This article was published on February 10, 2010

Twitter Turns To Bittorrent To Streamline Server Updates

Twitter Turns To Bittorrent To Streamline Server Updates

bt-logoSocial networking behemoth Twitter harnesses Bittorrent technology to deploy server updates across it’s vast network.

In a blog post written by Bittorrent CEO Eric Klimker, it has emerged that the microblogging site has crafted it’s own Bittorrent inspired technology to roll out large scale server deploys, cutting down the length of certain operations, minimising site downtime and susceptibility to security breaches.

The technology, codenamed Murder (as in a collection of crows),  is an open source, custom coded set of scripts by Twitter employee Larry Gadea which incorporates Bittorrent software BitTornado to speedily transfer data across large sets of servers.

The scripts, when utilised, operate much in the same way as when you download a file from your favourite torrent site, making use of a tracker (here Twitter run one of the scripts to to create a self contained server on one server), a seeder (the first Twitter server the other servers liaise with to get pieces of data) and peers (the servers which Twitter wish to distribute the files to).

It is thought that Murder will allow Twitter to streamline tasks which would have previously taken minutes to be executed to now be completed in a matter of seconds.

Details are scarce about quite just how Twitter are using this technology but Klimker has indicated that Twitter will be releasing more information about the project and it’s performance in the near future.

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