IX Perspectives

An exclusive look into Index Exchange Engineering

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The platforms powering advertising technology are complex – and those powering Index Exchange’s technology are no different. It’s fortunate, then, that our Engineering team thrives on scaling highly complex processing systems in the midst of constant growth and marketplace change.

We’re pleased to launch our latest series aimed at shedding light into Index Exchange’s culture of innovation and the inner workings of our engineering world. We will feature special projects, system updates, innovative breakthroughs and an array of engineering activities.

As the second employee at Index Exchange, I’ve experienced the incredible growth and evolution of our software, people, and teams that are now the foundation of our company at first-hand. Index Exchange, originally Casale Media, started from scratch with a small team of four. In the beginning, it was a lot of late nights and pizza, and we celebrated with a cigar as the first few impressions trickled in.  The network launch, which sported a custom http server built from scratch, would be followed by many releases named after exotic cars, video game characters and periodic elements. As our client roster grew, so did our scale, servers and headcount.

Although the Index Exchange engineering culture and innovation is different now, our core values remain the same. Today, Index Exchange’s engineering team consists of 160 engineers and is rapidly growing. Before we dig into the details in the posts that will follow, I wanted to share a few highlights of what it means to be an “engineering-first” company:

  • Our first four hires were engineers, and sales people came after.
  • At its inception, our engineering team was piloted by four people who built Index Exchange’s engineering infrastructure from the ground up.
  • When we started, there was no code base or bug tracker, and our office space was a small room – often filled with pizza and fizzy drinks.
  • Today, the Index Exchange Engineering team is divided into four divisions: Client Side, Ad Serving, Operations and Data.
  • The Index Exchange ad serving infrastructure is a global operation consisting of 5,623 servers in 8 data centres worldwide.
  • 50 billion requests daily create over 600 billion auction submissions per day.
  • At peak, our QPS is 1MM.
  • At over 187k cores, we would rank #42 in the Top 500 Super Computers by TFLOPS.
  • We store 7.6 terabytes of compressed log data per day, which is roughly 40 terabytes of uncompressed processing per day.
  • We deal in huge scale, big volume and very, very quick processing times.

For the past 10+ years, our engineers have tackled the endless series of technical obstacles that arise from building quality products at immense scale. Our team has acquired plenty of wisdom and experience that we’re eager to share, and we hope to offer a glimpse into the engineering community at Index Exchange by sharing insightful and intriguing articles to come!


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