Link roll: 2020-12-15

  • Strava, The Boring Option: A story about a schema design decision (width of an id field in one of their tables) that worked great from 2009 – 2020 but then needed to change. A 32bit unsigned, monotonically increasing id field is good for 4b unique values before it wraps around. Depending on how many of these you’re using, it could last a long time. It did for Strava. The covid19 pandemic meant all their users were using their service way more than normal normal which accelerated the need for re-work here. They were pragmattic about what they did. They considered different datastores to store this data (huge table, lots of read/write activity on it) but in the end decided they knew mysql and were comfortable with it. They found a way using their current datastore (and reserved the right to consider different ones in the future but they had a problem to solve today). Great story!