Mike Volodarsky's blog

Formerly the core server PM for IIS 7.0 and ASP.NET, now I run LeanSentry.
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Enabling Fast, Reliable, and Super-Scalable Uploads in ASP.NET, ASP, and PHP applications

Uploads have always historically been a major pain point for web applications, due to poor performance, spotty reliability, and framework-specific limitations. As more and more websites rely on social networking, user generated content, and in general storing data in the cloud, the ability to support reliable and scalable uploads is rapidly becoming more critical than ever.

After working with many clients to help solve these problems, LeanServer is announcing ScaleUP - a breakthrough web upload solution for the Microsoft IIS platform that finally enables fast, reliable, and super-scalable HTTP uploads to any web application.

Making uploads work

We designed ScaleUP to power uploads in some of the largest web sites in the world – such as myspace.com’s media farm that handles over 25M photo, song, and video uploads a day – while significantly reducing server costs.

ScaleUP is unique in that it is able to fundamentally replace the platform’s upload process, enabling upload reliability and scalability characteristics that existing upload managers simply could not attain.

As a result, ScaleUP allows any existing ASP.NET, ASP, PHP, or other IIS 7.0 compatible application to achieve:

  • Up to 20x faster upload speeds [1]
  • Reliable uploads of unlimited size (4Gb+)
  • Reduced application impact (no thread starvation, lower disk usage, etc)
  • Scaling to THOUSANDS of active uploads on a single server
  • Full support for streaming, filtering, server-side progress reporting, and other common upload features [1]
  • Transparent support for ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, and any other IIS 7.0-compatible application (regardless of framework upload limitations)

To make this happen, we had to fundamentally redesign the platform’s upload process, leveraging the IIS 7.0 low level extensibility layer to handle request uploads with our own high-performance upload engine.


Brief History of Web Uploads

The upload support in the Microsoft web platform has come quite a long way since the early days of IIS. Unfortunately, a number of remaining limitations have made it difficult to offer a quality upload experience, especially for high-traffic sites.

As more and more websites rely on user generated content, and in general storing data in the cloud, the need to support reliable and scalable web uploads has become more important than ever.

Today, after almost a year of beta testing with some of the world’s largest web sites, LeanServer is announcing a breakthrough upload solution that finally enables fast, reliable, and scalable uploads to any ASP.NET, ASP, or PHP application on the Microsoft web platform.

To help explain our motivation for building it, I wanted to revisit the history of upload support in the platform - and explain the challenges we sought to resolve.