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The IT Pro Podcast: How to scale your tech platform

For startups, building a platform is only half the battle - after that, you’ve got to grow it

The IT Pro Podcast: How to scale your tech platform

Building an application from scratch isn’t exactly easy. Startups wishing to create a digital platform for their business will need to contend with technical recruitment, infrastructure choices and the numerous headaches inherent in the development process. However, even once your platform has been built, the struggle still isn’t over.

As your business grows, your platform will need to scale too, and managing this process without reinventing your architecture from the ground up can be challenging. This week, we’re speaking to Avinash Gangadharan, CTO of car-sharing startup Turo, to find out more about the company’s approach to platform scaling, and how he addressed some of the challenges it presented.

Highlights

“A stack that's cloud native should have capability to scale horizontally fairly easily. Pour money, provision more hardware, and you should be able to scale horizontally. Theoretically, that's how it works; practically, I don't think the majority of the people out there who start building a product for a startup, build it in a way where this is actually true. You can elastically scale horizontally, in theory, to some extent, but your bottlenecks are still primarily your data tiers - that's what happened with us.”

“I think the thing that surprised me the most was how attractive we were to the bots out there, and to these request based attacks that happened to us - and I was very surprised. Why would someone try to DOS Turo or do a request based attack on us; what's going on? And that surprised us for quite a bit. We were not necessarily sophisticated in that area about 18 months ago, I'd say. So that was, I think, my biggest surprise, keeping our incoming traffic in control, in check, was something that was challenging earlier.”

“I feel that when you are part of a budding business, the scale of the business is fairly small, you're focused on really growing the business, you tend to make decisions which completely undermine the fundamentals of platform design, basically. Some of these fundamentals are not very difficult or tough ones for you to go get from the beginning; it's just fear, I guess, or maybe shortcuts that make you think that alright, I'm not going to architect my data tiers so that the data is organised in a better structure, I’ll put everything on one instance, write some SQLs and get stuff done.” 

Read the full transcript here. 

Footnotes

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