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Workers sort through a pile of used mobile phones in New Delhi, India. (Image Credits: Getty Images / Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg)n

Straubel talks a lot about scale, both in terms of his vision for Redwood as well as the current state of e-waste sitting in junk drawers of U.S. consumers. It was the scale of the Gigafactory, which is used by Panasonic to make battery cells and by Tesla to make the battery packs and electric motors for its vehicles, that partially drove Straubel to start Redwood in the first place.n

“As the world electrifies transportation it needs so many different materials and the supply chain upstream of the factory is, I think, often under appreciated,” he said. “The Gigafactory is a little bit like an iceberg u2014 there’s so much of it that’s kind of below the surface, in the suppliers and in the mines and refineries and all the different things that need to feed into it that you don’t typically see.”n

Parts of the supply chain became more of a bottleneck as the Gigafactory ramped, he added.n

“You certainly see Tesla focusing more on this, I think rightly so,” Straubel said, a nod to Musk’s recent public comments about needs to focus on the broader supply chain of materials such as nickel. “That was a very interesting area that I thought wasn’t getting as much attention and end-of-life and recycling as a part of that material supply chain is just an incredibly powerful space, one where I think we can have a major impact on the sustainability of creating batteries.”n”,”protected”:false},”excerpt”:”rendered”:”

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2020″,”slug”:”tc-sessions-mobility-2020″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/576707933″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/taxonomies/tc_event”],”up”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event/449559507″],”wp:post_type”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?tc_event=576707933″,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_events?tc_event=576707933″,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_video?tc_event=576707933″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true]]]}},{“id”:2056374,”date”:”2020-10-09T12:26:58″,”date_gmt”:”2020-10-09T19:26:58″,”guid”:”rendered”:”https://techcrunch.com/?p=2056374″,”modified”:”2020-10-09T16:14:43″,”modified_gmt”:”2020-10-09T23:14:43″,”slug”:”how-roblox-completely-transformed-its-tech-stack”,”status”:”publish”,”type”:”post”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/09/how-roblox-completely-transformed-its-tech-stack/”,”title”:”rendered”:”How Roblox completely transformed its tech stack”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

Picture yourself in the role of CIO at Roblox in 2017.n

At that point, the gaming platform and publishing system that launched in 2005 was growing fast, but its underlying technology was aging, consisting of a single data center in Chicago and a bunch of third-party partners, including AWS, all running bare metal (nonvirtualized) servers. At a time when users have precious little patience for outages, your uptime was just two nines, or less than 99% (five nines is considered optimal).n

Unbelievably, Roblox was popular in spite of this, but the company’s leadership knew it couldn’t continue with performance like that, especially as it was rapidly gaining in popularity. The company needed to call in the technology cavalry, which is essentially what it did when it hired Dan Williams in 2017.n

Williams has a history of solving these kinds of intractable infrastructure issues, with a background that includes a gig at Facebook between 2007 and 2011, where he worked on the technology to help the young social network scale to millions of users. Later, he worked at Dropbox, where he helped build a new internal network, leading the company’s move away from AWS, a major undertaking involving moving more than 500 petabytes of data.n

When Roblox approached him in mid-2017, he jumped at the chance to take on another major infrastructure challenge. While they are still in the midst of the transition to a new modern tech stack today, we sat down with Williams to learn how he put the company on the road to a cloud-native, microservices-focused system with its own network of worldwide edge data centers.n

Scoping the problem



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