Other than StackOverflow , PlentyOfFish is perhaps the most spectacular example of scale-up architectures working for what your average sane person would consider a large system. It doesn't hurt that it's also a sexy story.
Update 5 : PlentyOfFish - 6 Billion And 32 Billion A Month
Update 4 : Jeff Atwood costs out ' scale up approach against a scale out approach and finds scale up wanting. The discussion …
PlentyOfFish: 6 Billion ; World: Views info doubling every 2 years ; 2015: 7,910 exabytes of global digital data ; : 4 million uniques ; G+: 62 million users ; : leased 9 megawatts of capacity ; : billions of page views a month
Udi Dhan : Scalability is not boolean.
John Boyd: Look at the mission, not the technology. And if you do look at …
6 billion pageviews served
32 billion images served
6 million logins i n one day
IM servers handle about 30 billion pageviews
11 webservers (5 of which could be dropped)
Hired first DBA in July
All hosting/cdn costs combined are under $70k/month.
Lesson: small organization, simple architecture, on raw hardware is still plenty profitable for PlentyOfFish.