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Traffic to my facebook app is growing at an insane rate and I need some suggestions on how to scale. I'm probably not going to even be able to keep it running by the day's end, as it's hosted from my already overloaded dedicated server. I need to either move it to its own box or a cloud service like e2c.

Something like e2c seems like the way to go, but my server admin skills are terrible. Is there a good front end management UI for e2c or another hosting service that is comparable in cost that is fully managed? I don't mind going with something a bit more expensive now if that means I can get everything switched over and running within 24 hours.

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Not all cloud services are designed to scale automatically. Some simply provide access to lots of instances of virtual machines, which would require you to re-design your application to scale horizontally across multiple machines. Depending on how your app is designed you may be able to use something like Windows Azure or Rackspace Cloud Sites, which allow you to easily scale up or down by simply paying for more instances. These will automatically deal with the load balancing and request routing, where as EC2 would require you to wire these up yourself using thier Elastic load balancing api.

What exactly is causing your current server to become overloaded? If your application uses a lot of images or files the first thing you want to do is start hosting those on a CDN like Amazon Cloud Front, Rackspace Files, or Azure CDN. That would remove the majority of the traffic from hitting your server and may allow you to keep your existing setup without rewriting for the cloud. Similarly if your data access layer is using too many resources you should look at converting your application to use Azure Tables/SQL or Amazon's RDB or Simple DB.

You might also want to take a look at this thread about "auto scaling" in the cloud. Also for what it is worth the Rackspace Cloud Servers control panel looks a lot easier to use than Amazon EC2.

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There are a variety of other competitors to Amazon EC2, such as RackSpace Cloud and GoGrid to name a few. You should review each vendor's pricing model to see how much your facebook app might end up costing you on each vendor's service.

You could run Plesk on EC2 or perhaps something like cPanel if you need a front end management UI.

Generally, you could have a working server in minutes with either of those cloud services. Getting it setup to actually function as needed for your facebook app is another question. EC2 has a variety of pre-built images that have certain applications already installed. I am not sure if RackSpace has that or not. You can create your own images on both EC2 and RackSpace though. So you can launch new servers with all your customizations fairly quickly.

I hope this helps.

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