Scaling e-Commerce Sites
DateFebruary 19, 2002
We investigate how an e-commerce site can be scaled up from a single machine running a Web server and a database to a cluster of Web server machines and database engine machines. In order to reduce development, maintenance, and installation costs, we avoid modifications to both the Web server and the database engine, and we replicate the database on all database machines. All load balancing and scheduling decisions are implemented in a separate dispatcher. We find that such an architecture scales well for the common e-commerce workload of the TPC-W benchmark, provided that suitable load balancing and scheduling strategies are in place. Key among these strategies is asynchronous scheduling, in which writes complete and are returned to the user as soon as a single instance of the write completes at one of the database engines. The actual choice of load balancing strategy is less important. In particular locality-based load balancing policies, found very profitable for static Web workloads, offer little advantage.