What database does instagram use

Which database does Instagram use, if you are also looking for the answer to this question, then you have come to the right place. By the way, there are many database systems used by instagram such as postgre. Today we will take details about the instagram database through this article, so let’s know about the instagram database.

How instagram databases store and search billions of images.

Instagram is the most popular social media platform today, with over a billion users, making it a puzzle choice for businesses to run their marketing campaigns. This write-up delves deep into its platform architecture and addresses questions such as what technologies it uses on the backend. What is the database the platform leverages and how does it store billions of photos serving millions of QPS.

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Which Database instagram used.

PostgreSQL is the primary database of the application, it stores most of the platform’s data such as user data, photos, tags, meta-tags, etc. As the platform gained popularity and the data became huge over time, the engineering team at Insta focused on different NoSQL solutions and eventually decided to shard the existing PostgreSQL database as it best suited their needs. To get a deeper insight into distributed databases and how they handle concurrent traffic, data growth, and the like, check out my Distributed Systems Design course – Design Modern Applications Like a Pro. This article talks about scaling the database through sharding and other means – how YouTube stores so many videos without running out of database storage space. 

Instagram’s main database cluster has 12 replicas in different regions and includes 12 quadruple extra large memory instances.

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What database does instagram use

1. Elasticsearch

A Chinese company called Socialhackers suffered a massive data breach. Due to which 400GB of personal data was exposed and their system security was compromised. This company did not have elasticsearch search encryption or password protection. This data contained PII of approximately 214 million users. Which included high profile people, social media influencers and many more. As a result, it was potentially vulnerable to hacking by anyone with access to the server. elasticsearch is a document-based database. It stores and distributes JSON documents and is RESTful as well. It uses the Lucene open-source search engine to search all types of data and perform advanced search queries. Its search capability allows it to be used as a datastore. But it is mainly designed as one of a kind. It is also suitable for Instagram, which uses it to collect data from users and other applications.

2. Redis

Instagram has found a way to optimise its application by using the redis database. It is a powerful data structure that has a wide range of uses. Some of these include concatenating a string, computing set intersections, unions and differences, pushing elements into lists, and collecting the largest rankings in sorted sets. This database stores all these elements in a memory file. And for this it does not require serialisation.


The database used by Instagram has several advantages over other database systems, including high security and reliability. The database is open source. This means that it is constantly updated and optimised for new platforms. It is becoming increasingly popular these days. Recently this database made it to the top of the Stack Overflow survey, the most prestigious technology ranking in the world. Surveyors use the votes of real programmers to rank the database. Leaving behind Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB and Redis database, it has made the first place. Its popularity is increasing by reaching the top of the list. Instagram has made changes to its backend to improve the reliability of its hot counters. Previously, engineers had to manually recover caches when hot counters fell. But this changed with the introduction of instagram business. The new integration has improved the efficiency of businesses and enabled users to interact with brands in real time. It also sent users to follow brands on social networks.

4. Cassandra

Instagram depends on cassandra for its data, many people have not yet learned how it actually works. Fortunately, cassandra has several key features that can help you get the most out of this distributed database. Here, you will learn how this database is used in instagram production and how it works.

The cassandra database uses a distributed, key-value store that helps ensure the integrity of the data. In addition, it supports highly available architecture. It can recover from failure within 40 seconds. While MongoDB can take up to 40 seconds to recover. This means that Instagram can grow its database very quickly while maintaining a high level of security. And because of its high availability, it’s a great choice for sites that deal with real-time sensor data and e-commerce websites as well as databases.

How does instagram search for content from millions of photos?

Initially Instagram used Elasticsearch for its search feature, but has since moved to Unicorn, a social graph-aware search engine built by Facebook in-house. Unicorn Shaktiya searches on Facebook and has reached the index containing millions of documents. This allows the application to store locations, users, hashtags, etc., and the relationships between these entities. Talking about the search infrastructure of Instagram, it has made the data store unusual for user, location, hashtag and other media etc.

These data stores, also called documents, are grouped into sets to be processed by efficient set operations such as ANDOR and NOT. The search infrastructure has a system called Slipstream that breaks down user-uploaded data, streams it through a firehose, and adds it to the search index.

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Friends, in this article, we have learned which database does Instagram use to store so many photos, videos and other content, and with the help of these databases, how can it search the right content from millions, billions of photos and other content?

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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