Got Users? How About 100 Million of Them?

Daniel DeGroff

got users passport database

Passport User Registration Hits 100,000,000 in Load Test

Did you know that each time you log into Facebook, check your email or fire up Candy Crush, a software engineer has thought about user registration and authentication. Hopefully she has thought a lot about it. For example, what happens if Call of Duty goes offline for maintenance and then six million users try to log back in at the same time? It could take days for users to get back online if peak loads aren’t planned for.

Our CleanSpeak product filters billions of messages in any given month, so when we started developing Passport a few years ago we spent a lot of time thinking about scale and performance.

One way we design for performance is by running load tests during our development cycles to ensure our database indexes are optimized and to confirm we don’t have any poor performing code paths. By stressing our software we are able to measure its response and determine behavior.

Our load tests are run on very modest hardware and stock database configurations so that our metrics are not an unrealistic best case result, but rather the minimum you can obtain when running on bare metal. Our test system is nearly 10 years old with only an upgraded disk drive. Here are the system specifications:

  • Dell PowerEdge 1950 (2007)
  • CPU: Dual Intel Xeon L5320 1.8GHz (Discontinued in 2009)
  • Front Side Bus: 1066 MHz
  • RAM: 12GB (Only 1 GB assigned to Java VM running Passport)
  • Disk: Intel 5xx SATA SSD

The Results

To date we’ve registered 100 million users without any significant reduction in performance. We’re running about 400 new user registrations per second, roughly 1.4 million user registrations per hour. Once a user is registered subsequent logins are much faster at about 1000 per second which comes out to about 3.6 million per hour.

The latest census data we have shows that the US population is approximately 321 million. 23% of that total population is under 18 years of age. This works out to be about 73 million people under the age of 18 living in this country.

This means that every single person in the United States under the age of 18 could register for your new game or application using Passport and you’d still be well under the load that we are testing.

According to an infographic published by Activision in 2014, the online multiplayer franchise Call of Duty had over 125 million total users. Call of Duty  is an exceptionally popular game, so this is a number that few titles will ever reach. Nevertheless, to put user registrations per second into perspective, Passport would allow you to grow a title from launch to a staggering 125 million registered users in just over a weekend. I am quite sure that if your application actually grew that quickly the rest of your infrastructure would fail spectacularly. But rest assured, Passport will be just fine.

The throughput we have achieved in Passport is a number that we don’t expect anyone to ever legitimately require. However, the more distance we can put between what we can achieve and what our most demanding clients require, the less chance we will encounter issues in the field.

Passport’s proven performance and ability to scale, as seen through our load test results, will power high volume applications with ease. Let us help you reach 100,000,000 users.

Learn more about Passport here.

  • Jason Lewis

    Awesome team and awesome product! Keep up the great work!

    • Kelly Strain

      Thanks, Jason! 😄

  • iGotJacked

    Good info 🙂

    Might want to add a link to the Passport home page somewhere, it was surprisingly difficult to find on Google. I also didn’t know that Passport is an Inversoft product since that connection isn’t made in the post either. Knowing that, I would have just clicked through the blog’s header logo.

    • Kelly Strain

      Thank you for the feedback, I have gone ahead and added a link to the Passport homepage at the bottom of the post. Please let me know if you have any questions about Passport or any other Inversoft products. Thanks for reading!