The Road to Direct Lookups is Paved with Good Intentions

Alex Boyd, Davide Romani

At Demonware we provide the backend technology and services platform for the Call of Duty franchise and other popular Activision titles. Hundreds of million gamers generate a considerable amount of data that we store in a variety of databases.

While certain backend transactions involve sagas (sets of transactions and compensating actions) and eventually consistent updates, others are easily implemented by using a single database transaction. For cases like this, some of our services leverage Percona MySQL to guarantee that their operations are atomic, consistent, isolated and durable.

Over the years, the number of MySQL instances in our fleet has grown substantially, and we pride ourselves on having developed a highly respectable level of expertise in fine-tuning our databases. However, every now and then, a humbling experience reminds us that favoring consistency makes it harder to guarantee availability and that there is always something new to learn.

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