Inside Twitter's Network Architecture

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Barrett Lyon is a veteran when it comes to defending against denial of service attacks, having founded Prolexic, a leading player in defending against electronic attacks. Lyon, who is now CTO and co-founder of content distributon provider BitGravity, has created a detailed network map of Twitter’s architecture as part of an analysis of yesterday attack on social networks. Lyon and Richard Steinnon from Threat Chaos also found that Twitter’s status page (status.twitter.com) is hosted on the same server as an adult site (language warning).

In a post yesterday, Lyon predicted that the attack would be problematic for services using Twitter’s API, noting that Twitter was ausing a 302 redirect to deflect attack traffic. “There are thousands of scripts and tools written around Twitter’s API which don’t understand how to follow a 302,” he wrote. “Thus, they are going to lock out lots of non-browser based clients.” That phenomenon was widely noted at both Facebook and Twitter, and was still an issue at Twitter this afternoon.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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