Friday, 30 October 2009
A long time ago*, the word in high-performance proxy-caching was Inktomi’s Traffic Server. It was so fast it was referred to being “carrier grade” and this could be said without people smirking, and it was deployed by the likes of AOL, when AOL was still how most people accessed the Internet.
Then, in 2001, Yahoo! bought Inktomi. They did this because they wanted to be a player in Search, and they happened to get a proxy/caching product for free. It promptly went on the shelf, to be forgotten by all (except the original engineers, a few customers, and the company that support was contracted out to).
A few years ago, some Yahoo! engineers found that code sitting on a shelf and decided to have a play. What they found was that it was still faster than pretty much every thing else out there. So they started using it, and built a team around it.
Fast forward to today, when the source code for Traffic Server is suddenly available as an Apache Incubator Project.
I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it from its developers (I’m just a bystander, relatively), but from my point of view, this is only goodness; another general-purpose high-performance HTTP proxy/cache implementation is sorely needed, for reasons I’ve discussed before.
So take a look at the source, have a play with it, and come to the MeetUp at ApacheCon next week to see where this thing is going.
* Not a long, long time ago, when the word in proxy/caching was Harvest, the granddaddy of them all. But that’s another story.
Update: Leif (one of the core developers) gives his take.