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Advanced Windows Scalability Helpers

Does anyone know of any really good *advanced* training, mentoring, books, etc ( or other options you can think of ) for scalability in high availability solutions for Microsoft technologies for buildng web applications.

We're a small dev team (~15 developers) working on transactional web applications using DNA / SQL 2k and starting to use .NET technologies going forward.

We've been doing fine for the last couple of years, but we're starting to get worried over the next 5 years that we don't have anyone on staff who's "been there done that" as far as architecting sites that are able to handle millions of transactions per day.  We're currently at the couple of hundred thousand per day level on peak days, but are pretty sure that next leap is just as large as the leap we've done to this point.

We're an extremely bright group and read everything we can get our hands on and have learned a TON over the last few years but still can't help thinking we're missing something.

Just to give you an idea of the scale we're dealing with:
our production site has approximately 30-50 servers and 5-6 databases, some clustered, some distributed, doing various tasks which are busy most of the time.

Typical rowcounts for some of our highly used tables are in the 20 million range.

Thoughts on the best places to look for this type of information?  This type of information would have to be extremely unique and not be present in any typical Microsoft, Wrox, etc book I've ever seen.  I've got the idea that surely there must be a training course out there for extremely advanced/expert developers but am not sure where to look beyond the standard DevelopMentor/Wintellect, etc.  Even those don't fit our needs because they are generally how to use or master a technology, such as C# or how to build distributed systems.  I need something one or two levels beyond that dealing with high availability, extremely scalable, etc., with real word experience not theories from people who haven't done it before.

Is this hopeless? Trolls not welcome, neither are platform bigots - I'm looking for genuine advice regarding advanced Windows development. 

Thanks in advance

Software Developer
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

I believe Roger Sessions teaches the type of info you are looking for. You might want to check out his website to see if any of his current training seminars are relevant http://www.objectwatch.com/

If he doesn't teach a relevant class than you could always email him and ask him if he knows anybody who does.

Other places to ask this question --  Devx newsgroups and Microsoft's newsgroups.

one programmer's opinion
Tuesday, January 07, 2003

There are some ways to think about that problem here:

http://ccm.redhat.com/asj/

under scalability but it's not Windows...

IBM redbooks on WebSphere are also worth the read since they cover the issues.

Maybe is this knowledge a significant competitive advantage ?

Philippe Back
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

You problably have, but just in case. Straight from the horses mouth:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/practices/default.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/usa/webcasts/default.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/business/services/mcs.asp?SD=GN&LN=en-us&gssnb=1

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

The kind of problem you're dealing with is specialized enough that I'm not at all surprised you can't find mass-market books etc. -- the market is tiny, and the cost of serving it well is likely too high. For the same reason, there may be a dearth of standardized training courses.

So instead of trying to find predigested material, I'd be inclined to look for *people* -- to seek out someone with this kind of experience that you can hire as a consultant for a couple of months. Apply his experience to your problem, and you and your guys will learn at the same time. Maybe get him to put together a customized training plan.

This isn't my field, but I'd be prepared to pay for the advice you're getting. If this is a large-scale mission-critical app, you shouldn't be surprised that nobody's going to want to give away their hard-won scalability expertise for free or at low cost.

John C.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Yeah I'm not surprised that this type of knowledge isn't readily available and it's kind of what I thought. 

Even locating the right type of person is extremely difficult.

Software Developer
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

John C wrote, "This isn't my field, but I'd be prepared to pay for the advice you're getting. If this is a large-scale mission-critical app, you shouldn't be surprised that nobody's going to want to give away their hard-won scalability expertise for free or at low cost."

Exactly. 

Software Developer - you might have to contact Microsoft itself and deal with their consultants or have someone in your group fly to Redmond for training.  That is typically what some of larger companies in the business world do.

one programmer's opinion
Wednesday, January 08, 2003

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