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Creating an infinitely scalable architecture for sites like GOSF

Contributed by Anoop P B on 11 Dec 2013

When you have a site like GOSF to build, it becomes super important that it is architected to scale very very well. Given that such a shopping fest site may run for just 24 or 48 hours, scalability is not just a consideration for the architecture of the site but the basis of it! And it certainly cannot (and should not) be relegated to an after-thought. With the advent of the cloud, it is not only feasible but also far less complex to build such scalable sites than it would have been a few years ago.



Here are some architectural guidelines we’ve followed when we’ve built such sites in the past:

  • Make extensive use of Cloud storage and Content Delivery Network (CDN) (or similar equivalents available with other cloud providers)
  • Use JS for as many things as possible.
  • Use Memcache wherever possible
  • Do fail-over DNS
  • Multi-zone is important. Multi-region maybe useful in some cases.

Many a times such short term sites are built quickly and since they are used for only a few days, significant architectural investments are not possible. We have found that constraining the design process with a complete CDN based architecture produces the best results in these cases. Designers are creative enough to produce great experiences even with such constraints and it is guaranteed that the site will never go down for even a minute during the short lived high traffic event. Stay away from heavy CMSes like Drupal etc for such use cases, it is a 2 day affair and content management is not the main concern but scalability is.

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