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eBay Tech Blog

To support the world’s largest internet marketplace, eBay tackles technical challenges at a scale that few others have. With this blog, we share our experiences working on those challenges with the technical community.

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Seven Tips for Visual Search at Scale

By: Fan Yang, M. Hadi Kiapour, Qiaosong Wang and Robinson Piramuthu

We present seven tips for visual search at scale, based on our KDD 2017 paper titled "Visual Search at eBay."

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Troubleshooting a Connection Timeout Issue with tcp_tw_recycle Enabled

By: Edward Lin and Huai Jiang

Availability and stability are very important for eBay's site, especially for those applications that take high traffic and are dependent on many other applications, such as CAL (our Centralized Application Logging framework). This blog shares an issue that happened recently that impacted the availability and stability of CAL, and how we found out the root cause using tcpdump and systemtap.

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Working on the Engines While the Plane is Flying

By: Brian Davies and Thilak Thankappan

Operators of large scale networks will, from time to time, be required to perform major upgrades to the network while keeping the network available with no downtime. This type of work has been compared to working on the engines of an airliner while it is flying. At eBay, our Site Network Engineering team recently completed a migration of our data center aggregation layer from one platform to another under these conditions. By sharing our experience, we hope to help our peers in the industry plan for and successfully execute their own network transformations.

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SRE Case Study: Mysterious Traffic Imbalance

By: Charles Li

As an architect of a large website, I spent over a decade of my life working on all kinds of troubleshooting cases. Many of those cases were quite challenging, similar to finding a suspect in a megacity, yet quite rewarding. I ended up with many Sherlock Holmes stories to tell. What I am sharing today is a troubleshooting case of mysterious traffic imbalance.

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ModaNet: A Large-scale Street Fashion Dataset with Polygon Annotations

By: Fan Yang, M. Hadi Kiapour, Robinson Piramuthu and Shuai (Kyle) Zheng

Searching for an ideal dress or pair of shoes sometimes could be challenging, especially when you do not know the best keywords to describe what you are looking for. Luckily, the emerging smart mobile devices provide an efficient and convenient way to capture those products of interest in your photo album. The next natural thing is letting an ecommerce app like eBay figure it out for you.

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Universal Finder: Moving Toward One Platform for All Finders

By: Kishore Kumar Mohan and Sachin Tilloo

Showing our buyers relevant inventory of what they want to shop for among eBay's vast billion plus inventory is always a priority. One of the avenues we use regularly for filtering is what call "Finders," which are shown in the Search and Browse experiences. This article explains our efforts of unifying our finders and moving them towards a universal finder platform.

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Identity Management Strategy as a Relying Party for OAuth 2.0

By: Senthilkumar Gopal

Users encounter new products every day, and their real-world entity manifests itself in multiple virtual identities across the internet. Creating an account or authenticating one’s virtual identity is a necessary and ubiquitous precursor to performing any meaningful action on a website, such as purchasing an item, posting a message, etc. This article reflects upon a well-defined orchestration on how to integrate identity providers while acting as a relying party, the strategies followed to resolve collision in identities, and its overall architectural flow.

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Unicorn—Rheos Remediation Center

By: Lubin Liu

Rheos is eBay's near-line data platform, and it owns thousands of stateful machines in the cloud. The Rheos team has been building and enhancing the automation system over the past two years. However, it’s time to unify the past work and build a modern, automatic remediation system, Unicorn.

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Drag and Drop Search: A New Way to Search on eBay

By: Ravi Pitapurapu

eBay has over a billion listings across a wide variety of categories that millions of buyers search every day. It is a significant challenge to connect the right buyer to the right listing and in the process to present the user with similar items that are suited to the buyers inputs.

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Adapting Continuous Integration and Delivery to Hardware Quality

By: Ashvini Mangalvedhekar

A hyperscale infrastructure demands a high level of automation to hardware testing to increase productivity and rigor. The idea was to automate the traditional methods of qualifying servers and server components by applying CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment) principles of software development to the hardware development lifecycle.

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Big Data Governance: Hive Metastore Listener for Apache Atlas Use Cases

By: Aroop Maliakkal Padmanabhan and Tiffany Nguyen

At eBay, we are obsessed with data quality and governance. Because eBay's Hadoop platform hosts 500 PB of data running over 15,000 nodes, the focus on governance is of utmost importance. This article discusses our experiences handling data governance at scale.

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Two Years Later: APIs are the Destination

By: Tanya Vlahovic

eBay speaks API! Two years ago, we started a journey to deliver a new, modern family of APIs to expose marketplace capabilities to sellers and buyers.

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