Lessons Learned Building a Messaging Framework

Posted by Xuyen On on July 1, 2014 in Big Data

We have built out an initial logging framework with Kafka 0.7.2, a messaging system developed at LinkedIn. This blog post will go over some of the lessons we’ve learned by building out the framework here at Ancestry.com. Most of our application servers are Windows-based and we want to capture IIS logs from these servers. However,… Read more

Adventures in Big Data: Commodity Hardware Blues

Posted by Bill Yetman on June 20, 2014 in Big Data

One of the real advantages of a system like Hadoop is that it runs on commodity hardware. This will keep your hardware costs low. But when that hardware fails at an unusually high rate it can really throw a wrench into your plans. This was the case recently when we set up a new cluster… Read more

Website Performance 101

Posted by Jeremy Johnson on June 17, 2014 in Performance, Web

Here at Ancestry.com, we have a team dedicated to monitoring, measuring, and helping the company improve the performance of the website. Trying to do this is a very fun and interesting challenge. With a website that has many billions of records and other content (10 petabytes), making it fast is no small task! To illustrate… Read more

Building an Operationally Successful Component – Part 2: Self Correction

Posted by Geoff Rayback on June 10, 2014 in DevOps

Building an Operationally Successful Component – Part 2: Self-correction In my last post I talked about building components that are “operationally successful,” by which I mean that the software functions correctly when it is deployed into production.  I suggested that there are three things that a software component must have, to some degree, in order… Read more

Featured Article: Want Great APIs? Start With Training

Posted by Harold Madsen on June 3, 2014 in API

Ancestry.com, has awesome software engineers, products, and APIs. However, programmers are not always trained as API designers and when it comes to API development, consistency matters. As companies build their API programs using multiple teams, APIs tend to develop their own personalities and become radically different from one another. That’s a problem. Fortunately, it doesn’t… Read more

Reinventing Search with Smart Filtering

Posted by Sam Smith on May 30, 2014 in Search

Last summer Ancestry.com introduced a new but lesser known feature called “Smart Filtering”.  Smart Filtering is a technology that applies only when searching for someone in one of your trees.  When you search for someone in your tree, a lot more data becomes available to the search engine including life events (birth, marriage, death, etc…),… Read more

Ancestry.com to Present at Hadoop Summit

Posted by Bill Yetman on May 27, 2014 in Technology Conferences

Interest in direct-to-consumer DNA testing has grown dramatically in the past few years. When you’re measuring more than 700,000 DNA markers for each individual, how do you analyze all that data across a rapidly growing database, while providing actionable results for your customers? At the Hadoop Summit next week,