Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged scaling, sharding

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Vitess (via) I remember looking at Vitess when it was first released by YouTube in 2012. The idea of a proven horizontally scalable sharding mechanism for MySQL was exciting, but I was put off by the need for a custom Go or Java client library. Apparently that changed with Vitess 2.1 in April 2017, the first version to introduce a MySQL protocol compatible proxy which can be connected to by existing code written in any language. Vitess 3.0 came out last December so now the MySQL proxy layer is much more stable. Vitess is used in production by a bunch of other companies now (including Slack and Square) so it’s definitely worth a closer look. # 14th February 2019, 5:35 am

twitter’s gizzard (via) Intriguing new open source project from Twitter. Gizzard is a sharding framework which provides a network service for partitioning data across arbitrary backend datastores, managing its own forwarding table to map key ranges to partitions and adding support for tree-based replication. # 11th April 2010, 9:39 pm

Elastic Search (via) Solr has competition! Like Solr, Elastic Search provides a RESTful JSON HTTP interface to Lucene. The focus here is on distribution, auto-sharding and high availability. It’s even easier to get started with than Solr, partly due to the focus on providing a schema-less document store, but it’s currently missing out on a bunch of useful Solr features (a web interface and faceting are the two that stand out). The high availability features look particularly interesting. UPDATE: I was incorrect, basic faceted queries are already supported. # 11th February 2010, 6:33 pm

Introducing Digg’s IDDB Infrastructure. IDDB is Digg’s new infrastructure component for sharding data across multiple databases, with support for both MySQL and memcachedb. “The DiggBar and URL minifying service is powered by a 16 machine IDDB cluster, which includes 8 write masters in the index and 8 MySQL storage nodes.” # 3rd April 2009, 8:42 pm

Database Sharding at Netlog, with MySQL and PHP. Detailed MySQL sharding case study from Netlog, who serve five billion page requests a month using thousands of shards across more than 80 database servers. # 2nd March 2009, 10:22 am

How FriendFeed uses MySQL to store schema-less data. The pain of altering/ adding indexes to tables with 250 million rows was killing their ability to try out new features, so they’ve moved to storing pickled Python objects and manually creating the indexes they need as denormalised two column tables. These can be created and dropped much more easily, and are continually populated by an off-line index building process. # 27th February 2009, 2:33 pm

Sharding Counters on Google App Engine. “While the datastore for App Engine scales to support a huge number of entities it is important to note that you can only expect to update any single entity, or entity-group, about five times a second”. This article explains a technique for sharding writes across multiple counters in detail, including a way to keep a memcache counter updated at the same time for faster reads. # 27th January 2009, 8:27 pm

Spock Proxy. A MySQL Proxy fork (no Lua) that concentrates solely on sharding, by parsing incoming SQL statements and redirecting them across multiple databases. There are some limitations on the SQL that can be handled (no nested queries, joins across a maximum of two tables) but generally it looks pretty impressive. # 11th December 2008, 9:49 am