Is PHP Really More Scalable Than JSP?

Friendster's switched from JSP to PHP. Specifically, they've moved from Tomcat to a LAMP solution. Is this a good thing? I mean, they're the guys with 9 million members, a large majority bitching about sluggish response times, etc. so they should know, but it seems awfully strange to me.

Can anyone shed some light on this? First, is PHP really that much more scalable in general, or is this based on a specific server solution? I mean, are these guys not willing to spend on the hardware (and really, should they?). Does PHP just out perform if you're running on a bunch of used 486s or is there other things at work here? Is it just Tomcat? Would WebSphere and WebLogic done the job, but they didn't feel like dropping $10k per server-seat when PHP could be used instead? Are they going to hit a plateau with PHP? Are they going to regret spaghetti code and pseudo-objects, or is PHP past that now?

I guess this just breaks with my little world view. In my mind, projects start with PHP and then move to more established technologies like J2EE, right? According to Sun marketing, eBay is running on J2EE and are quite happy about it and we all know that eBay is 1) Huge and 2) handling *really* important data (i.e. MONEY). For Friendster to go in reverse? It just seems strange.

I'm not looking for a rant fest, I'm looking to learn. Should I be putting up my JSP tights and reaching for my PHP cape instead? What parts of the Friendster decision am I missing? I'd love to learn more about this.


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