Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is Facebook growing up too fast?

Only 8 months ago (in august) the world biggest social network was celebrating its 100 Millionth user, now Facebook says it expects its 200 Millionth member to register very soon!
Although doubling the number of users in only 8 months means Facebook has definitely won over any other form of competition and has become the absolute world leading social network, reaching this size that fast can also be a big performance issue, and further raises big questions:

- Was Facebook well designed in the first place to handle this huge traffic?

- Was PHP and MySQL good technological choices in the first place? (wouldn't a J2EE based architecture have been faster?) we know Facebook to have started in a small harvard student's garage, did they ever expect to get that big?

- What kind of hardware configuration is Facebook actually running on? is there any upgrade limiting factors? does Facebook have a good expansion policy in terms of processing power, storage capacity, and network connection bandwidth?

Last question (but not the least!): What if it fails to handle it? too many people around the world actually rely on Facebook to connect to each other, share ideas, photos, opinions, and keep in touch with their friends, Facebook performance is already worsening, .. if it ever fails to handle increasing demand that would be the biggest crash in the IT history.

Find further information on this subject in this cnet article

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