Web application: tech from startup to enterprise



Mid 2009, Njuskalo.hr was a 2 year old project gaining a lot of traction in local market. Njuskalo is online classifieds platform, similar to https://www.subito.it/. That traction meant that some changes needed to be done so platform was changed and I started working as a PHP developer maintaining this new shiny code. At that time, we had 23 mil PW (pageviews) and constantly growing. In just 6 months we doubled the traffic and in little over a year quadruppled it. Year and a half in, we became #1 site in pageviews, totalling little over 100 mil PW from our local market. When I’m talking about #1, I’m not talking about competting online classifieds but all other local sites (email hosting, news portals, forums, blog platforms, etc). Early 2013, 3,5 years after platform switch we had 300 mil PWs and in Jan 2014 we had 340mil PWs.

As you can see, in 4,5 years we grew from 23 mil to 340mil PWs, almost at a rate of 100% every year. While we are aware that this traffic is zero to nothing in comparison to some of the world mega sites (facebook, twitter, google) we are a small team (2-4 developers), concantrated on building a product for our local market (there are less then 5 million Croatians). On the other hand, how many PHP developers had a chance to work on such a large scale project.

Talk would cover how we scaled our platform:
– bare metal enterprise grade servers hosted in our data center (no cloud due to latency issues)
– scaling resources while in rapid development (bussines doesnt wait for techical problems to be solved)
– implementing new technologies
– implementing metodologies (technical & organizational)

Mid 2009m we had one server hosting application, database & our banner server. Now we use 2 front servers, 6 app servers, 1 banner server and 3 DB servers in cluster. While this might not be tens or hundreds of servers, main scaling problem is from 1 to 2 not 2 to 10.

While a lot of projects, when entering their enterprise phase start to produce less and less features, in 2013 we have built more features then ever before. With same number of developers but with focusing on developers knowledge and understanding of bussiness demands (and few other tricks :)




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