Billions of Hits: Scaling Twitter

John Adams (Twitter)
Location: 2006 Level:
Average rating: ****.
(4.06, 18 ratings)

I’ll present a continuation of lessons learned in the last two years of scaling Twitter to meet high demand, attempting to cover:

  • Best practices for deploying Ruby on Rails in production and new ways of deploying Rails with Unicorn and Passenger
  • Performance impacts of abuse and why rate limiting is so important
  • What to do when your API use overtakes normal web use
  • Asynchronous versus Synchronous processing during request lifetime
  • Why the real-time web isn’t possible without cheap memory
  • Handling large volumes of logs with Thrift, Hadoop and HDFS
Photo of John Adams

John Adams


John Adams (Twitter Operations) has worked in computer security, operations, and systems engineering for over 15 years. Prior to Twitter, he has worked at Apple, Inktomi, c|net, and a major video-on-demand site, improving security, performance, and reliability at large scale.

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Picture of Melvin Ryan Fetalvero
Melvin Ryan Fetalvero
05/06/2010 9:34am PDT

This was a very informative and relevant session for me. I am going home with a lot of learnings from this session.

Tim Woods
05/06/2010 6:56am PDT

Not bad. Twitter is fascinating, so this session gave you an insight into the rapid growth and problems thereof. I enjoyed it. Although a little more pace, and little more detail would have been good. But overall, one of the far better sessions of the conference – and more Twitter speakers would have been great.

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