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The Computer Science Behind Facebook's 1 Billion Users 113

pacopico writes "Much has been made about Facebook hitting 1 billion users. But Businessweek has the inside story detailing how the site actually copes with this many people and the software Facebook has invented that pushes the limits of computer science. The story quotes database guru Mike Stonebraker saying, 'I think Facebook has the hardest information technology problem on the planet.' To keep Facebooking moving fast, Mark Zuckerberg apparently instituted a program called Boot Camp in which engineers spend six-weeks learning every bit of Facebook's code."
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The Computer Science Behind Facebook's 1 Billion Users

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  • Re:Oh bullshit. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jittles ( 1613415 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @08:58PM (#41565113)
    Except that I don't believe they have 1 billion real users. They probably have 100m users and another 900m users in fake accounts people use to play Farmville, etc.
  • Re:Oh bullshit. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rtaylor ( 70602 ) on Friday October 05, 2012 @09:00PM (#41565131) Homepage

    It's made infinitely easier by being asynchronous and 99% reads. There are no timing issues. If a post is delayed to someones screen by a minute or two, nobody dies.

    It's not terribly difficult to make numerous (near infinite) read-only replica's of a database which are within tens of milliseconds of the primary; so that takes care of 99% of their problems.

    Handling their write load is harder but keep in mind the vast majority of their accounts are idle; and again asynchronous writes make it much much easier. They can shove everything through a message queue and put heavy-weight sharding of the data behind that.

    I think handling 100 Million banking customers in 2000 was infinitely harder than Facebook has it from a technical standpoint.

  • Re:Oh bullshit. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dzfoo ( 772245 ) on Saturday October 06, 2012 @06:45AM (#41566887)

    I wrote a red-black tree for fun the other day. What's the problem?

Loose bits sink chips.