April 24, 2008
Determining a web application’s hardware resources isn’t easy (or cheap). Frankly, it’s often just guesswork. Even when you build benchmarking scripts, they can miss key behaviors and ignore important metrics.
Scaling becomes a lot less stressful when you can quickly compare a history of your application data with server performance.
For example, we did this to get a better understanding of how our Scout server performed during our invitation process. The graph below was generated through Scout and shows the relationship between user accounts and the server load. As we expected, the overall load on the server increased as the number of accounts increased. Scout shows us how this data is correlated – it gives us an idea of how many accounts our current hardware can support.
Scout Accounts vs. Server Load
It’s trivial process to regularly feed Scout your application data (user signups, orders, revenue, etc):