Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 9:15AM
How does Facebook handle the massive New Year's Eve traffic spike? Thanks to Mike Swift, in Facebook gets ready for New Year's Eve, we get a little insight as to their method for the madness, nothing really detailed, but still interesting.
- Facebook expects tha one billion+ photos will be shared on New Year's eve.
- Facebook's 800 million users are scattered around the world. Three quarters live outside the US. Each user is linked to an average of 130 friends.
- Photos and posts must appear in less than a second. Opening a homepage requires executing requests on a 100 different servers, and those requests have to be ranked, sorted, and privacy-checked, and then rendered.
- Different events put different stresses on different parts of Facebook.
- Photo and Video Uploads - Holidays require hundreds of terabytes of capacity
- News Feed - News events like big sports events and the death of Steve Jobs drive user status updates
- Try to predict the surge in traffic.
- Run checks on hardware and software to find problems.
- Designate engineers to be on call.
- Prepare to bring additional capacity online from data centers. Implication is that your architecture can handle additional capacity and make meaningful use of it.
- Overbuild a matter of culture so big events aren't big challenges.
- Prepare emergency parachutes. These are knobs that can be turned to survive system failures or unanticipated surges in traffic. For example, for a capacity problem they can serve smaller photos to reduce bandwidth usage. The idea is to not go off-line completely when there's a problem, but to degrade gracefully.
Top Five Global Events for Facebook status updates in 2011
- Death of Osama Bin Laden, May 2
- Packers win the Super Bowl, Feb. 6
- Casey Anthony verdict, July 5.
- Charlie Sheen, early March.
- Death of Steve Jobs, Oct. 5