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Considerations for Scaleability / Concurrent Usage

I’m creating an application that matches people for 1:1 video calls in a speed networking format. We use our own custom video conferencing solution via an iframe, and use Bubble for the workflow and business logic.

We’re talking with several conference organizers about running events for their conference which would require us to support 500 to 1500 concurrent users for the 1 event.

A few questions:

  1. Do I need a certain Bubble plan to support this many concurrent users?
  2. Are there other considerations with Bubble regarding supporting this many concurrent users?
  3. Does anyone have suggestions for what load testing tools we could use ahead of time to verify that our product will support 500-1500 concurrent users? Note - we’d like to test our video software as part of this same load test.

Thanks!.

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For 1, we can’t tell, it depends on the number of workflow runs. At some point you may, but that means things are good for you…

In terms of number of concurrent users, there shouldn’t be some issues. The only issue might be if too many runs happen at the same time, but that would make you upgrade and would help solving the issue.

Thanks @emmanuel.

What can I do to figure this out ahead of time? I assume load testing? …if so, are there data/metrics that I’ll have access to in order to know how the servers are performing, where are bottlenecks and breakpoints, etc.?

Also, do you have any data from other bubble users for maxium no. of concurrent users supported?

Unfortunately, we can’t afford to wait and see how this goes because the contract we’d put in place with conference organizers would likely have a significant penalty for us if our system went down (afterall, if our system didn’t work correctly we’d have to refund participants tickets, the event organizer would be out tens of thousands of dollars in marketing costs, and our reputations would be tarnished),

Hey there, so we’d probably have to work with you to help build out an appropriate load test. Most of our apps rarely get 1500 users visiting them at the same time, and how our systems handle load depends a lot on details about what the app does, so it’s hard to tell you off the cuff whether or not there would be issues.

Send us a note at [email protected] and we can talk through your individual case. Things we’d want to know are:

-How the app works exactly (is it built already? If not, do you have wireframes / etc)
-Where the conference participants are going to be (are they all on the same wifi networks at the conference? are they distributed globally)
-What’s the timeline for figuring this out
-What’s your budget: it’s likely we’d need to do some custom development to build a good load test, and possibly some custom development to remediate issues that come up.

Given Bubble’s general performance characteristics I’m optimistic we can handle this smoothly, but no promises especially if the time horizon to figure this out is short.

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And you addressed with that response a lot of concerns that bubbler dreamers, including myself, have when using the application.

Thanks Josh! I appreciate the thought that went into your answer.

I’ll shoot you an email at [email protected] to discuss further. Sounds like there’s likely a way to make all of this work.

Just to add to this, I know people like @natedogg have built clones of Airbnb using bubble. Assuming that there are people logging on everyday using a native mobile app to check listings and book rooms/apartments…how many users could Bubble realistically handle concurrently without running into significant performance issues affecting user experience? (making an assumption here that the Bubble infrastructure doesn’t use concurrent non-blocking I/O)

tl;dr They can scale to hundreds of concurrent users without trouble, and likely to thousands or tens of thousands of concurrent users if designed appropriately and coordinated with the Bubble team. Plus, they have an incentive to support you at larger scale if / when you get there.

@supernaturally, I think Bubble can support a very large number of concurrent users. Afterall, they support all of our Bubble apps simultaneously on the same infrastructure. So, having a few hundred concurrent users on your site/app wouldn’t change the overall load much at all.

Additionally, the Bubble team now offers plans that enable you to put your app on it’s own server to enable more control and customization of the hardware, etc.

All of this being said, scaleability also depends on what you’re having people do with your app. If you’re doing an AirBnB clone, for example, then showing 10 listings at a time is standard. If you, instead, wanted to load 1,000 listings every time the user loads the page, then the performance is going to be much worse for that user and each of your users may eat up 100x more bandwidth than the typical user of another site. Additionally, if you’re doing lots of searches, filters, sorting, etc. then it can slow down the performance considerably.

Big companies spend lots of time to optimize the queries once they’re large. Bubble gives us a lot of flexibility in deciding what we load to the page, whether we load it on page load or after the full page has loaded, etc. So, I suspect we can get pretty far with this.

Bubble’s sweet spot has historically been early stage companies who are looking to build something quickly and quickly adapt to customer needs, and they are now maturing beyond that and are focusing on strengthening the related capabilities. They can definitely scale to a fair extent, and if you’re a huge success I’m sure the Bubble team will do what they can to enable your continued success because your success helps them. And, they’ve aligned their interests with yours/ours by keeping prices low for apps without much traffic, so they definitely have a financial incentive to keep successful apps on their platform.

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