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Case Study – How Last.fm Uses HornetQ for Their Streaming Infrastructure

This case study describes how Last.fm uses HornetQ to improve the performance and availability of its streaming infrastructure.

What Is Last.fm?

Last.fm is an online music service that tracks the music people listen to and generates recommendations and custom online radio stations based on this information. It allows user to track the song they listen to (by scrobbling the song) from Internet radio station, music player or portable devices. The scrobbles are transferred to Last.fm and displayed on the user’s profile page. Every track that is scrobbled by user plays will tell Last.fm something about what he or she likes. It can connect the user to other people who like the same song, artist, genre, etc. and recommend other songs from their music collections.
More than 40 million of unique users visit Last.fm each month and view 500 million pages.
Since the launch of the service, there has been more than 40 billion of scrobbles. Nowadays, there is 40 million of scrobbles a day (up to 800 per second at peak).

Last.fm infrastructure is using JMS, the Java standard for message service, to control its streaming service.

Last.fm recently migrated to HornetQ to improve its messaging service and ensure that it meets the quality of service expected by their users.

What Is HornetQ?

HornetQ is a community project from JBoss, the middleware division of Red Hat. HornetQ is the default messaging service for JBoss Application Server 6 and it can also be used as a standalone JMS server or embedded in any Java application. HornetQ is an Open Source (Apache-licensed) project to build a multi-protocol, embeddable, clustered messaging system with very high performance and availability.

Having some issues with their current messaging server, Last.fm was interested to integrate HornetQ in their infrastructure to improve performance and availability while keeping hardware resources under control.

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