wiki scale.png
Is medicine more art than science? How about dating? Changing a diaper? Building great software? To this endless list, I will add one more: scaling a wiki. How much art versus science goes into scaling a wiki from a small team to an entire company and beyond? I would define art and science as it relates to scaling a wiki as follows:

  • The science is the back end database, app server, and configuration.
  • The art is getting people to use it, the viral adoption we strive for to make the wiki as wide as it is deep.

By that criteria, three Confluence customers — all of whom will be presenters at Atlassian Summit, our first worldwide user conference this summer — seem to have an answer to the art-science dilemma. Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, and Bearing Point will discuss different aspects of the trials and tribulations of growing a wiki from a small team to a enterprise proportions.
Peter Reiser at Sun participated in one of our voice of the customer webinars not too long ago and talked about the new Sun Space rollout across Sun Microsystems. In just 6 months, the system experienced a 10x growth to a total (so far) of over 25,000 users and 400+ spaces.
Bearing Point
Nate Nash also participated in a voice of the customer webinar, and he blogged about the use of the wiki, too, stating:

BearingPoint implemented Confluence from the ground up to over 16,000 co-workers across the globe. We promoted organic advocacy and our wiki was started by users for users, not by IT, though they are now on board. BearingPoint’s current wiki started in a basement on a personal laptop and has since grown to a 2-node cluster with over 11K pages.

Let’s just say, Cisco has gone BIG with Confluence. I posted an interview with Tim Colson, Cisco, a short while ago. In his words:

I plan to share insight gained from firsthand experience growing a wiki service from a department with dozen users into a massive system with multiple servers, tens of thousands of contributors, thousands of spaces, and nearly a quarter of a million wiki pages.

Summit is just a few months away. If you’re in the midst of scaling Confluence, just thinking about it, or hit a roadblock, then these presentations could be just what you need to get to the next stage and beyond. Join us at Atlassian Summit 31 May to 2 June, 2009 in San Francisco to learn from these customer speakers, your peers, Summit sponsors, and Atlassian staff for more than 2 days of case studies, code, networking, and performance tips, and tons more.

How big is your wiki? The science and art of scaling.