Salesforce.com's Heroku frustrates rapidly growing Rap Genius

Rap Genius says changes in its queuing practices are for the worse

By , IDG News Service |  Internet

Somers charged that the new approach meant that, overall, the service took longer to respond to users, and that the servers Rap Genius procured were not being used as efficiently as they could have been. He likened the change to a grocery store that randomly assigned customers to check-out lines, rather than allowing each customer to choose the shortest line. 

"How much longer would it take to get out of the store? How much more time would the checkout clerks spend idling?" Somers wrote. 

The upshot is that customers such as Rap Genius now have to procure more virtual servers, or Dynos, as Heroku calls them, to execute the same amount of work within the same response time. Somers estimated that a workload that could be handled by 80 servers with the old intelligent routing would require as many as 4,000 servers with the new random routing. 

While Heroku did not comment on the specifics of any changes it has made with its routing practices, other industry observers took note. 

"If this is true it is pretty bad," wrote John Mount, a consultant at data science consulting firm Win-Vector LLC, in a blog post about the issue. "Randomized routing is very bad with near certainty." 

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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