November 02, 2009, 8:51 PM — Yahoo is debuting on Monday an open source version of its Traffic Server software, which serves as a high-performance application server for cloud computing services.
Code for Traffic Server is available as an Incubator project at the Apache Software Foundation. In making Traffic Server open source, Yahoo hopes to build a developer and user community around the technology. The company is revealing the open source effort at the Cloud Computing Conference & Expo conference in Santa Clara, Calif. Yahoo also will announce an updated version of its distribution of the open source Hadoop distributed file system for batch processing of large amounts of data.
Featuring a low-latency framework, Traffic Server provides services for a cloud computing stack, including session and configuration management, load balancing, authentication, and routing, Yahoo said. Web traffic can be delivered at high rates; a plug-in architecture makes Traffic Server extensible, according to Yahoo.
The software is basically an HTTP processing application and has been used for more than eight years at Yahoo. It currently serves more than 30 billion Web objects a day and more than 400 terabytes of data daily in the Yahoo network. "[Traffic Server ] allows us to speed consumer access to content," said Shelton Shugar, Yahoo senior vice president of cloud computing.
"It can process upwards of 35,000 requests per second," Shugar said. The software 'becomes open source at this point so it's available for download," he said.
Users can take Traffic Server and enable access to cached content and speed response times to requests for stored Web objects, such as files, news articles, or images, Yahoo said. Bandwidth usage and costs are reduced. Traffic Server can be used in computing clouds, with Yahoo looking to build a significant user base around it. The software is useful to any high-volume Web site, Shugar said.
"The folks who will be interested in this are people building clouds and using these services. They'll understand the value of Traffic Server and what they'll be able to with it. There really isn't much out there that compares with this from a scalability standpoint," said Shugar.
With the open source effort, Yahoo is looking to build a community around it just as it has with its version of Hadoop. "We can literally hire people and work with research institutes who walk in the door knowing the technology we use," said Shugar.