You are viewing content from a past/completed QCon

Presentation: Scaling Slack - The Good, the Unexpected, and the Road Ahead

Track: Architectures You've Always Wondered About

Location: Ballroom A

Duration: 2:55pm - 3:45pm

Day of week: Tuesday

Level: Intermediate

Persona: Architect, Backend Developer, Chaos/Resiliency/SRE

Share this on:

This presentation is now available to view on InfoQ.com

Watch video with transcript

Abstract

Slack is a persistent communication app for teams, with high customer expectations to deliver a reliable, rich, low latency client experience. 

Over the past couple of years, we've made major changes to the core service architecture to meet these needs for larger and larger enterprise customers. This talk will present three of these changes -- decomposition of the real-time message service, client-side lazy loading via edge caching, and scaling the primary data storage tier with fine-grained horizontal sharding using Vitess.

Each of these projects has resulted in significant improvements to the reliability and performance of the Slack service, yet ran into some bumps along the way during the deployment process. Still, we're far from done with this journey, so we'll touch on some of the pain points that remain and high-level thoughts for how we plan to address them.

Speaker: Mike Demmer

Principal Engineer - Infrastructure @SlackHQ

Mike is a member of Slack's Infrastructure Engineering team, where he works on hard problems of scalability and reliability and leads the development of Slack's next generation database architecture. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of Jut -- a startup applying a new dataflow language to observability for developers and operations engineers. Prior to that, he was at Riverbed where he was part of the founding development team for the Steelhead WAN accelerator and later led the Pilot/Shark team building network analytics products based on the wireshark open source packet capture technology. He has a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and likes working on scaling distributed systems and performance.

 

Find Mike Demmer at

Tracks

  • Building & Scaling High-Performing Teams

    To have a high-performing team, everybody on it has to feel and act like an owner. Organizational health and psychological safety are foundational underpinnings to support ownership.

  • Evolving the JVM

    The JVM continues to evolve. We’ll look at how things are evolving. Covering Kotlin, Clojure, Java, OpenJDK, and Graal. Expect polyglot, multi-VM, performance, and more.

  • Trust, Safety & Security

    Privacy, confidentiality, safety and security: learning from the frontlines.

  • JavaScript & Transpiler/WebAssembly Track

    JavaScript is the language of the web. Latest practices for JavaScript development in and how transpilers are affecting the way we work. We’ll also look at the work being done with WebAssembly.

  • Living on the Edge: The World of Edge Compute From Device to Application Edge

    Applied, practical & real-world deep-dive into industry adoption of OS, containers and virtualization, including Linux on.

  • Software Supply Chain

    Securing the container image supply chain (containers + orchestration + security + DevOps).

  • Modern CS in the Real World

    Thoughts pushing software forward, including consensus, CRDT's, formal methods & probabilistic programming.

  • Tech Ethics: The Intersection of Human Welfare & STEM

    What does it mean to be ethical in software? Hear how the discussion is evolving and what is being said in ethics.

  • Optimizing Yourself: Human Skills for Individuals

    Better teams start with a better self. Learn practical skills for IC.

  • Modern Data Architectures

    Today’s systems move huge volumes of data. Hear how places like LinkedIn, Facebook, Uber and more built their systems and learn from their mistakes.

  • Practices of DevOps & Lean Thinking

    Practical approaches using DevOps and a lean approach to delivering software.

  • Microservices Patterns & Practices

    What's the last mile for deploying your service? Learn techniques from the world's most innovative shops on managing and operating Microservices at scale.

  • Bare Knuckle Performance

    Killing latency and getting the most out of your hardware

  • Architectures You've Always Wondered About

    Next-gen architectures from the most admired companies in software, such as Netflix, Google, Facebook, Twitter, & more

  • Machine Learning for Developers

    AI/ML is more approachable than ever. Discover how deep learning and ML is being used in practice. Topics include: TensorFlow, TPUs, Keras, PyTorch & more. No PhD required.

  • Production Readiness: Building Resilient Systems

    Making systems resilient involves people and tech. Learn about strategies being used from chaos testing to distributed systems clustering.

  • Regulation, Risk and Compliance

    With so much uncertainty, how do you bulkhead your organization and technology choices? Learn strategies for dealing with uncertainty.

  • Languages of Infrastructure

    This track explores languages being used to code the infrastructure. Expect practices on toolkits and languages like Cloudformation, Terraform, Python, Go, Rust, Erlang.