Facebook releases its load balancer as open-source code


Google is known to fiercely guard its data center secrets, but not Facebook. The social media giant has released two significant tools it uses internally to operate its massive social network as open-source code.

The company has released Katran, the load balancer that keeps the company data centers from overloading, as open source under the GNU General Public License v2.0 and available from GitHub. In addition to Katran, the company is offering details on its Zero Touch Provisioning tool, which it uses to help engineers automate much of the work required to build its backbone networks.

This isn’t Facebook’s first foray into open-sourcing the software that runs its network. Last month, the company open-sourced PyTorch, the software used for its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning projects. PyTorch is a Python-based package for writing tensor computation and deep neural networks using GPU acceleration.

Facebook has to develop these kinds of software packages because while there are plenty of off-the-shelf software products out there, none of them is made for a global social media company that has 2 billion users.

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