Yahoo Traffic Server Open Sourced

Way back in 2002 Yahoo acquired Inktomi who was largely know for their search products. Their software powered some early search engines like HotBot in the pre-Google days. One of their lesser known products was something called Traffic Server. Even if it was lesser known it was still used by ISP’s including AOL, who in those days was big. Their business disappeared with the great bubble and they were acquired by Yahoo, who was using Traffic Server themselves ever since.

Fast forward to 2009. Yahoo is now in the process of opening up Traffic Server as an Apache project. It’s already in incubator. Yahoo says it’s capable of 30,000 requests per server. Noteworthy is that this runs on generic hardware.

These days most websites use either Squid, Nginx, Pound or Varinish on the open source side. On the proprietary side there’s Citrix NetScaler, Foundry (now Brocade) ServerIron, Zeus ZXTM or F5’s Big-IP. The proprietary side can be either expensive software running on generic hardware or an appliance (which is generally a Intel based server with a custom modified Linux install for low maintenance and top performance).

At this point it’s apparently not 64-bit and doesn’t have native IPv6 support. However it appears to be usable and likely competitive with some of the other stuff out there already. Yahoo has been using it all along, and I hear they are pretty popular (problems aside).

It should be noted that commercial CDN’s aren’t really an alternative for reverse proxy or load balancer since they still require a robust and redundant origin. If anything they will reduce your requirements, not eliminate them.

Given everyone’s interest in scaling computing quickly and cheaply this is pretty noteworthy open source event. It tends to be an afterthought but these applications can be critical. Squid handles 78% of Wikipedia’s requests. Given all their traffic, you can see how it matters.

It will be interesting to see if a community builds around Traffic Server and if it sees adoption.

DNS Strangeness Followup

A few days ago I mentioned I was having some DNS issues. I’m pretty sure they are resolved as the last few days I haven’t seen anything odd.

It seems the primary nameserver did not bump the SOA when it updated. As a result one of the other DNS servers was out of sync. Why only one? I doubt I’ll ever discover why.

Anyway, it seems to be fixed. If anyone notices an issue, let me know.

Mozilla News

So much to touch on, and not much time.

From the mozilla.org minutes

– Firefox fans burned down the FTP farm

Perhaps it’s time for Mozilla.org to setup a few slots for “the regulars’, devs and dedicated beta testers, so they can continue work regardless of release schedule. It’s the second release that took me a half day to actually get a copy. And if Mozilla gets more popular, it’s going to be even worse. Just a thought. Perhaps in the future FTP will be more stable.

– ~73K downloads yesterday, 30K Failures [due to capacity issues]

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

– Major Corporate Sponsor agreed to let us use their FTP server farm –
we now have 3 more servers in the mirror network than we did before
– One of the four servers in her network was actually down yesterday,
that is why the issue with failures

Hmm. Who is the Major Corporate Sponsor? Just curious. Red Hat, IBM, SCO (just kidding 😉 I know how sensitive everyone is to those 3 letters)?

Thunderbird News

mscott released a experimental build of Thunderbird with bayes enhancements. I’ll give it a try, but I’m currently reverting back to 0.4 for a day, in hopes of isolating a file locking bug I think I’ve stumbled upon. More on that later if I find anything out.