Twitter entering 'maturation' phase for infrastructure, engineering

Twitter's VP of platform engineering reveals how the social network manages more than 500 million tweets posted each day.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Every tech company has to deal with growing pains, but Twitter's scaling issues have been more public than others -- to the point where its outage landing page became iconic.

Speaking at Gigaom Structure 2014 in San Francisco on Wednesday, Raffi Krikorian, vice president of platform engineering at Twitter, explained its about maturing the software stack and how to write global software.

Krikorian assured Twitter is getting to the point where the it can confidently say, "We know how to do this."

He added later that Twitter is entering a "maturation phase" in which many processes are automated and managed differently than before.

"A piece of data comes in, flows to another box, might be forked off, and it's just a cascade through the datacenter," Krikorian described.

"My job is to provide the infrastructure that no one else needs to worry about," Krikorian remarked, positing that the San Francisco-headquartered company should only have to concern itself with worrying about how to delight its users.

"I don't want us to think about boxes. I want us to think about the service we're providing overall," Krikorian remarked.

Of course, not everything can be automated. Krikorian highlighted spam control as an "on-the-fly" process as Tweets flow in.

Looking forward, Krikorian noted that building ranking and smart features around public real-time conversations will continue to be an ongoing focus.

The need for a robust infrastructure as well as constant demand for new projects and features is more prevalent than ever before as Twitter now manages more than 500 million Tweets each day, powered by multiple datacenters around the world.

Nevertheless, when asked if the infamous "fail whale" was a thing of the past, Krikorian simply chuckled.

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