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TweetPhoto: Feelin’ the Fanatical Support

Ever wonder what exactly Fanatical Support looks like in action? TweetPhoto, the Twitter-based photo-sharing API that launched in March of 2009, can tell you.

TweetPhoto came to Rackspace with a serious issue: their code wasn’t built to scale and it needed to be re-architected – badly. And they needed to take pressure off the website so they could re-develop everything…all while keeping TweetPhoto up and running. And for a site that grew from a 5,000-user pilot to its now 4.3 million visits per month, this was serious.

There were a couple of other concerns that were keeping TweetPhoto from running on all cylinders. First, they needed to optimize queries. Second, they began as a Rackspace Cloud customer, but quickly learned that their explosive growth from relationships in the Twitter developer community, their number of users and the number of photos being transmitted that they actually were a better fit for Managed Hosting.

So after two months of non-stop phone calls with their Database Administrator (DBA) team, TweetPhoto was finally in a good place. Their DBA team helped them find bugs in their database and on the website, and helped mitigate DNS attacks. In one urgent situation, the DBA team even helped when TweetPhoto’s application was making unneeded DNS queries with no caching, essentially crippling the network infrastructure. “We basically had a Fortune 500 IT department supporting our business,” Sean Callahan, TweetPhoto’s founder noted in the official Rackspace Customer Success Story. “Only Rackspace can do that.”

And the result? TweetPhoto has almost tripled its footprint with Rackspace since its initial deployment. “When we needed a new server before the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Rackspace was able to quickly get a server up and running for that peak period,” says Callahan.

Now that’s Fanatical Support in action.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Cara Nichols.

Cara serves as Community Affairs Director for Rackspace Hosting and President of the Rackspace Foundation. She oversees Rackspace’s charitable giving and corps of volunteers, as well as manages the company’s non-profit and city relationships.


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