Iago is a load generator that we created to help us test services before they encounter production traffic. While there are many load generators available in the open source and commercial software worlds, Iago provides us with capabilities that are uniquely suited for Twitter’s environment and the precise degree to which we need to test our services. There are three main properties that make Iago a good fit for Twitter:
Zipkin is a distributed tracing system that we created to help us gather timing data for all the disparate services involved in managing a request to the Twitter API. As an analogy, think of it as a performance profiler, like Firebug, but tailored for a website backend instead of a browser. In short, it makes Twitter faster.
Twitter is an amazing real-time information dissemination platform. We’ve seen events of historical importance such as the Arab Spring unfold via Tweets. We even know that Twitter is faster than earthquakes! However, can we more scientifically characterize the real-time nature of Twitter?