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1,000,000 daily users and no cache (Splash 2011)

by on Oct 25, 2011

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Online games pose a few interesting challenges on their backend: A single user generates one http call every few seconds and the balance between data read and write is close to 50/50 which makes the ...

Online games pose a few interesting challenges on their backend: A single user generates one http call every few seconds and the balance between data read and write is close to 50/50 which makes the use of a write through cache or other common scaling approaches less effective.

Starting from a rather classic Ruby on Rails application as the traffic grew we gradually changed it in order to meet the required performance. And when small changes no longer were enough we turned inside out parts of our data persistency layer migrating from SQL to NoSQL without taking downtimes longer than a few minutes.

Follow the problems we hit, how we diagnosed them, and how we got around limitations. See which tools we found useful and which other lessons we learned by running the system with a team of just two developers without a sysadmin or operation team as support.

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  • wooga Wooga at Wooga At peak we do about 8,000 https requests that generate 100,000 DB operations per second (of which 50,000 are updates). Most http requests generate only 2-3 DB updates, but there are a few very complex requests that cause dozens of updates, hence the high ratio. 2 years ago
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  • lipingtababa lipingtababa page 12 said you got 14 billion requests/month, wihch equals with 4,000 requests per second, while there are 5000 DB updates per second. It seems these two number do not fit with each other. 2 years ago
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  • wooga Wooga at Wooga Re myst1313: We only serve the landing page using SSL (400 million hits per month). We just added another load balancer to handle the load. Our Flash client does not use SSL to call our API so we do not have a problem there. 2 years ago
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  • wooga Wooga at Wooga Re Алик Нематов: Redis is a NoSQL solution that matches our requirements. For other projects we also use CouchDB and Riak. We have experimented with Cassandra, too. Nice product but Redis was better suited for this game. 2 years ago
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  • myst1313 myst1313 Hi! Very nice. You never talk about https. Facebook impose to use ssl to access to apps since beginning of october and i think ssl impose big bottleneck as it takes a lot of time (at least the firsts requests) for ssl negotiations. How you handle this and how it impact the load ? Just curious to see your graphs after october. 2 years ago
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  • eagle1maledetto Gianluca Zamagni, CTO at Lega Nerd I think it was Munin 2 years ago
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  • ssuser1783f5 Алик Нематов, Server-Side Developer at PlayDemand Hey guys, did you ever consider NoSQL solutions, like Cassandra? 2 years ago
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  • StevenBaker2 Steven Baker, Senior Application Developer at WorkCover Queensland Very nice, I love hearing about stories like these. 2 years ago
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  • wooga Wooga at Wooga Yes, you can argue that Redis is just a cache. According to that the title then could have been 'without a database' as Redis is not in front of MySQL but replaced it. I think that mostly depends if your definition of a cache is 'in-memory' or 'on-front-of-a-database' - I did go for the second definition. 2 years ago
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  • forsparta forsparta er. redis *is* an in-memory cache (AKA key/value store). so you served 1,000,000+ users without a cache by actually using a cache? well done you. 2 years ago
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