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Digg.com credits two particular features of its LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server cluster for helping the news aggregation site maintain speedy performance in the face of high growth.

The site, which lets its users vote on, or "digg," their favorite news stories hosted on other sites, recently passed the 1.2 million-user mark according to Elliot White III, an engineer at San Francisco-based Digg Inc. He spoke at MySQL's annual conference in Santa Clara, Calif. on Tuesday.

Today, Digg.com boasts 100 servers scattered in multiple data centers that host a total of 30GB of data, but the site started off in late 2004 as a single Linux server running Apache 1.3, PHP 4, and MySQL 4.0 using the default MyISAM storage engine, White said.

As more users dug Digg, the site moved to an architecture that uses a load balancer in the front that sends queries to PHP servers, MySQL slave servers that feed the PHP servers, and a MySQL master server that feeds data to the slaves.

That's a fairly standard setup. But to get away from "sending raw queries against the database," White said Digg.com uses a software called Memcached. First developed for use by the Livejournal site, Memcached is tailored for dynamic sites like Digg.com, which serve Web pages with content that is constantly changing and is personalized according to user preferences, White said.



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