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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

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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

Qcon

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

Monday, 11 November

Tuesday, 12 November

Wednesday, 13 November