OK — so it was more a chat than a case study, but Jason Pontin, the editor of the Technology Review and previous editor of Red Herring, grilled Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s VP of Engineering, about how that company had scaled up.
And scaling up is something the company had to do fast: in the past year, Facebook users tripled from 100 million to 300 million. But as Schroepfer says, he couldn’t just triple the number of servers, because social networks grow exponentially. Pontin’s questions ranged from hard-core technology scaling details to questions about how Facebook thought about revenues and costs during this period of rapid change. If you register, you can see their fireside chat (complete with video fires) here.