OpenX: Introducing Erlang to OpenX

  • Anthony Molinaro
September 22, 2013 10:25 - 10:50 AM


As a global leader in digital and mobile advertising revenue products and services, OpenX serves ads for many thousands of companies. At peak times, the OpenX Market (a pioneering Real-Time Bidding exchange) alone receives over 1 million bids per second. An additional challenge is that ads must be served in just a few hundred milliseconds. In 2012 OpenX served nearly 3 trillion ads, a near 200% growth from the 1 trillion the Company served in 2011. In order to scale and support this rapid growth OpenX has leveraged Erlang in many parts of its serving stack. However, when first introduced there was only one Erlang developer on staff, and a majority of the system was written in PHP and Java. This talk will discuss the challenges behind introducing a functional programming language into a company, and how those challenges were overcome with the use of several open source tools.

Anthony Molinaro

has been developing large-scale distributed systems since the late 90s in many languages and environments. First at, a pioneering company in search advertising, where he helped to develop many of the core serving pieces in Java, C and Perl. After changed its name to and was acquired by Yahoo!, Anthony spent 5 years working on the content match advertising system written in C. Upon leaving Yahoo! in 2008 he joined a small startup that used Erlang exclusively and extensively. Later in 2009, Anthony was hired by OpenX where he has since introduced Erlang and spearheaded its use across a large portion of OpenX’s Global Digital Revenue Platform.