High-level Design of Sharded Counters

Let's understand and design sharded counters.

High-level solution sketch

Managing millions of tweet likes requires many counters operating on many nodes. To manage these counters, we need an efficient system that can provide high performance and scalability as the number of users grows.

What will happen when a single tweet on Twitter gets a million likes, and the application server receives a write request against each like to increment the relevant counter? These millions of requests are eventually serialized in a queue for data consistency. Such serialization is one way to deal with concurrent activity, though at the expense of added delay. Real-time applications want to keep the quality of experience high by providing as minimum as possible latency for the end user.

Let’s see the illustration below to understand this problem:

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