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LinkedIn Platform as a Service Packed with Productivity, Power & Potential

April 08, 2016

LinkedIn serves as a tremendous tool for professionals, like its social media siblings it is an easy way to keep in contact with colleagues, exchange ideas and network. As we saw recently in the Transforming Network Infrastructure Community, LinkedIn went hyperscale in its data center, and this week took another major step in that direction.

Director of Engineering at LinkedIn, Steven Ihde, noted in a recent blog post, “Over the last few years, we’ve been exploring ways to get more resources out of a smaller hardware footprint while increasing productivity by making our software stack more application-oriented.” And, this week it announced the arrival of LinkedIn Platform as a Service (LPS), the firm’s new private cloud.

Ihde offered an overview of several of the key components in LPS ecosystem. He illustrates how LinkedIn is able to transform the hosting environment and provide developers with, “an entire data center as a single resource pool to application developers.”

Rain. Not moisture falling from the sky, but LinkedIn solution to resource allocation and containerization. It integrates seamlessly with LinkedIn’s current infrastructure, and is designed to offer security as well as a resource guarantee for applications. Ihde explains that prior to deploying Rain it could takes days to deploy a service; after, deployment time was reduced to minutes.

The Resource Allocation and Control Engine (RACE) automates the scaling process. Without any human action it reacts in real time to spikes in traffic and surges, and is capable of titrating services during troughs in traffic. Ihde likens race to a naval commander, “RACE manages our fleet of applications by directing them in response to failures or other unexpected events such as demand surges.”

ORCA is designed to allocate online resources for engineers in need of a large number of hosts for short run jobs. Once RACE automates resources allocation, ORCA then ensures engineers can conduct testing with the necessary resources. Already in place, Ihde notes, “ORCA is already running 2,000 jobs every day, a number that will likely reach 50,000 jobs by the end of the year.“

The fourth and final component of the LPS ecosystem Ihde discussed is Maestro. Maestro, as its name suggests is the ‘conductor’ of the LPS symphony. Ihde exclaims, “Maestro ’conducts’ by taking the necessary actions to make reality in the data center match the aspiration.” It provides a “one stop shop”, as it offers a global view of the LPS system, and allows for application configuration on the LinkedIn platform. Maestro stores a “blueprint” which contains the plan, data and execution model for deploying applications.

This is but a sampling of what LPS is capable of providing. LinkedIn is committed to serving a far greater purpose than managing your professional identity; it is connecting vision with realism and that is a beautiful thing.

Stay tuned…I feel rather confident LinkedIn has a few more tricks up its sleeve. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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