At Cloudflare, the scale of the network and the pace of growth require constant refactoring and re-evaluation of existing systems. With every passing year, the amount of traffic flowing through the network doubles, and engineering constraints change rapidly. What was once an elegant solution to a problem can quickly become outdated and inefficient. This is why refactoring is such an important part of the engineering process at Cloudflare.
Refactoring is the process of improving code quality without changing the external behavior of the code. It's a way to make code more efficient, more maintainable, and easier to work with. In a high-performance environment like Cloudflare, refactoring is critical to ensure that the network can handle the ever-increasing amount of traffic.
One of the key reasons why refactoring is so important at Cloudflare is the sheer scale of the network. Cloudflare handles an average of 40 million requests per second, which translates to billions of requests per day. With this level of traffic, even issues that affect a tiny fraction of requests can still impact millions of users. This means that every line of code must be scrutinized to ensure that it is as efficient and reliable as possible.
Another reason why refactoring is important at Cloudflare is that the network is constantly evolving. As new engineering constraints emerge, the existing code must be adapted to meet these challenges. This means that engineers must be able to quickly identify areas of the codebase that need to be updated and make the necessary changes.
One example of the importance of refactoring at Cloudflare is the company's DNS resolver. The DNS resolver is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. With billions of requests flowing through the resolver every day, even small inefficiencies in the code can have a significant impact on the performance of the entire network. Over the years, the DNS resolver has undergone multiple rounds of refactoring to ensure that it is as efficient and reliable as possible.
In conclusion, refactoring is an essential part of the engineering process at Cloudflare. With the sheer scale of the network and the constant evolution of engineering constraints, it is critical to ensure that every line of code is as efficient and reliable as possible. By embracing refactoring and continually evaluating and improving existing systems, Cloudflare is able to deliver a fast, reliable, and secure network to millions of users around the world.