Sorry but this is not 'ideal', this is Capacity Planning 101. If you're launching a new product which you expect to be very popular, take your peak traffic and double or quadruple it and build out infrastructure to handle it ahead of time. I thought this was the whole point of the "cloud"? Add a metric shit-ton of resources for a planned peak and dial it down after.
Paul is nice so we are nice.
Last time I checked, I haven't built a service with +20mm users. I Googled you. I don't think you have built a service with +20mm users.
Programming is hard. Scaling is harder.
Let's have some empathy here. I bet the Instagram team has parents and siblings and significant others and friends that they haven't seen in a while. I bet they have responsibilities that they have neglected to keep the service up. I'd rather not poop on their head when they are trying to scale their service by millions of users.
This stuff is hard. Leaving a comment on a news aggregation service is easy.
I'm sorry that my comments come off as harsh, but the original line struck me as so completely basic it's like something you would tell someone who had never worked in IT. They clarified later that they had tried to plan ahead but came up a little short, which I can understand; no estimation is perfect.
I have no idea how many users Sportsline had but it was a bunch. Peaks of 64k hits per second on the dynamic layer, up to 8 gigabits sustained traffic in one datacenter... it was pretty ugly on firefighting days. I don't mean to poop on them, but if they're as big as they seem to be I hold them to a higher standard than a 6 month old start-up fresh out of college.
I agree it's hard. The fact that they were able to handle the traffic they did with only a small amount of downtime is a testament to the fact that they did have their shit together (as well they should with the number of users they had already).