Hello and Welcome! I’m super excited to officially unveil the AppNexus technology blog.
As many of you know, AppNexus is an online advertising technology platform. At core we’re an ad serving engine that has both buy-side and sell-side real-time bidding capabilities used by the top online advertising companies like Technorati, Collective, and Microsoft Advertising Exchange. We’re already operating at some pretty massive scale and growing quickly, which has given us some incredible engineering challenges. On a recent day we saw 12 billion ad requests. That’s 160k per second bid “decisions” to make in under 50ms. Throw on another 90k or so supporting HTTP requests and you get to nearly a quarter million HTTP requests a second processed at peak. All those requests generate nearly 10TB of data a day, which we make available to clients in a variety of forms — from raw log files to quickly available aggregated reports. Clients interact with the system and manage millions of different objects with a rich and engaging globally distributed hosted user-interface. Our UI is 100% on top of our RESTful API services, which are also available to clients.
Point is — here at AppNexus we have a bunch of smart techies who are building some great products and technologies at serious Internet scale and learning a lot of great tips and tricks along the way. At the same time, we’re dealing with the same operational issues as everyone else — version control, internal communication, seeing if we can swing continuous integration and deployment, testing, etc. The point of this blog is for anybody on the team to publicly pontificate on what we’ve learned and share those tips and tricks.
We might write about AppNexus-specific things here, but we’re building a separate corporate blog to handle company and industry information, so as long as the topic is tech-related, anything is fair game. We’d love to start some conversations, so if you agree or disagree, please let us know in the comments!
-Mike Nolet, Co-founder & CTO