Facebook Uses Bittorrent to Propogate Its Blobs

An Ars Technica exclusive:

Moving a 1.5GB binary blob to countless servers is a non-trivial technical challenge. After exploring several solutions, Facebook came up with the idea of using BitTorrent, the popular peer-to-peer filesharing protocol. BitTorrent is very good at propagating large files over a large number of different servers.

Rossi explained that Facebook created its own custom BitTorrent tracker, which is designed so that individual servers in Facebook's infrastructure will try to obtain slices from other servers that are on the same node or rack, thus reducing total latency.

Lots of other cool, nerdy stuff in this three-page article on Facebook's engineering practices. Go give it a read.