memcached (and facebook)

I’m really impressed that so many big companies, like facebook and google, have taken the time to release patches and source code, back out to the open-source community. Being able to improve memcached throughput from 50,000 requests/s to 200,000 requests/s is an amazing achievement.


The changes that the facebook guys have made to memcache are going to help a lot of people out there, including fonolo. We’re using memcache heavily in-house, not only for web-based caching, but for a lot of the back-end VoIP and speech recognition applications.

We, obviously, don’t require the throughput that facebook does- given they just recently released data that showed they were adding more than 600,000 new users per day, more than 70% of which are coming from outside the USA. That’s growth at a staggering rate!

I have to say, that I’m a fan of facebook, and what they’ve managed to achieve, in a relatively short amount of time- I just have to wonder how long it will all last? Increasing your user-base by 600,000 users per-day; where is the plateau? Will it all eventually just topple over on itself?

Imagine when the next big social networking app comes out; will there be a mass-exodus from one to the other? or will facebook be so far in-grained in it’s users, that they won’t have any other choice but to stay?

No matter what happens,  it’s nice to know facebook is working out all the bugs for us.

One thought on “memcached (and facebook)

  1. Nat

    A couple of weeks ago I got an invitation from a friend (who I already know on Facebook, and in real time, real life!) for I didn’t look into the invite or the site since I felt I wasn’t quite ready to jump Facebook ship. Maybe it’s the apps that actually keep Facebook fresh. That is to say, even if Facebook plateaus, I’m not sure I’ll have at the same time. Of course, if the trend is to abandon the site in favour for another, then I would have to follow suit. That is the trick of social networking sites: keeping those people there. I know many were disappointed with the Facebook redesign launched a few months ago. I think the use of apps actually suffered because of it, which is the counter-argument of what I mentioned earlier about keeping Facebook fresh. Time will tell.

    What I wonder is, if the next social networking trend is really not about social networking anymore. Maybe the plateau really isn’t about a “reunion” but an “un-union.” Maybe the next “web community” created will be based around detaching from acquaintances or associations made in other social networking sites, so the individual cannot “search” you out in other places when excluded from one. Sinister, but from behind the screen, un-social networking is very easy to do….

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