Building Scalable Systems

After getting very, very frustrated with MySQL replication (and seeing the hoops people have to hop through to get replication to scale), I’ve decided I’m not that interested in pursuing designs that put a database at the center of the universe. Reading through Tim O’Reilly’s database war stories helped cement this idea for me. Especially interesting was the bloglines and memorandum interview and the facinating architecture (found from a comment). Another datapoint is LiveJournal. LiveJournal uses MySQL for storing posts, but they’ve a lot of work to minimize the use of MySQL as they’ve grown. We hear a lot about Google’s BigTable and GoogleFS all the time. But we can’t use them because the source isn’t available. LiveJournal has written similar systems in MogileFS and memcached and, unlike Google’s work, these are available to everyone. I’m going to start looking at how I can build systems around these two utilities and to minimize or eliminate my dependence on a SQL server.

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