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Turning off the LAMP Hunter Loftis, Skookum Digital Works

August 16, 2012

Turning off the LAMP Hunter Loftis, Skookum Digital Works

When Skookum Digital Works investigated the massive project of re-architecting a large social media site, a common theme arose: their client wanted to experiment, but its LAMP stack was getting in the way. Too big, too heavy, too rigid. Manipulating one variable caused cascading effects, and broke something else. SDW proposed an uncommon, but increasingly popular, solution: a document-oriented database. Dozens of tightly-coupled relational entities could be decoupled into documents. Business logic could grow more flexible and less error-prone. This is the story of moving a large user-driven website from a LAMP stack to a node-mongodb stack: what went right, what went wrong, and everything in-between.

Speaker Bio: Hunter Loftis is the Director of Technology at Skookum Digital Works. At SDW, his team trains early in emerging technologies to provide experienced leadership when new tech is adopted. Today, SDW specializes in HTML5, responsive design, heavy JavaScript, node.js and other dynamic platforms.


August 16, 2012


  1. The Issues • 250 tables • $2,800/month to host •

    5+ second page loads • “schema paralysis” Wednesday, August 15, 12
  2. Documents • Faster • ...for cheaper hosting. • ...and shorter

    loadtimes. • Simpler • ...and easier to change. • ...without breaking stuff. Wednesday, August 15, 12
  3. “... they basically had no idea what MongoDB was and

    do not support it at all.” Wednesday, August 15, 12
  4. “They've advised me that with MongoDB, the entire DB goes

    into RAM.” Wednesday, August 15, 12