As part of a capstone to my college degree, I am working on an entrepreneurial project creating a business idea with the possibility of actually implementing it down the road. Right now I am trying to give estimates as to building the website and estimating the ongoing costs.
Idea is to have interactive site (similar infrastructure as LinkedIn or Match.com) where users can make profiles and meet each other.
- I am looking at storage options through Amazon EC2 and S3: would you suggests a particular OS? Windows with SQL? (what do I need to understand in making this choice)
- What sort of size would I need as the company grows (ex: cost or size for 100 ppl vs 1,000 or 100,000 people)?
If it's social media website, you do not want windows server, you should go with Linux only. Why ? Social media websites usually consume more resources than most regular websites, so you need OS which would use less of CPU and memory by itself and windows servers lagging way behind Linux. You should also count in security, Linux servers are much more secure than Windows. And that is also very important for social media website, where users will share videos, photos and what not.. I would suggest you centOS, it's really decent Linux based OS.
To get a better idea of figures, what kind of interactivity are you planning? Consider:
Streaming videos from your server or embedded?
Real-time or polled? (every 30s for example)
Target audience? - May not seem important but different groups of people have vastly different social habits online.
Features? - Blogs, IM, Games etc.
Those can give you more of an idea on the resources needed, as there are so many factors with social networking type sites. Some of that will be decided already by budget... for example if you can't budget for a powerful system/setup, don't consider hosting your own video! You'll find a lot of social frameworks about too which could help you.