Engineering Perspectives

An Exclusive Look into IX Engineering

The platforms powering advertising technology are complex – those powering IX technology are no different. Luckily, 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 IX’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 happenings.

As the second employee at IX, I’ve experienced first-hand the incredible growth and evolution of our software, people, and teams that are now the foundation of our company. IX, originally Casale Media, started from scratch with a small team of four. It was a lot of late nights and pizza in the beginning. 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 IX engineering culture and innovation is different today, our core values remain the same. Today, IX’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 inception our engineering team was piloted by four people who built IX’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 pop
  • Today, the IX engineering team is divided into four divisions: Client Side, Ad Serving, Operations and Data
  • The IX ad serving infrastructure is a global operation consisting of 5,623 servers in 8 data centers worldwide
  • 50 billion requests daily creating 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 an endless series of technical obstacles that have risen 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 IX by sharing insightful and intriguing articles to come!


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