StackOverflow doesn’t run on the public cloud, its runs on dedicated hardware
- beacuse performance matters. Baremetal is fast.
- because their human infrastructure knows what they are doing
- the installation uses physical routers and firewalls.
- 2 Ethernet switches – Nexus 5596UP ( I don’t count Nexus 2000 as they are not switches, they are hubs running 802.1BR)
I’ve repeated many, many times: performance is a feature. Since your code is only as fast as the hardware it runs on, the hardware definitely matters. Just like any other platform, Stack Overflow’s architecture comes in layers. Hardware is the foundation layer for us, and having it in-house affords us many luxuries not available in other scenarios…like running on someone else’s servers. It also comes with direct and indirect costs. But that’s not the point of this post, that comparison will come later. For now, I want to provide a detailed inventory of our infrastructure for reference and comparison purposes. And pictures of servers. Sometimes naked servers. This web page could have loaded much faster, but I couldn’t help myself.
The EtherealMind View
Its a reminder that using any typee of cloud (public, private or hybrid) is a choice that depends on the application, infrastructure and resources and especially your human resources. In general and non-specific terms, public cloud platform are slow and demand horizontal scaling and extensive DevOps works to sustain performance.
Running baremetal is an option that works for some. Just like public or private cloud works for others.