Fast, Safe, and Reliable: The Future of Configuration

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 2:00 pm2:45 pm

Qui Nguyen, Yelp


Who wants to have to deploy an application just to change the values of some constants? At Yelp, we didn't, so we built a system that allows our web services to dynamically reload constants without being re-deployed or restarted, significantly increasing developer velocity. This system distributes configuration values using simple files to the thousands of servers we run and is used by hundreds of different services.

On the other hand, constants can make a big difference in the performance or correctness of your code. As we improved our code deployment processes, we found that more and more outages were being caused by configuration changes, because we weren't giving our configuration the same attention as our code.

This talk will cover how our configuration system works and how we were able to make it safer, without reducing its reliability or slowing developers down.

Qui Nguyen, Yelp

Qui Nguyen works as a software engineer on the Compute Infrastructure team at Yelp, building systems to deploy and run Yelp's services quickly and efficiently. Before infrastructure, she worked on data processing on the ads team, studied Computer Science at MIT, and briefly wanted to be a mathematician.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@conference {240854,
author = {Qui Nguyen},
title = {Fast, Safe, and Reliable: The Future of Configuration},
year = {2019},
address = {Portland, OR},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video