The real value of Scribe for open source

Wherever you have a lot of data coming in at once, demanding a response, scaling is vital. So three cheers for letting us see your scaling tool, Facebook, and for explaining how it's engineered.

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There is much rejoicing over the fact that Facebook has released Scribe as open source.

I want to join the celebration for reasons which have nothing to do with social networking.

Scribe, in the end, is a tool for aggregating data from a large number of servers. It is less a social networking tool as a scaling tool.

By giving programmers a chance to download, examine, and play with Scribe, Facebook is doing more than helping itself. It's offering a model for scaling and letting us make apples-to-apples comparisons.

This is important because scaling may be the most important task in computing today.

Thanks to the enormous size and scope of today's Web any site which makes a splash will experience the "rush to the rail" phenomenon and be forced to answer problems of scaling early in its life.

Scribe is one possible answer to that. There are others, but Scribe is open source. By seeing how it works you can freely compare it to other options and make a good choice, before the crowd arrives.

There are other areas where scaling will prove vital. It will be vital in reforming health care. It will be vital in transaction processing. It's obviously vital in the area of Web logging.

Wherever you have a lot of data coming in at once, demanding a response, scaling is vital.

So three cheers for letting us see your scaling tool, Facebook, and for explaining how it's engineered.

Now who's got a review of it?

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