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Presentation: Understanding Python Memory at Instagram

Track: Performance Mythbusting

Location: Bayview AB

Day of week:

Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Persona: Architect, Backend Developer, Developer, DevOps Engineer, General Software, Technical Engineering Manager


Instagram server is one of the biggest Python deployments in the world to support more than 700M active users. At Instagram, the computing parallelism is based on multi-processing instead of threading. Memory utilization becomes critical in such model, i.e., with less memory per process, we are able to improve the parallelism hence overall capacity. In this talk, we will start with how Python memory profiling is done at Instagram, what useful insights we got from memory profiling data, and how such insights turned into efficiency wins for Instagram servers. We are also going to share our learnings from tuning and improving Python memory garbage collection.

Speaker: Min Ni

Engineering Manager @Instagram

Min Ni is currently an engineering manager at Instagram, his team mainly focuses on Instagram server performance. Before he joined Instagram, he worked at Facebook infra team for 4 years. Min Ni got his PhD degree on computer engineering from Northwestern University in the beautiful Chicago area. His interests are in the area of high performance computing and large scale distributed system. During his spare time, Min Ni enjoys traveling and book reading.

Find Min Ni at