October 12, 2010 · 7:00 PM
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Factual is a company that is in the business of curating and serving data. Up until a few months ago, we had been focusing on maturing our product and not optimization. However, we acquired a partnership with Newsweek and had to come up with a solution that could handle at least 1,000 requests per second. After many iterations on minor backend tweaks and improvements, we realized that we just weren't going to meet our goals. We weren’t confident that we could handle more than 200 req/sec across our entire service!
After considering multiple architectural changes (memcached, squid, mod_proxy, etc...), we decided that Varnish was our most viable solution. Varnish is an http accelerator that supports a configuration with full control over what, how, and when to cache proxied content. It provides rich functionality, ease of use, and excellent performance.
With our first iteration of Varnish in production we confirmed that we could handle spikes of over 2000 req/sec, per webserver.
We will be presenting our use of Varnish as a case study. We will also touch on some advanced features of Varnish, as well as our plans to make more use of Varnish in the future.
About the Presenter:
Jeff is one of the lead software engineers at Factual and has been working for internet start-ups since the 90s. He has been one of the main contributors to scaling Factual and is also the Director of Operations for our Shanghai office.