Building and maintaining complex distributed systems
June 19–20, 2017: Training
June 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Scale it to a billion: How to build it, keep it safe, and keep it running

Pete Cheslock (Threat Stack)
3:40pm–4:20pm Thursday, June 22, 2017
Location: LL21 E/F
Level: Intermediate

Who is this presentation for?

  • Everyone can find value in this presentation

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of the cloud, configuration management, and systems administration

What you'll learn

  • Explore practical security practices that can help your company and design decisions that helped Threat Stack scale quickly using OSS technologies
  • Learn how to create a self-service telemetry platform for your organization


Over the past three years, Threat Stack has been working on building a scalable distributed system to manage a continually growing corpus of customers’ critical data. Like many growing companies, Threat Stack has limited time, money, and resources, but that doesn’t offer an excuse to skimp on things such as high availability and security.

Pete Cheslock shares the operational and security practices that helped Threat Stack scale while staying stable and secure, covering technology and tools and the various scale points that forced hard decisions. Along the way, Pete also explores approaching security not as a dedicated team but as culture that everyone owns.

Topics include:

  • Going from five servers and a few hundred thousand events per day to several hundred servers and ten billion unique events each day
  • How on-demand telemetry helps Threat Stack scale
  • Early design decisions that worked (and those that didn’t)
  • When to use distributed systems (and when not to)
Photo of Pete Cheslock

Pete Cheslock

Threat Stack

Pete Cheslock is the head of Threat Stack’s operations and support teams, where he focuses on delivering the highest level of service, reliability, and customer satisfaction to Threat Stack’s growing user base. An industry veteran with over 15 years’ experience in operations, Pete understands the challenges and issues faced by security, development, and operations professionals every day. Previously, Pete held senior positions at Dyn and Sonian, where he built, managed, and developed automation and release engineering teams and projects.