Social Internetworking

Behind The Scenes Of A Facebook Page Load

by Stephen Von Worley on November 30, 2010

When we visit Facebook, what’s going on under the hood? Software engineer Carlos Bueno helps us understand with this nifty network traffic animation:

On Al Gore’s Internet Of Yesteryear, a Web page was typically a short bit of HTML and a few images, all served up to you from the same computer. Not so for today’s popular online services!

Now, it’s much more complicated: to load someone’s Facebook News Feed, your browser must swap bits with seven different servers. Viewed as an opera, is both singer and conductor – providing the core Web page and coordinating logic – and Akamai’s content delivery network acts as the orchestra, broadcasting images, CSS, Javascript, and other parts of the score on cue. Bravo!

Carlos created this and other animations with his Packet Flight software, freely available on GitHub.

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