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Presentation: Behind the Scenes at

In this presentation filmed during QCon SF 2008, Dan Farino, Chief Systems Architect at MySpace, talked about administering thousands of web servers from a system’s architect viewpoint. He mostly detailed the performance counter monitoring used by MySpace, the system profiler and the system administration site demoing the tools for the audience to see how it works.

Watch: Behind the Scenes at (49 min.)

Dan started his presentation with a short historical look at site’s evolution. MySpace initially had ColdFusion pages delivered by IIS 5.0 running on Win2k machines. Now, the site has about 3,000 IIS 6.0 servers with ASP.NET 2.0 with some WCF and WWF on .NET 3.5.

After that, Dan showed how the performance counter monitor works by watching all servers and reporting in real time if there is one of them that needs more investigation and possibly action taken to ensure proper functionality of the machine.

Next was the profiler which takes one request every 10 seconds and traces all its related activity in order to determine if there are potential problems developing on the respective machine.

The last tool presented was the system administration site. Initially they used VB scripts and batch files which did not scale well. Now they are using PowerShell which offers the scalability necessary to administer thousands of servers.

Dan answered questions during the last third of the session.

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