Open Source In eHarmony Development Bliss

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When it comes to avoiding outages that cost a business $1,000 per minute of downtime, the matchmaking site eHarmony prefers an open source stack for its operations.

Love-arrangers eHarmony have a more than passing engagement with open source software. But it’s an open marriage, as eHarmony is not looking for open source solutions to its needs, but the best solutions.

A report on NewsForge cited eHarmony VP of engineering and operations on the topic of software choices.

Netcraft shows the domain resides behind a F5 Big-IP load balancer now, instead of reporting Linux as the server’s operating system. F5 would be an example of a “best solution” for hardware, due to its reputation for solid load balancing performance.

Linux of course represents one of several open source options eHarmony has made for its servers. Applications developed for eHarmony run on names that are very familiar to web developers, like Tomcat for handling Java Servlets and JavaServer Pages; JBoss for serving applications; and Apache as its web server of choice.

“It’s most of the stuff everyone is using,” Douglas said in the article. “Open source is not new to our company. We use it extensively, because the best product is often open source. We’re not zealots about open source, we just go out and look for what’s best.”

On the database side, eHarmony chose Oracle over robust open source options like PostgreSQL and Ingres, both of which offer serious relational database choices.

For developers who would like to get open source in the front door of their companies, where proprietary solutions may dominate the work landscape, Douglas offers some advice in the report.

“Just pick the right product. Usually the concern about open source that I’ve witnessed is, ‘how am I gonna get support?’ But even if you’re not paying for support there’s a ton of information out there. I would just find the best product for whatever I’m trying to do, and if that’s open source, there’s generally a company that will help you.”

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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