Presentation: Rebuilding Atlas -- Advertising at Scale at Facebook

In April 2013 Facebook acquired the Atlas Advertising Suite from Microsoft. The Atlas system was originally an independent company started in 2001, later purchased by aQuantive, and then purchased by Microsoft in 2007 for $6 billion. Atlas is a third party ad server with a focus on campaign management and results tracking. It serves billions of ad impressions each day.

It quickly became apparent that we wouldn't be able to continue to run the Atlas software stack in its current form within Facebook datacenters. At the time, Atlas worked on a closed-source and proprietary Microsoft technology stack. This approach is incompatible with Facebook's commitment to Linux and open source software and hardware solutions. Even if we had been able to move, without a loss of service for our customers, the thousands of physical machines that Microsoft was running the servers on, we would have been left with an operational nightmare of a very aging system. We elected to rebuild the Atlas system using Facebook technologies.

There were three main challenges. First, how do you even begin to understand a software system where portions of the code were written 12 years earlier by engineers that are no longer available. Second, how do you migrate hundreds of ad agencies and users along with their data. And third, how do you rebuild the software in less than 18 months.

In this talk I will describe the entire Atlas architecture and the underlying software components that support the system. I will detail the interesting software systems that those that we released as open source. I will talk about the mistakes that we made during the rebuild and the lessons that we learned in this project.


Covering innovative topics

Wednesday, 4 March

  • Architecture Improvements

    Next gen architecture, Arch over the full lifecycle, Bleeding edge tech in legacy, Cognitive biases in architecture, Evolving Architecture.

  • Big Data Frameworks, Architectures, and Data Science

    As big data tools and architectures continue to evolve, how do you architect and select technologies that work now but are also future-proof?

  • DevOps and Continuous Delivery: Code Beyond the Dev Team

    As infrastructure becomes as malleable as code, a unified approach from reqs to ops is needed to deliver promised breakthroughs.

  • Engineering Culture

    The best teams and companies talk about how to create amazing engineering cultures.

  • Java - Not Dead Yet

    Java is evolving to meet developer and business needs, from lambdas in Java 8 to built-in support for money types rumoured for Java 9.

  • Mind Matters at Work

    How theories from neuroscience and psychology can help us better understand IT professionals and discover what really motivates them.

Thursday, 5 March

  • Docker, containers and application portability

    People building stuff for and with containers showing why application portability is important, and what can be done with expanding ecosystems.

  • Evolving agile

    Reflecting on and learning from successes and failures in applying agile approaches since the creation of the Agile Manifesto and exploring ways of applying agile practices to increase business value.

  • HTML and JS Today

    The state of the art in web technologies. What is important to know and why?

  • Internet of Things

    What software devs need to know to design and build for instrumented environments and reactive things, what new issues and questions it raises.

  • Modern CS in the Real World

    How modern CS helps you tackle today's problems.

  • Reactive Architecture

    How to create reactive systems is more than simply learning a framework. Thinking in a reactive way helps you to design responsive architectures.

  • The Go Language

    The Go Language - Concurrency, Performance, Systems Programming.

Friday, 6 March

  • Architectures You've Always Wondered About

    Get a rare look behind the scenes and get to see the architectures of the most well-known sites with the least known architectures.

  • Low latency trading

    The 'race to zero' continues. Join us to learn about the latest tecniques being deployed to optimise order routing and execution.

  • Open source in finance

    Financial services have changed from OS as cost-saving to a competitive weapon. See open source projects that are disrupting the finance industry.

  • Product Mastery

    Come have fun with fellow PMs and BAs as you learn about Value Management. We'll even tell you dark tales of Snarks, Hippos and other obstacles.

  • Taming Microservices

    Tackling the challenges of microservices in practice.

  • Taming Mobile

    Mobile is no longer the Next Big Thing but a requirement for your business. Hear from those who have implemented successful mobile systems.

Conference for Professional Software Developers