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Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For March 9, 2012

You've Got Questions We've Got HighScalability:

  • 1 trillion bits per second: IBM’s Holey Optochip; Scale of the Universe: 2; Infinite wireless: Vortex radio waves; 105,000 Servers: Akamai.
  • Quotable quotes:
    • @CodingFabian: IaaS = Ops without Hardware; PaaS = Devs without Ops; SaaS = Business without Devs
    • @audaciouslife: While I was away 90K signed on MT @akfirat One course, 90K students. Talk about scalability in education 
    • @dthume: "Fault tolerance implies scalability" - Joe Armstrong, 
    • @jessiekeck: Looks like my local bar takes the same approach to scalability with their paper towels as I do w/ software. http://pic.twitter.com/DTL2W1eC
    • @neil_conway: Weird: network locality is no longer important within a DC and yet communication predicted to dominate computation cost in manycore CPUs
    • @coda: You don't "beat the CAP theorem". You "build distributed systems that don't suck miserably". At best.
    • @drunkcod: "programmers know the benefits of everything but the trade-offs of nothing" 
    • The problem with software patents? They don't scale
  • Before you complain too much about Apple's store being down on iPad day, remember scaling a store is much harder than scaling a website. Just ask Amazon and eBay. You know you are going to buy one anyway, so why should they spend on handling a once a year peak load?
  • AlchemyDB – The world’s first integrated GraphDB + RDBMS + KV Store + Document Store. As befits its name, AlchemyDB mixes together a maniacal concern for speed, simplicity, and elegance to create a low latency, single-threaded, 100% RAM based OLTP database with a twist: responses can be represented as  SQL, DocumentStore, Graph, Redis, and a GraphDB, all with Lua as a rich embedded programming environment. 
  • It's not always easy to be popular as Raspberry Pi found out on launch day: “We've temporarily changed to a static site, while we're experiencing a very high level of traffic for the launch of the Raspberry Pi." An excellent backup strategy.
  • Wimpy cores are not dead yet. Facebook still believes, according to this article in Wired: Rather than running your applications on traditional “brawny core” server chips, you break your software up into tiny pieces and spread them across a much larger number of “wimpy cores” 
  • Cassandra at Spotify slidedeck. Storing a billion editable/nested playlists is more difficult than you might think. 
  • What's Wrong with Amazon's DynamoDB Pricing? Peter Bailis finds that Amazon is using a profit driven approach to pricing DynamoDB operations. Strong consistency costs 2x the price of eventual consistency. He makes the case that the cost difference is not 2x. And he argues that there is no performance information that would help you decide which to use, which means you have no rational basis on which to architecture your application.
  • Cogs Bad. William Edwards writes an anthem for artisan programmers everywhere. What's with all this new fangled processed programming anyway? Give me programs made from all natural ingredients, that have been sourced locally, touched by the sun's healing rays, and that have been made by master chefs with 20 years of working their way up from dish washing. Boil up some boxed macaroni and cheese if you wish, but it will never taste good or be good for you.
  • Who gets the mobile money? Fascinating article by Tim Bray illustrating the age old truth that owning the means of production is more profitable than being the one producing. Mobile developers make $12, Apple makes $350, AT&T makes $590. Similarly, aggregators make more than content producers. As understandable as it is frustrating. 
  • parallel-compression. Use multiple processors to speed up (de)compression. 
  • Very anti-cloud/IaaS article. An energetic Google Groups thread discussing Why Infrastructure As A Service Is A Bad Deal, that makes the point the emperor may have clothes, but you can make much cheaper clothes yourself. Which is always true if you have the fabric, a pattern, the equipment, and the skills to make clothes. We call those people tailors and not everyone is a tailor. Also, Why the Cloud isn't for your Startup. Also also, Cloud Schmoud – Why no one really cares.
  • Amazon continues it's aggressive innovation cycle, this time by lowering prices. Joe Brockmeier makes the interesting point that Amazon's pricing strategy favors reserved instances. Prices for on-demand instances are now 10% lower and reserved instances are 37% lower. Does Amazon need more accurate capacity planning? Is it a competitive move to freeze out the competition? Microsoft is responding by lowering Azure pricing by 12% - 50%. Google has also lowered cloud storage prices by 8% -15%. Prices are lowering.
  • Apache Flume. Flume is a scalable log processing system and this is a nice article on its architecture. Illustrates the idea that trees are used to move material from an area to a point, like a river network to the sea.
  • Cool Quora article on How major undersea cables laid in the ocean. The world's largest artery, it's just scary to think what happens when there's a stroke.
  • Datomic: a new kind of database that combines the scalability of the cloud with the power of local processing. Datomic provides a distributed database system, separating transaction processing, storage, caching and query capabilities.
  • Dr. Bartosz with a very thorough series of videos on C++11 Concurrency. Wasn't pthreads  good enough?
  • Cleo: the open source technology behind LinkedIn's typeahead search. Excellent desciption of how they make it work. 
  • Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures by Roy Thomas Fielding: a framework for understanding software architecture through architectural styles, including a consistent set of terminology for describing software architecture; a classification of architectural styles for network-based application software by the architectural properties they would induce when applied to the architecture for a distributed hypermedia system; REST, a novel architectural style for distributed hypermedia systems; and, application and evaluation of the REST architectural style in the design and deployment of the architecture for the modern World Wide Web.
  • DeNormalised Roundup. Great list of NoSQL database links.

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