Walls Velocity2009

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Information about Walls Velocity2009

Published on June 24, 2009

Author: lnxchk

Source: slideshare.net


Slides for "Migrating www.aol.com from a Proprietary Web Platform to Open Source" presented at O'Reilly Velocity 2009. June 23, 2009.

www.aol.comMigrating a Flagship Product from a Proprietary Web Platform to Open Source Mandi Walls Velocity 2009

Agenda Evolution of a flagship site The old platform: “AOL Dynamic Platform” The new platform: “Dynapub” Growing pains Knowledge migration

Evolution of www.aol.com You might have seen it before. AOL’s main home page Links to various internal and partner sites Runs Netscape, Latino, Mexico portals, as well as partner co-brands Also the in-client “Welcome Screen” with a slightly different look and feel It’s the same page, 55M times a day!

AOL.com - 1996

AOL.com 2.0 - 2005

AOL.com 3.0 - 2007

AOL.com 4.0 – 2008 AOL gets to Web 2.0

Monthly Pageviews – From April 2005

The AOL Dynamic Platform The Old Platform - ADP

AOL.com ADP Architecture

ADP AOLserver on every layer Internally developed and maintained Historically related to DigitalCity, 10 years of continuous new development Proprietary point to point, permanently connected communications 90% of the data transient in RAM N-tier Configuration in TCL! Multiple frontend farms shared all infrastructure Optimized for real time publishing with caching Still handling millions of hits a day after large migration efforts Scaled at 45hps per server instance

Proprietary Systems: Pros / Cons Good stuff The person who wrote it might sit down the hall I can write my own extensions No licensing Shoot me The person who wrote it left the company years ago I have to write my own extensions Google can’t help me with this problem… Hard to apply new ideas evolved in the industry.

The New Environment Dynapub

Dynapub Architecture for AOL.com

Features of AOL.com’s New Architecture Standalone environment Fewer internally developed systems Standard connectivity over HTTP Hides fewer flaws Requires more technical how-to from development

Growing pains Re-learning How to Scale

Scaling the Application Layer

Lessons Learned – Migration Process One size fits most Proprietary platforms hide many sins Learning curve on new tech is frustrating The customers aren’t always going to like it Easy to get in a hurry and lose time

Managing Architectural Complexity Some things did get more complicated than they needed to be Just because you *can* do something, doesn’t mean you should There are a lot more things to look at, and for our team to be responsible for than on the old platform

Knowledge Migration Learning the New Environment

Bringing Knowledge Forward

Metrics and Monitoring Metrics collection through access logs – we have tools for that Standard formats, universal meaning All-HTTP communications simplifies monitoring Techs at every level can tell when a component has failed

Managing the People Resources Important to not leave anyone behind on the old stuff Everyone wants to work on the new cool thing Applies to development, QA, operations Challenge is to create a broad range of knowledge about the new platform without wiping everyone’s brain of the old platform

What’s Next

Future of AOL.com Continues to be a key part of AOL’s web strategy International components Refreshing the page design Business focus on revenue and UVs Closer integration with other core AOL products means more opportunities for developers to get large scale experience

Conclusion Positive and negative aspects of a platform migration Retraining is key, but so is remembering the characteristics of the product Huge cultural shift at AOL


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