SoonR is a hot new startup company that enables users of mobile devices (any mobile phone, smartphone or wireless PDA) to access all of the information they have on their PC. By installing SoonR client software on your PC you enable access to your desktop files, contacts and even the Skype service from your phone. You can access documents on your PC from your phone and forward them to others while away from your PC. You can eliminate expensive long distance charges using Skype from your mobile phone. How cool is that? The basic SoonR service is free and they are also working on premium services that will provide additional levels of security and availability.
Not surprisingly, SoonR has been growing quickly. Their initial prototype version was built using SQL Server running on Windows. The developers had a lot of experience using Microsoft technology for desktop applications which enabled them to quickly create a compelling proof of concept. But as they started to open up the service to users, the cost of scaling out SQL Server licenses was just too much, especially given that SoonR had a very limited startup budget and no venture capital at the time. (They've since raised $6 million dollars in VC funding, but I'm sure the VCs have better ideas on how to spend the money.) So they made the switch to MySQL running on an open source LAMP stack. More precisely they're running SuSE 10.0, Apache Tomcat 5.5 and MySQL 5.0 on AMD 64-bit Opteron processors.
In just a few months, SoonR has grown to manage more than 100 million user files. During peak load times, they routinely handle 10,000 queries per second. They have a very sophisticated data model that facilitates optimal rendering and access of desktop data on mobile devices. MySQL 5.0 has been keeping up with their workload with no problems. They can scale out just by adding new servers. When they've had technical questions, answers from the MySQL support team were quick and the experience positive, especially compared to tech support from traditional closed source companies.
SoonR is now starting to get a lot of attention in the industry. Song Huang, their VP Marketing is a certified demo god and if you get the opportunity to see them do a live demo, check it out. This is truly a cool service from a hot company.