This is a TIP, Twitter Initiated Post. Yes, the following message
from Scott Hanselman was the tipping
point for me to write this.
“ 4 of the 10 largest
sites on the internet are ASP.NET. Live.com (#3) MySpace.com (#5) MSN.com (#7)
This weekend at a social event, friend of a friend (fof) brought
up an interesting topic; their company which shall remain nameless is moving away
from ASP.NET / SQL / Win 2K3 to JSP / JBOSS / MySQL / Linux platform because apparently
someone have told them that ASP.NET does not scale. Also, they have been having
slowness issues with their website during the time of high traffic. They are in
movie business so slowness during high traffic means loss of revenue when
people cannot buy tickets and have to go for alternatives. But of course it has
nothing to do with the underlying technology so I had to ask the obvious, "Was
it designed to be scalable?"
A prototype which works on two machines may not be
the perfect solution for large scale websites when no single point of contact
can be a bottle neck, you have to make sure that the connections are handled
properly and threads are available when needed.
So I had to defend the ASP.NET honor, counter that false belief therefore I tried explaining to
the fof that this view about ASP.NET being unsuitable for enterprise systems is
completely untrue. ASP.NET scales just fine, and that’s why four out of ten
largest sites are in ASP.NET despite the fact that other platforms have been around longer and competing with free is a lot harder even with all the ROI results you can get. So it might be the configuration,
connection pooling, number of open thread or a multitude of different issues
which might be causing the problems they are having and can easily be resolved
by an independent review. Also, these
issues can happen with any platform. I hope I am not starting a religious war here
between .NET and Java web technologies but the truth is, they are both equally
fine. Being a developer focused on Microsoft technologies, I have my personal
bias towards ASP.NET. I have seen it working perfectly and there is enough empirical
evidence to back up this claim. Some of the good ASP.NET
optimization tips can be found here.
And here is an excellent Morgan Stanley guide on Internet
Trends describing this and other zeitgeists; must see.