Monday, November 10, 2008

Smart Uzzap launch

It's been almost six months since I last posted in this blog. The main reason of this long absence is because of this:

Our main project Smart Uzzap has been launched last July 7, 2008 and it looks that it will have a bright future ahead. The total user base still keeps growing to the point that our public chat rooms can barely keep up to the number of people that would like to socialize.

Like all systems, we did experienced a lot of birth pains and problems. We even encountered OS level issues that was pretty alien to us (TCP Zero Window, TCP half-open scenarios, weird behavior of mobile GGSN's, fuzzy network congestions, etc.). Although amidst of these stressful situations, I'm quite greatful for being a part of it since very few people do encounter and learn how to fix these problems.

Being a python developer, I'm very proud to say that the Smart Uzzap server and its other components is written in python. While currently on production, it still keeps evolving silently in the background. Even though I get tired of attending meetings, fixing bugs, and introducing new features; I feel good knowing that people start building their own community with Uzzap. There has been some eyeballs, friendster accounts, blogs, and youtube clips like one below that was created by Uzzap users

Here's the things that I've learned since the project launch:

1. Every system has its own issues so don't panic.
2. Resource Monitoring and Reports is a must but at the same time, you should be smart enough to interpret what they say to track down bottlenecks.
3. Do not take TCP for granted!!! You should configure your TCP settings according to how you utilize the server.
4. A low load average doesn't mean that the network traffic is low.
5. Server applications should be smart enough to reconfigure itself during runtime.
6. Avoid, the one-point of failure systems. Always provide a backup or have each component scalable.
7. Do the network programmer loop:
Relax -> Look for bottlenecks -> Fix bottlenecks -> Test the fixes on development setup -> Apply Fixes -> go back to step 1.
8. Sharding databases is quite nice as long as you only have 1 foreign key to each of the database servers.
9. Sometimes, a measly one-liner of code can greatly improve the system. ^_^

As for home projects, I'm too tired to horse around in my cave anymore although I'm planning to try my hands on some streaming stuff like the RFC 2326 RTSP protocol. So there we go, if anyone needs some advise on scalability, don't be shy send me an email and I'll try my best to answer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how to delete/cancel/unregister my cellphone number to uzzap?