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Facebook Release Management Video Just Damage Control?

On 26th May of this year, Facebook Engineering released a video detailing their release management tools. The video is quite interesting. For someone who says tools alone won’t solve problems, the majority of the video is just that – tools.   During the video the speaker is heard saying:

“…I can roll facebook.com in about 15 minutes…I can revert things very quickly” [1]

Quite impressive when you take into account the binary is 1 GB in size. Rather good I thought.  We’re concerned here how long a deployment or revert takes, not how long for a bug to be fixed.  Fixing a bug takes notably longer.

When you take into account Facebook’s public profile in the popular media, a little question arises – how long has Facebook been able to release say in 15 minutes?

2010 was a bad year for Facebook

My question is  – assuming Facebook had the tools back in 2010 as per the video, why then could Facebook not simply been able to revert (in 15 minutes as they claim) to last known good release for the majority of the 2010 System failures? Not all failures were DNS-related.

Perhaps either the tools to deploy/revert in 15 minutes didn’t work as described in the video or they are a recent addition to Facebook’s arsenal, perhaps only developed this year.

Seems the phrase damage control has multiple meanings.

[1] Push Tech Talk, Facebook Engineering

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