For a while now, many in the computing industry, myself included, have been referring to the cloud as “utility computing”. Why, Amazon is just the GE of the age of utility computing, right? HP Cloud is just building power plants to compete in that marketplace. Plug in your code, and out comes computed things.. just like the light socket in your bedroom or the one out in the shop where you make custom cedar furniture in your spare time, right?
But let me ask you this, how much power do you put back into the grid on a regular basis? How many gallons of water have you fed back into the water supply? Continue reading →
One of the really cool things about using the cloud, and especially juju, is that it instantly enables things that often times take a lot of thought to even try out in traditional environments. While I was developing some little PHP apps “back in the day”, I knew eventually they’d need to go to more than one server, but testing them for that meant, well, finding and configuring multiple servers. Even with VMs, I had to go allocate one and configure it. Oops, I’m out of time, throw it on one server, pray, move to next task.
This left a very serious question in my mind.. “When the time comes, will my app actually scale?” Continue reading →
Have you heard of Ensemble? Are you excited about Cloud/Service Orchestration? What? Ok you’re not alone if you are scratching your head.
Ensemble is an implementation of a new idea that has been taking shape the last couple of years. Ever since Amazon hooked up a remote API to thousands of machines to provide access to their virtual infrastructure (and called it macaroni? err.. AWS), people have been dreaming up ways to take advantage of what is basically a robotic “NOC guy”. No longer do you have to pre-rack servers or call your vendor frantically to get servers sent next-day to your colo. Right?
Naturally, the system administrators that would normally be in charge of racking servers, applied their existing tools to the job, to mixed success. Config management is really good at modelling identical hosts. But with virtual hosts instantly available, this left those thinking at a higher level wanting more. Chef in particular implemented a nice set of tools and functionality to allow this high level “service” definition with their knife tools and simple ruby API.
But how easy are Chef’s cookbooks to share and use without modification? Continue reading →
Ding ding ding.. in this corner, wearing black shorts and a giant schema, we have over 11 million records in MySQL with a complex set of rules governing which must be searchable and which must not be. And in that corner, we have the contender, a kid from the back streets, outweighed and out reached by all his opponents, but still victorious in the queue shootout, with just open source, and 12 patch releases.. written in C, its gearman!
Queues seem to be all over the place right now. Maybe its like when I wanted a VW GTi VR6 a few years back. I kept seeing them pass me on the freeway and thought “crap, everybody is getting this hot new thing and I’m missing out!”.
I think everybody at one point looked at MySQL and tought.. “that would work fine as a queue system”. For low volume stuff, it *is* fine. But then somebody grabs your little transactional, relational, reliable queue system and plugs 5 million messages per hour through it, and somewhere, a man name Heikki cries.
So then you start to look around.. and for those of us who have meager budgets and tend to use open source, there aren’t a lot of choices. Continue reading →
If you’re an engineer, you hate testing. Seriously, who likes doing what those mere mortal “users” do? We’re POWER users and we don’t need to use all those silly features on all those sites. Just look at Craigslist, clearly an engineer’s dream tool.
For web apps, testing actually isn’t *that* hard. The client program (the browser) is readily available on every platform known to man, and they generally don’t do much more than store and retrieve data in clever ways. So, its not like we have to fire up a Large Hadron Collider to observe the effects of our web app. Continue reading →
This past April I was riding in a late model, 2 door rental car with an interesting trio for sure. On my right sat Patrick Galbraith, maintainer of DBD::mysql and author of the Federated storage engine. Directly in front of me manning the steering wheel (for those of you keen on spatial description, you may have noted at this point that its most likely I was seated in the back, left seat of a car which is designed to be driven on the right side of the road. EOUF [end of useless fact]), David Axmark, co-founder of MySQL. Immediately to his right sat Brian Aker, of (most recently) Drizzle fame. Continue reading →
Its always been a dream of mine. I’ve posted about parallel replication on Drizzle’s mailing list before. I think when faced with the problem of a big, highly concurrent master, and scaling out reads simply with lower cost slaves, this is going to be the only way to go.
So I was starting to play with Memcached for session storage, and I found a fairly big problem with justing memcached in its normal caching mode as a session store. It really just boils down to caching and storing of deterministic data being very different things that only look similar on the surface. Continue reading →
There are quite a few articles out there that talk about how to give your application some context and send reads to one server, and writes to another. There are even some mentions of marking your connection “dirty” and then sending all reads to the write server.
As a first try at scaling things, I recently made a change to our web application’s data access layer where reads went to a group of readonly slaves. However, if a write was made to a database, a value was put into the user’s session, saying that the database was dirty, and causing all subsequent reads to go to the master server. Continue reading →