren’t detected in development?
  • Granular performance vs. aggregate scalability.
  • Thinking about capacity planning.
  • How can one find a good fit in software packages or frameworks?
  • Can switching database systems help with scaling?
  • Favorite tools: Zookeeper & Kestrel.
  • Measuring with averages vs. percentiles.
  • What reporting tools give you a good view into your system?
  • Designing services to gracefully degrade.
  • How do you deal with crisis situations?
  • How did scaling concerns factor in to your business plans?

Available as part of a PeepCode Unlimited subscription (including streaming on our iOS app!) Business plans are also available.


This is an intermediate to advanced video. All developers can benefit from thinking about the concepts mentioned, but some details may only make sense if you have experience building and running Unix servers.

Revision 1 (Notes) · Updated: Dec 08, 2012 · Length: 53 min · 1200 MB

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