At RailsConf 2012, we sat down with five of our customers (including Jesse Proudman, panel moderator and CEO of the Blue Box Group,) and asked them about the ups and downs of scaling massive websites. In the session, they discussed how to manage millions of unique visitors, unexpected traffic bursts and more.
In this interview, Joshua Warchol, Vice President of Technology at Fanzter, graciously answered a few remaining questions we weren’t able to get to during the live panel discussion.
NR: What are the three most actionable items you should pay attention to as your application grows?
JW: As your application grows, you must keep your eye on (at least) the following:
1. Slow web transactions: Focus first on those with the highest total time consumed as this will ease the load on your data layer. But be mindful of the overall slowest requests as these are terrible experiences for your users. When your early in your growth, those first users are critical ambassadors. Don’t make them wait!
2. Set up a realistic Apdex on your Real User Monitoring (RUM): Users don’t care how long your app layer took if your total page render time sucks. Use an aggressive apex on RUM and work on improving that number every step of the way. Use a CDN and a professional DNS network (Dyn Enterprise, AWS Route53, etc.) immediately.
3. Consolidate Monitoring: Put all the data you can on one table. Use APM’s Server Monitoring on all your hosts. Monitor and metric your background jobs along with your app requests. Use custom metrics where appropriate to give you a big view of everything in once place.
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