At Dream11, we have experienced tremendous growth from just 300,000 users in 2015 to over 110 million users at present. To grow at this blazingly fast

Lessons learned from running GraphQL at scale

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2021-09-25 05:00:10

At Dream11, we have experienced tremendous growth from just 300,000 users in 2015 to over 110 million users at present. To grow at this blazingly fast pace, we moved to a microservice architecture for developing backend systems.

As the number of microservices grew, it became increasingly difficult for frontend developers to fetch data from multiple services and present it on the UI (user interface). So, we decided to come up with a presentation layer that could provide us with:

Back in 2017 when GraphQL was just a buzzword and not many companies were using it at scale, at Dream11, we started using it in production. It was a simple expressJS based application that we deployed in front of our microservices based stack. We received positive feedback early on from our web teams and slowly moved our remaining clients — Android and iOS to GraphQL as well. At the same time, our active users were steeply rising. Our GraphQL usage doubled year on year.

As seen in the graph above, there is a sudden burst of traffic during crucial events of a real match. During this time, traffic increases by almost 100% (e.g. 14 million to 28 million in 2 minutes at 20:00) in a matter of minutes. We use Amazon Web Services (AWS) at Dream11 and its components cannot auto-scale at this pace. So, we provision the load balancers and servers based on maximum predicted traffic. If you want to know more about how we do this, check this interesting blog that our SRE Dreamsters wrote on it.

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