Saturday, March 7, 2020

Growing Pains and Corona

For the last few days we you might of noted that Scribble Maps has not performing like it usually does. We are used to high volume situations it happens regularly but when a map was used to show the locations of Corona Virus cases in Italy on a large Italian news site we got hit with traffic we had never seen before. Serious traffic. So serious we waited to capture this milestone. It's unfortunate that this milestone was caused by something like the Corona virus and we wish we would of hit this milestone for something else.


This couldn't of came at a worse time because we were in the middle of doing infrastructure updates and we were about to deploy an update right before this hit. We provide unlimited map views for our widgets so there was nothing stopping the traffic. Our map would go on to be seen by over a million people.

This was a learning experience for us so over the last couple weeks we have pulled some over time and not only did complete re-writes to handle these kinds of scenarios but also took several steps to secure availability of Scribble Maps in the future. There are a lot of people that depend on us daily now for their work so we need to make sure we always hit that 99.9% up time guarantee.


Disaster Recovery


We have always maintained multiple locations for the app but with this experience we have added even more redundancy for our app and data. We have can now also quickly respond to all types of situations. We have added Geo-redundant data stores as well as fallback data centers in the case of a catastrophe. With these updates Scribble Maps can continue to function in the face of large catastrophes.


Isolating Concerns


We are actively splitting concerns of the application. For instance, the places we serve map base data from is now separate from where we serve our vector data from and all of this is entirely isolated from our widgets. Our primary concern is always making sure that access to your mission critical data is possible. By isolating concerns if something goes wrong, this allows us to focus on a particular issue without being worried about other parts of our service not functioning as well.


Moving Forward


We normally spend most of our time building the features you request so we apologize for our slow down of visible feature development. We are excited to announce, however, that in general widgets should be much more responsive. We have reduced time to see the first view of the map by 2-3 seconds.

We take our responsibility seriously and we thank you for your trust in Scribble Maps and bearing with us as we deal with some of these growing pains and the future of Scribble Maps.

Happy Mapping!

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