Trillions of rows, so little time

Zhihu, which means “Do you know?” in classical Chinese, is the Quora of China: a question-and-answer website where all kinds of questions are created, answered, edited, and organized by the community of its users. As China’s biggest knowledge sharing platform, we currently have 220 million registered users, and 30 million questions with more than 130 million answers on the site.

As our userbase grew, the data size of our applications grew out of hand. About 1.3 trillion rows of data were stored in our Moneta application (which stores posts users have already read). With approximately 100 billion rows of data accruing each month and growing, this number will reach 3 trillion in two years. We faced severe challenges in scaling our backend while maintaining good user experience.

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