Today is a big day. Just after midnight we pulled the trigger and launched the new re-envisioned PBS.org website. This is a huge step for PBS on a number of fronts; mostly having to do bringing PBS to the forefront of new media.
But for me, as you might imagine, the most interesting aspect is the technology architecture underlying it all.
A win for Django and Python
There is no doubt that the new PBS.org site probably ranks as one of the most highly trafficked Django sites in existence today. I think there is a lot to be said about how Django may be scaled if an application is properly designed. The tools are all there for the taking. I will write a future post that details the full architecture, but here is a short list of technologies involved in the stack: Python, Django, MySQL, Apache, Memcached, Celery, Piston, Amazon Web Services
And thanks for cloud computing...
You may have noticed Amazon Web Services mentioned above. I slipped it in at the end of the list, but in reality, it is truly the enabling technology that makes all else possible. The new PBS.org site sits on a cluster of Amazon EC2 instances and is powered by a few Relational Database Service (RDS) instances. In my opinion, RDS is already very cool, and getting much cooler.
Putting the applications in the cloud lets us be very agile on the infrastructure side. In fact, just prior to launch, we decided to put the cache on a bigger machine and that took all of 10 minutes. This kind of stuff is just not possible on a traditional infrastructure. Thank you, Amazon.
And big thanks to the entire team of smart and hardworking individuals that made this site launch a success. Hats off to you all!