GoGrid Success Story: ScribbleLive and Apple iPhone 3G Keynote

June 9th, 2008 by - 5,627 views

Today the Internet was abuzz with the latest Steve Jobs’ Keynote address at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference, so much so that Twitter was brought to its knees and other blogging sites were overwhelmed with repeated traffic requests. I watch the action on a variety of sources (pictures and text from Engadget and Audio being streamed through uStream). It was a bit painful having to manual refresh or have audio drop during the keynote speech, but the announcements were eventually heard world-wide.


This post is not about the iPhone though but rather about a new GoGrid customer who was recently written up on TechCrunch, ScribbleLive. ScribbleLive is an Ajax-based, Live Blogging platform that enables authors to cover live events in a real-time manner. Billed as a “media rich conference call” ScribbleLive provides audiences an immersive experience on browsers and mobile devices alike, pushing text, links, pictures and videos instantly without the need to constantly reload the browser page.

What makes this story noteworthy is that ScribbleLive is a true, bootstrapped startup. The company, founded by Jonathan Keebler and Michael De Monte, was put together for about $1500. They are only 2 employees but have set up an infrastructure of a well-established company, with GoGrid powering their Application and Database servers and Akamai providing the CDN (content delivery network).

During the WWDC event, they ran their own “System Status” LiveBlog to keep users up to date on the systems powering other users live-blogging. Some highlights:

  • The day before the event they were getting 181,000+ page views
  • Throughput before, during and after the event ranged between 1.3 to 4.6 Mbits/sec
  • Front-end servers maintained 2% CPU utilization
  • Database server peaked at 7% CPU utilization
  • 1.5 hours before the event, 1+ unique visitors/sec were accessing the site

I asked Jonathan Keebler some questions about how GoGrid was used so successfully with ScribbleLive and here is what he said:

Question: How many GoGrid Servers were you using?
Answer: Two web servers and one database server all with 1GB RAM each

Q: What were the configurations of the servers?
A: All were running Windows Server 2003 and the Database Server was SQL Server 2005

Q: How was your system architecture set up?
A: Akamai took all of the traffic on the edge, using GoGrid as the “origin server”

Q: How many Live Blogs covered the event?
A: There were seven blogs running simultaneously with over 40 writers

Q: What is the anticipated cost for the event?
A: Whatever GoGrid costs for the day [author’s note: 3 – 1 GB servers running for 24 hours = approx. $15 for the day, not including SQL Server or Bandwidth charges)

From Jonathan:

“Being a startup with extremely spiky traffic around large live events, we were looking for a dedicated hosting option that could scale with us. Working with GoGrid, we were able to bring online as many servers as we needed to cover our big events. By being able to manage our own load-balancers with fault-tolerance, we were able to ensure that we maintained high availability under large traffic volume.”

Note: you can follow some of Jonathan’s GoGrid comments on his blog here and here.

Congratulations to ScribbleLive their success with WWDC as well as handling a potentially network crippling event with ease using GoGrid!

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Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan, formerly the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid, is a recognized technology, social media, and cloud computing pundit and blogger who writes regularly about technology news and trends.

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