Facebook started using memcached in August 2005 when Mark Zuckerberg downloaded it from the Internet and installed it on our Apache web servers. At that time, Facebook was starting to make increasingly sizable database queries on every page load, and page load times were significantly increasing. Providing a fast, snappy user experience has always been a high priority for Facebook, and memcached came to the rescue.
Facebook wasn't the first social network on the Internet, but it is the first one that successfully scaled to more than a billion users. Our cache infrastructure played a significant role in making this happen. Today, our cache infrastructure serves billions of requests per second and enables us to keep moving fast as we grow.
Scaling a social network and the underlying social graph is very different from scaling other web applications like web search, ecommerce, or email. We face the following infrastructure challenges every day:
You can keep up with the latest development efforts or reach out to our memcache engineering team by liking our Memcache at Facebook Page.
It has been an amazing journey so far and a once-in-a-career learning experience for all of us on the team. Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the years.
Rajesh Nishtala and Venkat Venkataramani work on the infrastructure engineering team.