Thursday, August 28, 2014

Distributed Coordination with ZooKeeper

For my 8-month co-op term at Hootsuite, I have been working on the Streaming team. The Streaming infrastructure allows services to receive real-time updates for a large user set. Streaming is responsible for delivering push notifications, analytics, and interaction history to subscribed Hootsuite users. One example is receiving a push notification on your mobile device for a Twitter retweet or mention from the Hootsuite application. Streaming is a distributed system and every complex distributed application needs a coordination and orchestration system of some sort, so the team decided to integrate ZooKeeper into the Streaming infrastructure back in 2011. ZooKeeper is a software project of the Apache Software Foundation, providing an open source distributed configuration service, synchronization service, leader election, and naming registry for large distributed systems.

One of my projects during my co-op term included fixing the previous implementation of ZooKeeper, as there were a number of things that were not properly working. Originally, ZooKeeper was embedded within the Streaming application, and there were a number of issues with this implementation.

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