I worked in newspapers for about 20 years. Getting the news from my notebook to your doorstep involved editors, compositors, reams of newsprint, a fleet of trucks and maybe a paperboy or two. In the Internet economy, that model's been overtaken by the "one guy with a laptop" distribution method, which takes all the cost out of the process. On Monday we had an interesting example of how the new model is extending to "one guy with a laptop and a cloud."
Ryan Block's live-blogging coverage of the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on gdgt.com drew 4.7 million page views in less than two hours. The live.gdgt.com site was hosted by The Rackspace Cloud, with the blog running on Cloud Sites while Block and his photographer shot and uploaded photos to Cloud Files which auto-integrated into the site. What's interesting is the gdgt.com site hasn't officially launched yet. On its first day online, this new-world news organization delivered 656 page views per second in real-time.
"Scaling an infamously well-trafficked event like Apple’s WWDC has always been a major challenge, often requiring a large IT staff and massive infrastructure at multiple data centers," said Block. "The Rackspace Cloud has enabled us to scale our live coverage beta quickly, and without us having to make a major investment in hardware or operations." Cloud Sites retails at $100 per month and Cloud Files is based on a pay-as-you-go model starting at $.015 per gigabyte of data. Cloud Files also allows customers to serve content files using the Limelight Networks content delivery network.
The option to leverage the Limelight CDN was an important factor in scaling gdgt for Monday's WWDC. "Ryan and his team did a great job of integrating our Cloud Sites product for his application and our Cloud Files content delivery network to deliver an amazing live-blogging experience," said Emil Sayegh, general manager of The Rackspace Cloud. “You don’t have to be Nostradamus anymore and predict what your datacenter needs are going to be during peak periods when you can simply code, load and watch it scale."