Jeff Rothschild, Vice President of Technology at Facebook gave a great presentation at UC San Diego on our favorite subject: "High Performance at Massive Scale – Lessons learned at Facebook". The abstract for the talk is:
Facebook has grown into one of the largest sites on the Internet today serving over 200 billion pages per month. The nature of social data makes engineering a site for this level of scale a particularly challenging proposition. In this presentation, I will discuss the aspects of social data that present challenges for scalability and will describe the the core architectural components and design principles that Facebook has used to address these challenges. In addition, I will discuss emerging technologies that offer new opportunities for building cost-effective high performance web architectures.
There's a lot of interesting about this talk that we'll get into later, but I thought you might want a head start on learning how Facebook handles 30K+ machines, 300 million active users, 20 billion photos, and 25TB per day of logging data.