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Twitter Scaling Story Mirrors the Multicore Language Timetable, Yields 10000% Speedup

There’s a great story over on the High Scalability blog about how Twitter became 10000% faster:

For us, it’s really about scaling horizontally – to that end, Rails and Ruby haven’t been stumbling blocks, compared to any other language or framework. The performance boosts associated with a “faster” language would give us a 10-20% improvement, but thanks to architectural changes that Ruby and Rails happily accommodated, Twitter is 10000% faster than it was in January.

This is the story I wanted to tell in Multicore Language Timetable:  a faster language pales in comparison to a more scalable language.  In this case, Twitter didn’t have that luxury, Ruby wasn’t more scalable, but it did have sufficient facilities that they could rearchitect their app for horizontal scaling, which is utilization of more cores.  It’s also the story of how the Multicore Crisis is here today and many of you have already experienced it.

Twitter learned several interesting lessons along the way that I’ve been hearing more and more:

Interestingly, Twitter still has 1 single mySQL DB for everything.  It is massively backed up by in-memory caches that run on many machines, but at some point it can become the bottleneck too.  They’ve worked hard to de-emphasize it, but ultimately they have to figure out how to horizontally scale that DB.

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