Moving Yammer to the cloud: building a scalable and secure service mesh

At HAProxyConf 2019, Tobias Haag, software engineering lead from Yammer at Microsoft, presented a talk entitled ‘Moving Yammer to the Cloud’.

Yammer is a social networking tool built into Microsoft 365 to openly engage and connect across your organisation. It has been a long-time user of HAProxy to load balance its application stack.

When Yammer moved to Microsoft Azure, it transitioned to a design that relies heavily on container orchestration.

In his presentation, Haag describes the journey, the challenges and the successes in building a client-side load balancing solution at Yammer. His team first migrated services to Azure in order to offload networking infrastructure to a trusted cloud provider. They then had three primary goals: improve resiliency and reliability, increase developer velocity and achieve compliance and security.

They built a platform called DHAMM that includes Docker, HAProxy, Azure, Mesos and Marathon.

HAProxy was key to implementing client-side load balancing because it provided routing, health checking and SSL. Yammer’s platform runs 60,000 HAProxy instances and they can handle 450,000 request per second at peak load.

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“We wanted to build a robust, performant and scalable service mesh that would provide us the necessary tooling and features to flourish in Azure,” said Haag.

“Convinced that client-side load balancing was the way to go, we started off on a journey to adapt HAProxy for the task.”

In the video below he describes that journey, the challenges and the successes Yammer had in building its client-side load balancing solution.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.

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