Facebook Architecture

Social networking is art of connecting with those who share common
interests. This is based on my research in various web sites.

Face book Use Case:

1. Social Graph
2. Friend connections
3. Friends Friend connections
4. Friend can comments, read your stuff, like
5. You can update you status, upload pictures, videos
6. You can post your details
7. Your each post is tracked on time line

Volumes of data

1. Tera/Peta bytes of data is stored. 350+ million users are

High level architecture

Key components

1. Front end : Servers run on LAMP ( Linux, Apache, MySQL , and PHP)
a. FB runs on the Linux and Apache web servers.

b. MySQL : Key values stored data. Data is randomly distributed across the large server

c. PHP : Web programming language
d. MemCache: Memcache is a memory caching system that is used to speed up dynamic
database-driven websites (like Facebook) by caching data and objects in
RAM to reduce reading time. 

Architecture model 

1. Create service nedded
2. Create a framework/tool set for easier creation of services
3. Use the right programming language for the task

mika-shroepfera’s architecture diagram

  • PHP web server collect data, multiple dedicated web services. There are other services developed by Python, C++, Erlang and so on. In order to communicate between all these services “Thrift” is used.
  • Load Balancer to Balance the incoming web page access.
The below diagram shows facebook block diagram

Aditi technology’s slide pack

Open Source Model 

BigPipe is a fundamental redesign of the dynamic web page serving system. The general idea is to decompose web pages into small chunks called page lets  and pipeline them through several execution stages inside web servers and browsers  see as below

Thrift (protocol)
Thrift is a lightweight remote procedure call framework for
scalable cross-language services development. Thrift supports C++,
PHP, Python, Perl, Java, Ruby, Erlang, and others. It’s quick, saves
time, and provides a division of labor of work on
high-performance servers and applications.
Scribe (log server)
Scribe is a server for aggregating log data streamed in
real-time from many other servers. It is a scalable framework useful for
logging a wide array of data. It is built on top of Thrift.
Cassandra (database)
Cassandra was earlier used , now this is being replaced by HBase
Apache Cassandra is an open source distributed database management system. It is an Apache Software Foundation top-level project designed to handle very large amounts of data spread out across many commodity servers while providing a highly available service with no single point of failure.

Hiphop logo white.png

HipHop for PHP is a source code transformer for PHP script code. HipHop programmatically transforms PHP source code into C++ and then uses g++ to compile it to machine code. HipHop includes a code transformer, a reimplementation of PHP’s runtime system, and a rewrite of many common PHP Extensions to take advantage of these performance optimizations

HBase (database)

HBase Logo.png

Apache HBase™ is the Hadoop database, a distributed, scalable, big data store.

Haystack for the pictures

The high level Facebook architectural in terms of LAMP other protocols is explained in following Video (OSCON 2010: David Recordon, “Today’s LAMP Stack”)

Many thanks for many views and support.  Please comment.


1. Hay Stack: Pictures usage and architecture
2. Clearcloud site: Most of the contents, idea to write this blog
3. Seattle confernce mika-shroepfera : VP of facebook presenation, it is not english though
4. Apche Thrift: Thrift site
5. Facebook Engineering page: Day to changes as developers 
6. Aditi Technolgy blogs: Nice infoq sites, nut and bolts
7. Glenns site: Gog blog
8. Facebook: Science and the Social Graph : 2009 Infoq from Aditya Agarwal 

One thought on “Facebook Architecture

  1. Pingback: Quora

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s