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28 October 2008, 09:41

Facebook releases some server software as open source

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Facebook has released Scribe, a data aggregation system developes as part of its own systems. The source code is available under the Apache Licence 2.0. Scribe] collects large amounts of data from many servers and passes it between those servers; it is, by design, somewhere between a logging system and a reliable message passing system. Robert Johnson, who is responsible for Facebook's infrastructure software, said of the Scribe that it had turned out to be "enormously useful, handling over 100 use cases and tens of billions of messages a day. It has also been battle tested by just about anything that can go wrong".

Facebook has previously built applications for theses tasks on a per-case basis, but the development of the Thrift libraries saw an opportunity to unify its data collection and management. Thrift was developed by Facebook and moved to the Apache Incubator earlier this year. According to Johnson, Facebook is predominantly built with open source software, and the company tries to give back the developed code to the community.

In June, Facebook open sourced its infrastructure code. Many believe this was more a necessary step as Facebook's platform was being outpaced by many of it's more open competitors while others have suggested that this could be a way for Facebook to engage the development community in improving their software platform in hopes of reducing development and infrastructure costs in future.


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