I just posted slides from a talk I gave at a Facebook application developer conference in Las Vegas this weekend. The talk is titled Outrun the Lions. Our customers run several of the top 10 applications on Facebook right now (as measured by the number of active users), and I revealed the secrets to building applications that can handle the load.
The title is a pun on the story about lions and gazelles in Africa (every day, a gazelle wakes and knows it must outrun the fastest lion; every day a lion awakes and knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle). If you’re a Facebook application developer, the lion is not your competition. It’s your users. They will love you if you do a good job. They will love you so much that the load will destroy your application, and then they’ll go away and they won’t come back. (Another speaker at the conference has the stats to prove this.)
A lot of our customers in our consulting practice are Facebook application developers, so we see the same patterns a lot. This talk was direct advice at how to avoid the problems they see as they grow. I skipped all the “you might consider these 99 options” and just said “here’s something our clients use and it works. Read the book for the full details.” If you read the slides, you’ll get an idea of how our customers have successfully scaled their Facebook applications to perform well even when they become very popular.
The reference to the book was because the company who sponsored the conference (Offerpal Media) gave everyone free copies of our new book High Performance MySQL 2nd Edition. Not only was this very nice of them to do, hopefully it’ll help them avoid trouble with their applications.