Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yay Dual Homing!

Today, we had our first drill with dual homing on reCAPTCHA. In Pittsburgh, the water main that serves the Carnegie Mellon area broke today, causing a complete water outage on campus. This has resulted in many servers being shut down. reCAPTCHAs servers were kept up, as they are production servers, however we were told that it was possible they'd be shut down.

It's times like these when you just love having a backup. We have a DNS service that does automatic health checking and routes away from unplanned outages. However, with DNS it takes a few minutes for these sorts of changes to take affect. We proactively switched away our traffic off of the pittsburgh servers.

One of the funny things about using DNS for Dual Homing is how long it takes to really kick in. We're still getting requests to our pittsburgh servers even hours after we made the switch. This is one reason it's important to have DNS not be the only load balancing solution (you need a L7 or L4 load balancer as well)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Facebook 2.0

So if your profile says you are single, and looking for women, single women looking for men might soon get a higher ranking in search results? I'm not sure what other "intentions" facebook might know about

Of course, this could open up a whole new era of social networking: I'd call if AdFaces. If you feel that you are not showing up often enough in search results, you can bid for clicks on your profile with a CPC model. Or maybe Facebook can experiment with a cost-per-action model. Then we'll need a product like Facebook Analytics to improve profile conversion rate, and FaceSense to allow publishers to embed targeted profile advertisements on their website.