I was reading this article today about match talk about how they sent 1.2 billion emails in the last 6 years. It reminded me how far Plentyoffish has come, and how I’ve been doing all the database work except billing since the beginning. In a few weeks i’m going to give up much of that responsible and hand it off.
I can’t believe the scale of what’s been done. Its weird because day by day the growth isn’t that much but when you look back over the years its huge. Plentyoffish users send 5.5 Billion Messages a year.. That is 27 times what match.com users send. The hard part about scaling is making it cost effective. Match doesn’t have a problem as they earn 400M a year which works out to $2.00 an email sent on their system per year. For match buying new hardware is nothing. For plentyoffish we have 27 times the messages even paying a penny per email is not viable. But what truly takes computing power is our Behavioral Matching Engine, talked about it a bit in 2007 on the today show years before any other dating site even knew that kind of stuff was possible. I feed it with nearly 20 billion pieces of data that are stored in the database, and all of this is done in real time. That is what requires hardware and lots of it.
At the end of the day the site is so large, I need to give up the day to day running of the SQL databases. Not only do I not have as much time to pay attention to it but I also don’t know every aspect of SQL Server anymore. Its funny one day you knew everything there was to know about SQL server because you had to work with it daily but than a year goes by, or 2 a few upgrades and suddenly you only kind of know whats going on.