Monday, March 21, 2011 | By michael abbott (@mabb0tt) [16:36 UTC]
If you look back at the history of Twitter, our rate of growth has largely outpaced the capacity of our hardware, software, and the company itself. Indeed, in our first five years, Twitter’s biggest challenge was coping with our unprecedented growth and sightings of the infamous Fail Whale.
Friday, March 4, 2011 | By Evan (@evan) [19:11 UTC]
Since late 2009, much of www.twitter.com has run on Ruby Enterprise Edition (REE), a modified version of the standard MRI 1.8.7 Ruby interpreter. At the time, we worked with the REE team to integrate some third-party patches that allowed us to tune the garbage collector for long-lived workloads. We knew this was not a perfect choice, but a switch to a new runtime (even MRI 1.9x) would introduce compatibility problems, and testing indicated that alternative runtimes are not necessarily faster for our workload. Nevertheless, the CPU cost of REE remained too high.