Chapter 10. Scaling your Webapp: Getting real

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The Web is a great place to host your app...until things get real. Sooner or later, you’ll hit the jackpot and your webapp will be wildly successful. When that happens, your webapp goes from a handful of hits a day to thousands, possibly tens of thousands, or even more. Will you be ready? Will your web server handle the load? How will you know? What will it cost? Who will pay? Can your data model scale to millions upon millions of data items without slowing to a crawl? Getting a webapp up and running is easy with Python and now, thanks to Google App Engine, scaling a Python webapp is achievable, too. So...flip the page and find out how.

There are whale sightings everywhere

The Head First Whale Watching Group (HFWWG) coordinates the live cetacean sightings for the entire country. To date, they’ve provided a PDF form on their website that members of the public can download, fill in, and mail to the HFWWG central office.

The form contains the essential data needed to record the sighting:

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After a busy sightings weekend, the central office is swamped with completed forms for thousands of sightings...which is a data-entry nightmare as all those forms can take an age to process manually. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in front of your computer ...

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