Evernote Sync Speed Four Times
Synchronizing your notes on all computers and phones used was Evernote's key functionality from the very beginning, since the launch of the service in the summer of 2008. Ensuring reliable and stable synchronization is our primary goal. It is not visible from the side, and the best praise for us was simply that it simply works. From today, it just works faster.
Difficulties with synchronization were due to five indicators:
- the number of notes in your account,
- average content size (images, PDF documents, other files),
- the number of users simultaneously synchronizing on one server,
- the number of devices you use
- the amount of collaboration between other users with your notes and notebooks.
All these indicators have grown significantly in recent years.
When we created the initial architecture of the service, we dealt with the support of several thousand users, mainly working from one device and creating notes for ourselves. We now have tens of millions of users with multiple devices that store and share notes, photos, and documents.
Our infrastructure has grown from a dozen servers to more than seven hundred in several data centers. The original architecture did a good job of this growth, but we knew that this could not go on forever.
Seven months ago, we started a fundamental redesign of server-side synchronization mechanisms to ensure its reliable operation in the coming decades. In doing so, we established four key requirements for this task.
- Noticeable malfunctions in the service cannot be allowed, and all data must be saved.
- Data transfer should be completely invisible to users, so that Evernote and other applications integrated with us can use the new synchronization mechanism without a mandatory update.
- After the start of the new system, we should get a significant increase in productivity.
- We must ensure fast and reliable operation for several years, providing for the likelihood of a sharp increase in the use of mobile devices, wearable devices (such as watches or glasses), the appearance of larger images and videos, as well as an increase in the volume of collaboration in the service.
Over the past year, our team has completely reworked the principle of synchronizing notes in Evernote. Then we transferred every note, attachment and every bit of overhead to a new synchronization platform. At the same time, we updated components on some outdated servers. Then we tested the operation of the new system. And they tested it again. And several times tested.
And finally, we clicked on the power button.
Rather, not for everything at once. Some of the servers have already been working with the new synchronization mechanism for several weeks, while others switched between the old and the new platform to make sure that in both cases there are no errors on the application side when processing operations, and everything happens identically.
Currently, all Evernote servers are working with a new synchronization mechanism. And it pleases.
Synchronization now happens 4 times faster than before. This applies to any version of Evernote that you are using. Now synchronization often takes only a couple of seconds, and if you have a new computer or phone, then downloading notes will take much less time.
If you have a very large account, you have been using Evernote for many years, share notes with other users, or your entire company works with Evernote Business - you will appreciate these improvements.
This is just the beginning.
This is the first step in our work on synchronization. All implemented improvements relate to server-side changes and do not require any modifications to Evernote applications. In the future, we will update all applications so that they can get additional benefits from the new service architecture. This will make synchronization even faster. We will also update our API and developer guides so that our partners can also speed up synchronization in their applications.
The main theme of 2014 for us is to improve the basic capabilities of Evernote. We are very pleased to switch to a new infrastructure, to conduct it without downtime was a serious task for our team. As a result, Evernote became not only more responsive in work, but also prepared for the important updates that you will see this year.