From 15,000 Database Connections to under 100—A Tech Debt Tale

Note: Presentation times are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Wednesday, 2021, October 13 - 05:0005:30

Sunny Beatteay, DigitalOcean


Whenever a company scales quickly, they invariably take on technical debt. It's unavoidable. However, the existence of tech debt isn't the problem, it's how you handle it when you can't put it off any longer.

In this talk, I will be telling the story of one company's largest technical re-architecture to date. It was a company-wide effort that extended over multiple years and taught us many lessons. And it all revolved around a single, overloaded database.

This talk is geared towards mid-level engineers and up who have a solid understanding of tech debt and distributed systems. I discuss some advanced topics and show various architectural diagrams. Though beginners will likely it interesting as well.

Sunny Beatteay, DigitalOcean

Sunny is a software engineer at DigitalOcean where he works on building managed storage products. He has a passion for whiskey and working on distributed systems—preferably in that order. When he's not breaking production, he can be found trying to figure out how to pipe all his troubles into /dev/null.

SREcon21 Open Access Sponsored by Indeed

@conference {276733,
author = {Sunny Beatteay},
title = {From 15,000 Database Connections to under 100{\textemdash}A Tech Debt Tale},
year = {2021},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = oct,

Presentation Video