Web Service: How to make them maximally performant?

What technologies are best suited for the highest performance web services to handle the heaviest loads? Thousands (even millions) of transactions per second?

I know that Node.js can handle thousand(s) sessions on a single thread. And I do not know of any other technology which handle more than one session per thread. Am I right about that? Are there others that can do this also?

What about real-time programming as it relates to web-services. Is there such a thing?

And how about a few general words about hardware deployment? Having a central API call which distributes calls to hundreds of more specialized web servers? What about Caching for successive related calls?

And what about Machine Learning? Can algorithms be optimized by existing Machine Learning algorithms that reduce the average response times of the most heavily load web service?

Thanks.
newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAsked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I think you're being mislead.  Read up on Facebook and Google and Amazon technologies and what they do to make things run fast.  Of course, they do hire thousands of engineers to make things work.  And they deploy hardware and technologies which are far beyond your budget.  But they're the ones that know.  I doubt that you will find node.js anywhere on their servers.
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newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
What underlying platforms do they use?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
They write their own operating systems and web servers.  And of course, they have massive data centers.  While Facebook uses PHP, they translate it to C++ and compile to make it run much faster.  And they all use a lot of javascript in their pages, especially a lot of AJAX to load and update content.
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newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
Mine will not require UI. I need maximally performant web services that can handle a huge load.

Would this mean C++ back-end?

I image you could take an open sourced OS and strip out all functionality not needed, and then have a much smaller kernel.
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phoffricCommented:
>> Would this mean C++ back-end?
yes

One way FB achieves high performance is by adjusting data layouts to maximize cache hits and continuous good pre-fetching.
Andrei Alexandrescu, a leader a FB, made FB very fast with just that idea. But here is more from Andrei Alexandrescu.
https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-engineering/three-optimization-tips-for-c/10151361643253920/
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Note also that those services also have the highest speed connections available.  Thru the largest data centers in the world.  Web service implies by default web servers.  And web servers run on operating systems.  I'm afraid you are not going to just sit down and write your own in any reasonable amount of time.

Have you written anything yet?  Prototype what you want to do on available services and see how it works.  What kind of data are you going to provide with your web service?  UI has nothing to do with the servers, only the type of data and users that you would have.
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newbiewebSr. Software EngineerAuthor Commented:
thanks
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