Technology

Just as businesses live or die based on their reputation, so web services succeed or fail on the quality of the technologies and providers they are built upon. We use a technology called Cloud Foundry that allows us to run multiple “instances” (basically tiny servers) for each of our web “applications”, spread across multiple locations for reliability, and automatically “load balanced” to keep things running quickly.

Processing is handled by three specialist web applications, each running multiple instances :

  • a core inIW service that handles queries and updates from in-world devices and websites
  • a read-only service that lets in-world devices quickly check statuses and updates
  • a dedicated upload and management service that validates, resizes, and optimizes images

Application data is stored using a combination of two modern database technologies :

  • MongoDB, a “NoSQL” database that is very fast and powerful
  • Redis, an “in-memory” database that is lightning fast and perfect for delivering core data

Reliability is essential, so we use best-in-class service providers for all of these services, with multiple locations, redundancy, replication, backups and instant “failover”, so that the the entire system is highly resilient to any kind of outage. Finally, we use services like New Relic and StatusCake to monitor the performance and availability of everything, and let us know immediately if something fails, or simply falls below our strict performance standards.

Performance is ensured by highly tuning the services, using very reputable providers, and coordinating them to minimize distance and communication delays. We have also written our own search engine and exhaustively tuned it for our specific needs. As a result, we see even complex searches of the marketplace executing almost instantly (within a few hundredths of a second). We also use some of the best “content delivery networks” in the world to quickly deliver images and the actual websites themselves.

Security is critical too, especially since we are handling your virtual currency and livelihoods. All web communications are secured by “https” using modern and reputable certificates, and are further “signed” using a three-step encrypted “authentication key” that is only valid for a few seconds. Passwords are deeply encrypted, and your choice of secret phrase is privately sent to you whenever you use an in-world device, to prove that it is authentic and secure.

All in all, we are pretty proud of what we have achieved here and we look forward to building many services on this platform, and providing a highly professional service to the InWorldz™ community for many years to come.