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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Managing an Operation

Running an internet-based service is exhausting, as I'm sure many of us in the web analytics world can attest. With careful planning and a watchful eye to the metrics of your environment, you can stay ahead of the game and avoid outages.

The folks over at Typepad have had some operational pains recently. According to their apology, they are moving systems between data centers (running out of space, power, etc.), and have experienced some outages in hardware that they've never had problems with before. They mention storage equipment and network equipment among the recent failures. Ouch. All this on top of 10-20% growth in bandwidth each month (currently running at 250Mbps - impressive!). They are modifying and fixing the airplane while it is in flight!

Customers, observers and even Robert Scoble have commented on this issue. Most of the press has been very generous toward the Six Apart team, especially given that they were getting many complaints about the performance of the service.

I've been a Movable Type customer for a couple of years. Six Apart develops terrific software, and they've migrated their software to a hosted service extremely well. I'm sure they're going to quickly overcome the issues they've faced, and the service will be stronger for it. It's very impressive how they continue to innovate, grow very quickly, and still communicate well with their customers.

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