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The entire account of his time at reddit is great, but I really liked his “crash often:”

Then we had this realization that we were idiots and we started using this piece of software called “supervise”. It’s part of the daemontools package. What supervise does is really simple. When your application crashes, in UNIX, supervise will restart it.

It’s kind of a no brainer, totally obvious now that we should have been using this the entire time, but it works great. If you’re not running your app in supervise, you’re destined to crash.

That changed the way we designed the Reddit. If we had a memory leak, we would just kill the application process. We’d have special monitoring scripts that would watch for a Reddit application process using too much memory, or using too much CPU, or not handling requests anymore.

Also started going the route of nosql, eliminating table joins and using something like key value storage. Very informative piece.
via Steve Huffman on Lessons Learned at Reddit | Carsonified.

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