Thursday, May 8, 2008

Twitter's "Scaling Problems"

There are Rails apps that get a lot more traffic than Twitter. I worked on one of them.

People like to say that Twitter's downtime issues indicate a Rails scaling problem. But if that were the case, sites which receive more traffic would have more downtime. In reality, they have less.

It's therefore very likely that Twitter's downtime issues come from some other source than its use of Rails.

Going further, it's irresponsible to speak of Twitter having a scaling problem. Twitter has an issue with frequent downtime. This may indicate a scaling problem; it may indicate some other problem instead. Without working at Twitter, you'd be hard-pressed to say with any degree of accuracy.