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Twitter’s Traffic Overload Cry Answered With New Data Center

twitter traffic overload

Those who are Twitter-fanatics have seen it, most more than once. There are days when it shows up on a near constant basis. The infamous “Twitter Fail Whale.” It can cause frustration and in some cases, out and out anger. Many who jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon in 2007 recall frustration as the service continuously struggled to keep services up and running – for those who rely on Twitter for business reasons, this can be torturous. To answer this massive overload issue, a completely new data center has been added.

Postponed Upgrade

Since its launch in March of 2006, Twitter has seen a tremendous amount of growth within its membership. With each major event, such as the Iran elections, the user count increases on the order of over 1,000% (from February 2008 to February 2009 there was a 1382% growth according to Nielsen Wire). The massive growth spurts have proven to overload the current facilities and as such, NTT America (the company that Twitter has its managed hosting) responded by leasing 15,000 square feet of data center space in Santa Clara, California specifically to tackle this problem.

The massive consumption of NTT America’s resources came at the same time as a critical network upgrade that was slated to have been completed in June of this year. But when Twitter was quickly used as an important communication tool during the Iran elections, this had to be postponed. Twitter’s Biz Stone commended NTT America for taking this risk and remaining supportive.

State of the art system

To answer the needs of Twitter, the new facility includes advanced climate and humidity controls, water cooled systems and redundant power feeds. Additionally, the Twitter service has a multi-gigabit interconnection to NTT America’s tier 1 backbone which will greatly improve the service’s network traffic issue (not as many Twitter Fail Whales!). Another added benefit to relieving excessive network traffic is that other sites affected by Twitters growing pains in the Silicon Valley will see a marked improvement as well.

This is not to say that Twitter will be unaffected by denial of service attacks such as the one unleashed in August. Unfortunately, no amount of data service centers can prevent these sorts of attacks. However, the days of connection overload are fast fading.

Unending growth?

Since moving their hosting to NTT America due to an uptime performance issue with their previous managed hosting company in 2007, Twitter experienced a 752 percent traffic growth in 2008. With the massive and nearly doubled percentage of growth this year, it appears that Twitter has no intention of stopping.

As we’ve seen in the past, Twitter is fast becoming the social media tool of the masses. Whether it’s used when all other forms of communication have been restricted (as was seen in the Iran elections) or when the nation begins to debate the merits of the newest political candidates, each new breaking event will garner Twitter more members. Let’s hope that NTT America can keep up with this pace!

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    29th September 2009
    Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Web Hosting News

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