NGINX will bring to Mars

Comparative sizes of rovers. Curiosity - on the right The
Curiosity Rover has become the most advanced space device ever built - our specialists also took part in its creation. For example, a nanothermal neutron detector for determining the density of hydrogen in the atmosphere of Mars was created and built at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. And public servers with sites for the Mars exploration program work on the Nginx server written in Moscow.

Even during the planning of the mission for the landing and operation of Curiosity, NASA specialists made sure that everyone could see the broadcast from the surface of Mars. NASA had two tasks - to allow itself a large number of Internet visitors and to make sure that the site did not suddenly crash. After some thought, NGINX was chosen for this purpose.

“The advantage of the server is that it is used for sites with a lot of traffic. Nginx is a Russian server developed by programmer Igor Sysoev. The video that comes from the rover is transmitted via the space communication system to Earth, and then it is distributed to everyone with the help of the cluster created on Nginx, ”said Maxim Konovalov, general director of our portfolio company Nginx.

Even at the design stage of the Curiocity mission, Nasa specialists brought in the well-known SOASTA, a media services testing company, to the task. Their task was to test the system for strength under loads of up to 25 gigabits per second. To do this, SOASTA uses a distributed cloud system that can simulate millions of hits from real users - just such a machine for dos attacks SOASTA tested the site which will have to process more than a billion hits during the Olympics. 25 gigabytes per second is not very much, but enough for testing systems - the real load should generate 200-300 times a large band.

New Yorkers watch a live broadcast of the landing on Mars with a delay of only 14 minutes - this is faster than broadcasting the Olympic Games from London to NBC.

And now a detailed description of the test systems SOASTA and NASA for the Martian mission.


  1. The role of the signal source was played by the NASA server (Mac Pro located in the office of the NASA jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena, California) distributing video in four bitrates (250, 500, 750 and 1,000) to a single Flash Media Server. Outgoing traffic was cached by a single "tier 1 ″ server running on Nginx, surrounded by forty" tier 2 ″ servers with a load balancer on Nginx and running on a Amazon EC2 virtual cloud.
  2. SOASTA generated the load on six Amazon EC2 clouds around the world, uploading more than 25 Gbps of traffic to the test server within 40 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, they turned off 10 servers (arrow number 1 in the screenshot) to see if the Amazon cloud can cope with the increased load. This temporarily reduced the amount of traffic that the system could issue, but the Amazon balancer made up for the “fallen” servers and returned to 25 Gbps in just 5 minutes.
  4. When the testing team dropped already 20 norths (arrow 3), the throughput of the system dropped to 12 Gbps and the servers started showing signs of congestion. But the balancer of Amazon again made up for the losses and returned the system to the original 25 Gbps.
  5. As a result, SOASTA test servers downloaded approximately 68TB of video traffic (Strelochka 2) from the Nasa cache in a short 40-minute test.

According to the results of SOASTA tests, there was nothing else to do but to recognize the stability of NGINX:

Нагрузка на основном сервере Флеш Медиа Сервере 1-го уровня кэша остается очень низким по совокупности тестов, мы не должны испытывать никаких проблем с множеством стеков во время прямой трансляции. Тестовые испытания показали полное отсутствие задержек буферизации или падения битрейта.

Тесты убедительно показывают несомненную способность совокупности стеков выдержать зрительскую нагрузку для трансляции ровера Curiocity.

Yesterday, the whole world without delays and bitrate subsidence observed a historical landing on Mars, which was broadcast on various devices from iPhones in Moscow to screens on Times Square, so the Nginx server, albeit very indirectly, but contributed to the triumph of astronautics, so that’s all its users may feel involved in the development of the solar system.

First greetings from Mars.