Twitter Fail Whale ‘A Thing Of The Past,’ Says VP Of Engineering


The Twitter fail whale is iconic to today’s social media generation, and is recognized around the globe for website outages.

Christopher Fry, VP of Engineering at Twitter, talked with Wired about the fail whale, and what the social network has done to keep it under the sea.

In the early days, the fail whale seemed to be an almost daily occurrence, and Fry says the key was to break down Twitter’s massive code base.

We had a monolithic Ruby server and we were able to basically decompose that into a set of services. Then applying Mesos as that layer of indirection gives us a way to pack services onto machines to get higher utilization. We can get reliability and efficiency at the same time on top of faster developer productivity as well.

In layman’s terms, Mesos is basically an operating system for a data center, and allows developers to implement services on a cluster of servers.

[Tweet “”The Fail Whale is a thing of the past. This summer we took the Fail Whale out of production.””]

Now replaced by robots, Fry shared a nice sentiment:

It had a long history and some of our users feel very connected to it. But in the end, it did represent a time when I don’t think we lived up to what the world needed Twitter to be.

While the Twitter fail whale is no more, there’s always still the IPO hippo.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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