This has been an incredible year for Tumblr. What started as a fun experiment has grown into one of the largest networks on the web, serving billions of views across more than 11 million blogs.
It’s an unparalleled privilege to spend every single day building a product used by so many extraordinarily talented people. We are constantly in awe of your creations and projects, your communities and thoughtfulness. Every person on our team has been moved by this community in one way or another.
Nonetheless, all of this new attention has led to some serious growing pains over the last few months.
There’s never 100% optimism when we feel like we’ve let you down. We want you to know that we’re still right in the thick of the most comprehensive re-architecting our infrastructure has ever been through, and while you might still hit some bugs or errors this month, our incredibly capable team is working 24/7 to keep your blogs fast and stable. We have a solid roadmap to get Tumblr well ahead of capacity, and we’re working fast to get there.
Two notable things we’re right in the middle of:
• We’ve dramatically expanded our engineering team, with five brilliant engineers coming on board just this month and more starting shortly. We just moved into a new office to make room for everyone. If scaling one of the fastest growing platforms in the world is up your alley, we’d love to talk!
• After the holidays, we’ll be opening our second datacenter to nearly triple capacity and prep for much faster growth next year. Today, we already light up more than a rack of new servers every week.
Frustratingly, while we pride ourselves on launching new tools and features faster than anyone, we’ve had to slow down our product roadmap over the last few weeks to let our engineers turn their full attention to scaling. The very good news is that our product team hasn’t slowed down a bit, and is prepping some huge developments to show off soon.
One last thing: We strive to keep our company and infrastructure super-efficient, but growing this quickly isn’t particularly cheap. Tumblr is largely made possibly today by our extremely supportive investors, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, as well as Sequoia Capital, who we’re thrilled to have joining us this month. So please hug these guys if you happen to run into them. :)
Thank you for your patience, support, and for inspiring us every single day with your creativity.
Yesterday afternoon, during planned maintenance that was not intended to interrupt service, an issue arose that took down a critical database cluster. This brought down our entire network while our engineers worked feverishly to restore these databases and bring your blogs back online.
While you might feel like you’ve gotten used to seeing errors on Tumblr recently, know that this is absolutely unacceptable to our team, and unacceptable for a platform determined to be the best place in the world for your creative expression.
Frankly, keeping up with growth has presented more work than our small team was prepared for — with traffic now climbing more than 500M pageviews each month. But we are determined and focused on bringing our infrastructure well ahead of capacity as quickly as possible. We’ve nearly quadrupled our engineering team this month alone, and continue to distribute and enhance our architecture to be more resilient to failures like today’s.
We can’t apologize enough, nor can we thank you enough for putting up with these growing pains. We know how impossibly frustrating it is to see your work offline. But please always know that we truly care about your work as much as you do, and we have an incredibly capable team working incredibly hard to take good care of it.
Sorry we let you down today.
P.S. If our staff blog is ever unreachable, you can check our Twitter stream for updates.
P.P.S. Anyone that had a paid Directory Feature running through the last two days has had it automatically extended 36 hours.