TJ Vanderpoel is currently preparing a case study on how he scaled his mortgage processing application with a single lighttpd web server powered by a cluster of FastCGI application servers. All using Ruby on Rails. But as a counterpoint to the latest round of FUD’ing, he posted this preliminary tale about how his company is scaling Rails:
As far as scalability, apache with fcgi certainly isn’t the best option, for rails. In our environment we have one lighttpd process serving requests in a round-robin fashion from 10 to 100 fastcgi rails listeners. We move anywhere from 300 req/second to 1000 req/second with a dual opteron webserver and the fastcgi listeners can be well in back of the webserver. The only feature i’d like to see added to lighttpd is to be able to add fastcgi listeners on the fly, currently you have to restart the webserver to add listeners. Nonetheless, if you’d talked to rails developers you’d have learned lighttpd is the recommended hosting platform for production applications, as it takes care of many of the speed, and all of the scalability issues.
Vanderpoel should be ready with the full case study on his scaling adventure later this week.