Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 114 - Website Scaling War Stories with Richard Campbell

May 27, 2008 Comment on this post [12] Posted in Podcast
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richard_headshot_web My one-hundred-and-fourteenth podcast is up. In this slightly unusual episode, I sit down with my good friend Richard Campbell and we share stories about scaling large websites over the years. I thought this was a really good show, if a little long and I'm thinking to have Richard on as a regular thing, if he's interested.

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

If you have trouble downloading, or your download is slow, do try the torrent with µtorrent or another BitTorrent Downloader.

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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May 27, 2008 22:01
Scott I loved this episode. Please sit down more regulary with Richard the talks are great!

May 27, 2008 22:41
This was a fantastic talk and gave me a lot of food for thought for a project I have on deck. I am in a circular argument with my IT staff about the servers I have requisitioned for the project. The project has several different "sites", public/semi-public and IT staff want all three sites running on all 9 machines(1 warm spare) and I want it segmented into dedicated servers (3 for pub/3 for semi pub/3 for admin). The phrase "specialize for scalability" resonated with me.

Guess I need to open that argument up again.
May 27, 2008 22:51
FYI it looks like the PWOP bittorrent tracker is down. uTorrent says its getting an error 500.
May 27, 2008 23:22
This show was great.
I would very much like to hear more war stories like the ones in the show.
It gives us relative newbies, compared to you guys, some knowledge how you solved real life problems in software development - and its fun to hear too.

Maybe shows are just best, when they go a little out of control? :)

Keep up the good work, and I am, as always look forward to the next episode.
May 28, 2008 1:07
The talk show mentions a blog application (DOS blog?). What's the URL of that blog?
May 28, 2008 1:28

it's or you can use the link at the bottom of this page.
May 28, 2008 6:56
Interesting talk.

I remember using the old commerce server at job I had 8 years ago, wow that thing was nasty to debug.

At my previous job we developed a tool that was a godsend for debugging performance issues on our production web site (altiris notification server)

Imagine SQL profiler with stack traces + much more which can run in production. It made diagnosing performance issues so much easier.

I have an old post about it on my blog

May 29, 2008 18:48
What a great show!

Scott, I would love to read any post you create based on the topics covered in this podcast. I particularly would love to see a posting detailing the code necessary for cache instrumentation that Richard mentioned. In the podcast, he talked about knowing when an item is cached, when it was destroyed and then recreated. Couldn't we the community build a module like ELMAH reporting real-world info from our caching strategy.

Thanks for hosting Richard. Please invite him again. I like that he is an IT (server) professional that knows and understands DEVs.
May 30, 2008 6:27
Best. Hanselminutes. Ever.

Seriously, it was both very entertaining, and incredibly informative
June 05, 2008 20:42
I bought my first DVDs from that deal. I didn't even have a player at the time.
July 02, 2008 17:03
Scott: you mention in the podcast that DasBlog's searching system has to rip through the XML files of your entire archives, so I decided to search your blog to see what performance looks like... and you're using Google for searching? So what's the best practice for huge dasBlog instances when it comes to searching? Google???
July 02, 2008 20:18
Parvenu - Yes, until someone implements Lucene. This blog is probably the largest as far as # of xml files of any DasBlog instance, and for me it's just not been worth the effort to get searching to work. The better solution would just be a database.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.