September 19–20, 2016: Training
September 20–22, 2016: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Dropbox database infrastructure

Tammy Butow (Gremlin)
2:25pm–3:05pm Thursday, 09/22/2016
Infrastructure reimagined Automation, Databases Gramercy Audience level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.29, 7 ratings)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how Dropbox database infrastructure has scaled since Dropbox launched in 2008, surpassing 500 million signups and 500 petabytes of user data
  • Description

    Dropbox was founded by engineers, and the ethos of technical innovation is fundamental to its culture. Dropbox’s Databases team of SREs manage thousands of MySQL servers, which requires a deep understanding of MySQL, automation, Linux, Python, hardware, performance tuning, monitoring, and reliability.

    Dropbox has grown enormously since launching in 2008, surpassing 500 million sign-ups and 500 petabytes of user data. To give a sense of the incredible growth it’s experienced, Dropbox had only about 40 petabytes of user data in 2012. In the four years since, it has seen over 12x growth. Tammy Butow offers an overview of how Dropbox database infrastructure has scaled.

    Topics include:

    • Laying the foundations: where did it all begin?
    • Improving the flying rocket ship: building automation tools, performance tuning, reliability tools and testing, and Dropbox’s dedicated storage infrastructure
    • How Dropbox sets its Databases team up for success
    • Where Dropbox is headed next: automation and tooling, Python and Go at Dropbox, MySQL 5.7, and continuous curiosity
    Photo of Tammy Butow

    Tammy Butow


    Tammy Butow is a principal SRE at Gremlin, where she works on chaos engineering—the facilitation of controlled experiments to identify systemic weaknesses. Previously, Tammy led SRE teams at Dropbox responsible for the databases and storage systems used by over 500 million customers and was an incident manager on call (IMOC), where she was responsible for managing and resolving high-severity incidents across the company. She’s also worked in infrastructure engineering, security engineering, and product engineering. Tammy is the cofounder of Girl Geek Academy, a global movement to teach one million women technical skills by 2025. Tammy is an Australian and enjoys riding bikes, skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. She also loves mosh pits, crowd surfing, metal, and hardcore punk.