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Sunday
Feb192017

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For February 17th, 2017

Hey, it's HighScalability time:

 

Gorgeous satellite images of a thawing Greenland (NASA).

If you like this sort of Stuff then please support me on Patreon.

  • 1 cubic millimeter: computer with deep-Learning; 1,600: data on nearby stars; 40M: users for largest Parse app; 58x: Tensorflow 1.0 speedup on 64 gpus; 46%: ecommerce controlled by Amazon; 60%: IT growth in public cloud; 200 TB: one tv episode; 

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • @krishnan: Serverless will not be around in 5 years. It will be AI coding AI coding Ai....... Serverless or not doesn't matter #RunForrestRun
    • user5994461: Amazon: Create usual services and sell them. Google: Make unique products that push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible. Amazon: Don't care about inefficiencies and usage. Inefficiencies can be handled by charging more to the clients, usage doesn't matter because the users are mostly the clients and they don't feel their pain. Google: Had to make all their core technologies efficient, performant, scalable and maintainable or they couldn't sustain their business.
    • Hans Rosling: To me, the impressive thing is that people succeed at all.
    • @littleidea: Google Spanner didn't beat CAP, just mitigated the hell out of P
    • @jordw: Cloud Spanner is a very well-engineered CP database that is also very good at being available.
    • Cade Metz: The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class
    • hosh: Four years ago, I determined that while development work might seem to be near the top of the food chain, there will at some point where my work will be replaced by AIs.
    • mi100hael:  I found Go's "simplicity" to be limiting and frustrating when it came to building production applications. Things like the weird split between functions returning errors but occasionally panicking, lack of inheritance, and poor dependency management through github links make Go a poor choice for applications within a business setting. 
    • @NathanTippy: New #Java web server clearing 1 million HTTP requests per second on 4 core box.  Can run in < 100MB of memory.
    • @kellabyte: It doesn’t matter what the founder or developer of a database tells you. It’s about the true peopeties it guarantees.
    • @swardley: Private cloud starting to drop, public cloud a three horse race - AWS 1st, MSFT 2nd, GooG 3rd ... sensible stuff 
    • @ollekullberg: Kullberg's law: when we increase the size of a microservice we increase the benefit of static typing for this microservice.
    • @swardley: ... it's not lack of engineering capability or finance or market or marketing or branding, the real story of cloud is executive failure.
    • katied: Trophic cascade is a process that starts at the top of a food chain and works its way to the bottom of it. So, even though as predators wolves survive by taking life, they also have the ability to create it.
    • @swardley: Cloud wars in IaaS - oh, please. War was well over in 2012, yes there will be price cuts as constraints are reduced but there is no battle.
    • @HenryR: 1. CAP has always said only one thing: that there is always a particular network failure that forces you to give up either C or A. 2. It has nothing at all to do with how likely that failure mode is. The failure is system-specific. 
    • throwawaydbfif: The movement from ownership to renting on the web is absolutely terrifying to me. Within the span of a few years we've gone from owning our technology to renting it out from a big players for monthly fees that we cannot completely predict or control.
    • computerex: People use cloud computing because it already is massively impractical to run your own servers. Hardware is hard to run and scale on your own and experiences economies of scale. This principle is seen everywhere and can hardly be viewed as something controversial. 
    • stuckagain: You did not ever own your own globally consistent, massively scalable, replicated database. The fact that you can now rent one by the hour is strictly an improvement for you, if you need that kind of thing
    • tedd4u: Aurora is very cool but won't help you much after you vertically scale your master and still need more write capacity. With Cloud Spanner you get horizontal write scalability out of the box. Critical difference.
    • @koivimik: REST != CRUD via HTTP #microXchg @olivergierke
    • Linus: It's almost boring how well our process works. All the really stressful times for me have been about process. They haven't been about code. When code doesn't work, that can actually be exciting ... Process problems are a pain in the ass. You never, ever want to have process problems ... That's when people start getting really angry at each other.
    • @littleidea: Almost every task run under Borg contains a built-in HTTP server that publishes information about the health of the task...
    • W. Daniel Hillis: For Richard [Feynman], figuring out these problems was a kind of a game. He always started by asking very basic questions like, “What is the simplest example?” or “How can you tell if the answer is right?” He asked questions until he reduced the problem to some essential puzzle that he thought he would be able to solve.
    • @ewolff: "Every hackathon uses Lambda. They build really complicated, production-ready systems in 12h" @adrianco at @microXchg
    • Daniel Bryant: The term "microservices" itself will probably disappear in the future, but the new architectural style of functional decomposition is here to stay.
    • @rbranson: The NoSQL movement might be a disappointment, but emerging from the rubble is the log-based (i.e. Kafka) model that actually works.
    • Chip Overclock: Surprisingly, GPS satellites actually know nothing about position. What they know about is time.
    • @codinghorror: I look at my old blog posts and think... there was a time when I believed 24GB was a lot of RAM
    • vidarh: Depending on your workloads, DO servers can come out cheaper or more expensive than AWS, but bandwidth at DO is so much cheaper than AWS that for bandwidth intensive stuff I can't serve entirely out of Europe (where Hetzner is vastly cheaper than DO again), DO is often a much cheaper alternative. Sometimes we use it as a cost-cutting do-it-yourself CDN in front of AWS for clients that insist on S3 for storage (and again where we can't just cache everything in Europe for latency reasons). For bandwidth heavy applications, you can pay for significant numbers of Droplets from the AWS bandwidth savings alone.
    • lobster_johnson: we use Google Container Engine (hosted Kubernetes), with Salt for the non-GKE VMs. This is needed because K8s is not mature enough to host all the things. In particular, stateful sets are still in beta. 
    • anonymous: The overall impact [algorithms] will be utopia or the end of the human race; there is no middle ground foreseeable. I suspect utopia given that we have survived at least one existential crisis (nuclear) in the past and that our track record toward peace, although slow, is solid.
    • keenio: In conclusion, the TCO is probably significantly lower for Kinesis. So is the risk. And in most projects, risk-adjusted TCO should be the final arbiter.
    • Adem Efe Gencer: the weekly [Bitcoin] mining power of a single miner has never exceeded the 30% of the overall mining power in 2016. Morever, in the second half of the year, the highest mining power has consistently been under the 20% range.
    • David Rosenthal: The security downside of Postel's Law is even more fundamental. The law requires the receiver to accept, and do something sensible with, malformed input. Doing something sensible will almost certainly provide an attacker with the opportunity to make the receiver do something bad.
    • douche: That's pretty much the way it has always been. You can go back at least to the Civil War and find politics has had more to do with procurement than performance of the weapon systems in question.
    • Jonathan Suen: While the brain and the Internet clearly operate using very different mechanisms, both use simple local rules that give rise to global stability. I was initially surprised that biological neural networks utilized the same algorithms as their engineered counterparts, but, as we learned, the requirements for efficiency, robustness, and simplicity are common to both living organisms and the networks we have built.
    • Bruce Johnson: Code reviews set the tone for the entire company that everything we do should be open to scrutiny from others, and that such scrutiny should be a welcome part of your workflow rather than viewed as threatening.
    • codingmyway: I think some miners are against any increase because it will lower fees. Without a blocksize limit fees tend to zero, which is fine while there is the block reward but they still want to milk the congestion fees. To say they are pro segwit or pro unlimited is bluffing. They are pro status quo and congestion and high fees.
    • edejong: Many engineers I have worked with like to throw around terms like: "CQRS", "Event sourcing", "no schema's", "document-based storage", "denormalize everything" and more. However, when pushed, I often see that they lack a basic understanding of DBMSes, and fill up this gap by basically running away from it. For 95% of the jobs, a simple, non-replicated (but backed-up) DBMS will do just fine.
    • adamu__: If China were to shut down bitcoin mining, my understanding is that the worst case scenario is much more dire. The network only adjusts the 'difficulty' relative to current network hash power every 2,016 blocks. Depending on the severity of the overall hash power reduction, new block discovery might slow down significantly. This would also delay a recalculation of the new difficulty accommodating the reduction in hash power. The network could be severely throttled for weeks.
    • boulos: Slightly off-topic, but EC2 doesn't really scale independently if you compare it to GCE. We let you combine 24 vcpus with 39 GB of RAM, 3 partitions of Local SSD and a few GPUs, all independently (though the ratio of RAM to vcpu is currently bounded between .9 and 6.5).
    • Veratyr: Personally, I settled with colocation. I pay $60/mo + $2k one-off for the initial hardware + say $150/5y/4TB HDD, which, for 80TB of storage over 5y comes out to a total of ~$88/mo, or $0.001/GBmo. 

  • Now this is object oriented programming. New software for increasingly flexible factory processes: new software that allows each individual component to tell the machine what has to be done. By breaking away from central production planning, factories can achieve unprecedented agility and flexibility...
    Everything would go much faster if production and the requisite machines were not rigidly set by a control program, but if every component itself knew the best way for it to be moved quickly through the process chain. 

  • Relax. Videos from TensorFlow Dev Summit 2017 are now available. Also, Learn TensorFlow and deep learning, without a Ph.D. Also also, Deep Learning book.

  • Google is Introducing Cloud Spanner: a global database service for mission-critical applications. It will be interesting to see if Spanner, as a unique hard to duplicate feature, becomes a Google Cloud differentiator. Will it make the delta between the clouds significant enough that developers choose Google? Quizlet, already running on GCP, really likes Spanner, but it's not a drop in replacement for MySQL. Like with NoSQL there's special care and feeding to make it work, but that's the sacrifice high QPS requires. Performance: "Cloud Spanner queries have higher latency at low throughputs compared with a virtual machine running MySQL. Spanner's scalability, however, means that a high-capacity cluster can easily handle workloads that stretch our MySQL infrastructure." And p90s are consistently lower than 50 ms. Cost: "For very small or low-throughput databases Cloud Spanner is overkill [min ~$8,000/yr]...Cloud Spanner comparable or slightly cheaper based on the performance in our testing."  With Spanner hitting the market maybe that will help CockroachDB? Some older articles: Spanner - It's About Programmers Building Apps Using SQL Semantics At NoSQL ScaleGoogle Spanner's Most Surprising Revelation: NoSQL Is Out And NewSQL Is InF1 And Spanner Holistically ComparedHow Google Invented An Amazing Datacenter Network Only They Could Create

Don't miss all that the Internet has to say on Scalability, click below and become eventually consistent with all scalability knowledge (which means this post has many more items to read so please keep on reading)...

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Tuesday
Feb142017

Sponsored Post: Aerospike, GoCardless, Auth0, InnoGames, Contentful, Stream, Scalyr, VividCortex, MemSQL, InMemory.Net, Zohocorp

Who's Hiring?

  • GoCardless is building the payments network for the internet. We’re looking for DevOps Engineers to help scale our infrastructure so that the thousands of businesses using our service across Europe can take payments. You will be part of a small team that sets the direction of the GoCardless core stack. You will think through all the moving pieces and issues that can arise, and collaborate with every other team to drive engineering efforts in the company. Please apply here.

  • InnoGames is looking for Site Reliability Engineers. Do you not only want to play games, but help building them? Join InnoGames in Hamburg, one of the worldwide leading developers and publishers of online games. You are the kind of person who leaves systems in a better state than they were before. You want to hack on our internal tools based on django/python, as well as improving the stability of our 5000+ Debian VMs. Orchestration with Puppet is your passion and you would rather automate stuff than touch it twice. Relational Database Management Systems aren't a black hole for you? Then apply here!

  • Contentful is looking for a JavaScript BackEnd Engineer to join our team in their mission of getting new users - professional developers - started on our platform within the shortest time possible. We are a fun and diverse family of over 100 people from 35 nations with offices in Berlin and San Francisco, backed by top VCs (Benchmark, Trinity, Balderton, Point Nine), growing at an amazing pace. We are working on a content management developer platform that enables web and mobile developers to manage, integrate, and deliver digital content to any kind of device or service that can connect to an API. See job description.

Fun and Informative Events

  • DBTA Roundtable Webinar: Fast Data: The Key Ingredients to Real-Time Success. Thursday February 23, 2017 | 11:00 AM Pacific Time. Join Stephen Faig, Research Director Unisphere Research and DBTA, as he hosts a roundtable discussion covering new technologies that are coming to the forefront to facilitate real-time analytics, including in-memory platforms, self-service BI tools and all-flash storage arrays. Brian Bulkowski, CTO and Co-Founder of Aerospike, will be speaking along with presenters from Attunity and Hazelcast. Learn more and register.

  • Your event here!

Cool Products and Services

  • Working on a software product? Clubhouse is a project management tool that helps software teams plan, build, and deploy their products with ease. Try it free today or learn why thousands of teams use Clubhouse as a Trello alternative or JIRA alternative.

  • A note for .NET developers: You know the pain of troubleshooting errors with limited time, limited information, and limited tools. Log management, exception tracking, and monitoring solutions can help, but many of them treat the .NET platform as an afterthought. You should learn about Loupe...Loupe is a .NET logging and monitoring solution made for the .NET platform from day one. It helps you find and fix problems fast by tracking performance metrics, capturing errors in your .NET software, identifying which errors are causing the greatest impact, and pinpointing root causes. Learn more and try it free today.

  • Auth0 is the easiest way to add secure authentication to any app/website. With 40+ SDKs for most languages and frameworks (PHP, Java, .NET, Angular, Node, etc), you can integrate social, 2FA, SSO, and passwordless login in minutes. Sign up for a free 22 day trial. No credit card required. Get Started Now.

  • Build, scale and personalize your news feeds and activity streams with getstream.io. Try the API now in this 5 minute interactive tutorial. Stream is free up to 3 million feed updates so it's easy to get started. Client libraries are available for Node, Ruby, Python, PHP, Go, Java and .NET. Stream is currently also hiring Devops and Python/Go developers in Amsterdam. More than 400 companies rely on Stream for their production feed infrastructure, this includes apps with 30 million users. With your help we'd like to ad a few zeros to that number. Check out the job opening on AngelList.

  • Scalyr is a lightning-fast log management and operational data platform.  It's a tool (actually, multiple tools) that your entire team will love.  Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tabs and different services -- all of your logs, server metrics and alerts are in your browser and at your fingertips. .  Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, Grab, and InsideSales. Learn more today or see why Scalyr is a great alternative to Splunk.

  • InMemory.Net provides a Dot Net native in memory database for analysing large amounts of data. It runs natively on .Net, and provides a native .Net, COM & ODBC apis for integration. It also has an easy to use language for importing data, and supports standard SQL for querying data. http://InMemory.Net

  • VividCortex is a SaaS database monitoring product that provides the best way for organizations to improve their database performance, efficiency, and uptime. Currently supporting MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, and Amazon Aurora database types, it's a secure, cloud-hosted platform that eliminates businesses' most critical visibility gap. VividCortex uses patented algorithms to analyze and surface relevant insights, so users can proactively fix future performance problems before they impact customers.

  • MemSQL provides a distributed in-memory database for high value data. It's designed to handle extreme data ingest and store the data for real-time, streaming and historical analysis using SQL. MemSQL also cost effectively supports both application and ad-hoc queries concurrently across all data. Start a free 30 day trial here: http://www.memsql.com/

  • ManageEngine Applications Manager : Monitor physical, virtual and Cloud Applications.

  • www.site24x7.com : Monitor End User Experience from a global monitoring network. 

If any of these items interest you there's a full description of each sponsor below...

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Monday
Feb132017

Part 3 of Thinking Serverless —  Dealing with Data and Workflow Issues

This is a guest repost by Ken Fromm, a 3x tech co-founder — Vivid Studios, Loomia, and Iron.io. Here's Part 1 and 2

This post is the third of a four-part series of that will dive into developing applications in a serverless way. These insights are derived from several years working with hundreds of developers while they built and operated serverless applications and functions.
The platform was the serverless platform from Iron.io but these lessons can also apply to AWS LambdaGoogle Cloud FunctionsAzure Functions, and IBM’s OpenWhisk project.

Serverless Processing — Data Diagram

Thinking Serverless! The Data

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Friday
Feb102017

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For February 10th, 2017

Hey, it's HighScalability time:

 

It was a game of drones.

If you like this sort of Stuff then please support me on Patreon.

  • Half a trillion: Apple’s cash machine; 4,000-5,000: collected data points per adult in US; 10 million: gallons of gas UPS saves turning right; 2.27: Tesla 0-60 time; 40: complex steps to phone security; $2.3 billion: VR/AR investment in 2016; 18%: small players make up public cloud services market; 500°C: first chip to survive on Venus; 5 billion: ever notes; 375,000: images from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in public domain; 18 million: queries per minute against Facebook's Beringei database; 159: jobs per immigrant founder; 2.5 miles: whales breach for stronger signal; 10,000x: computers faster in 2035; 

  • Quotable Quotes: 
    • @martin_casado: Chinese factory replaces 90% of human workers with robots. Production rises by 250%, defects drop by 80%
    • Jure Leskovec: It’s [trolling] a spiral of negativity. Just one person waking up cranky can create a spark and, because of discussion context and voting, these sparks can spiral out into cascades of bad behavior. Bad conversations lead to bad conversations. People who get down-voted come back more, comment more and comment even worse.
    • sudhirj: The first concrete thing I learnt is this - implement pull first, it works 100% of the time, but may be inefficient with regards to time. Then implement push, it works 99% of the time but is much faster. But always have both running.
    • Tom Randall: California’s goal is considerable, but it’s dwarfed by Tesla’s ambition to single-handedly deliver 15 gigawatt hours 1 of battery storage a year by the 2020s—enough to provide several nuclear power plants–worth of electricity to the grid during peak hours of demand
    • @aphyr: Like I can't show that it's 100% correct, but so far I haven't found a way to break 3.4.0. Opens up a bunch of new use cases for MongoDB.
    • Azethoth666: The coming fast non-volatile memory architectures will be interesting. Everything will be in memory, but it will not go away. The infection cycle will have to clean up after itself or remain in the super fast volatile memory parts.
    • StorageMojo: In five years the specter of AWS cloud dominance will be a distant memory. The potential cloud market is enormous and we are, in effect, where the computer industry was in 1965. AWS will be successful, just not dominant. No tears for AWS.
    • @johnrobb: ~ 'Bots make public conversation a synthetic conversation. This makes it very difficult to know what consensus looks like.
    • W. Daniel Hillis: One day when I was having lunch with Richard Feynman, I mentioned to him that I was planning to start a company to build a parallel computer with a million processors. His reaction was unequivocal, “That is positively the dopiest idea I ever heard.”
    • @supershabam: Every database is a message bus if you try hard enough
    • mlechha: Boltzmann machines are a stochastic version of the Hopfield network. The training algorithm simply tries to minimize the KL divergence between the network activity and real data. So it was quite surprising when it turned out that the algorithm needed a "dream phase" as they call it. Francis Crick was inspired by this and proposed a theory of sleep.
    • @benjammingh: OH "Docker is Latin for a fire consisting predominantly of tires
    • UweSchmidt: "Real" bitcoining doesn't use services like coinbase; the coins are on your computer which you have to secure yourself. At least this is what you get told in cryptocurrency forums when one of the exchanges get hacked.
    • @axleyjc: 'Think of your System as a "Set of annotated request trees"' to manage microservice complexity @adrianco @ExpediaEng
    • @happy_roman: VW CEO on Tesla: "We'll win in the end, because of our abilities to scale & spread production."
    • aaron bell: Whichever cloud provider you pick based on your needs and their specific offering, I beg of you — please don’t try hybrid
    • zebra9978: Kubernetes introduces a lot of upfront complexity with little benefit sometimes. For example, kargo is failing with Flannel, but works with Calico (and so on and so forth). Bare metal deployments with kubernetes are a big pain because the load balancer setups have not been built for it - most kubernetes configs depend on cloud based load balancers (like ELB). In fact, the code for bare metal load balancer integration has not been fully written for kubernetes.
    • a13n: This is huge. 87-99% shared code between iOS and Android. Someday companies as big as Instagram won't need to have entire separate product teams for separate platforms.
    • David Rosenthal: I've always said that the chief threat to digital preservation is economic; digital information being very vulnerable to interruptions in the money supply. 
    • YZF: There are no channels [in C++], there are no lightweight/green threads, there's no standard HTTP library, no standard crypto libraries, no standard test framework. For certain classes of applications this makes Go significantly more productive and significantly less bug/error prone. Not to mention compile times.
    • jdwyah: Kinesis firehose to S3 and then query with Athena is pretty great. I've been very happy with the combo.
    • mcherm: Your example from RethinkDB really struck home to me. The idea that superior technology might lose out due to poor marketing or (in this case) a system that is optimized for the real world rather than being optimized for benchmarks really disturbs me.
    • Aras Pranckevičius: Moral of the story is: code that used to do something with five things years ago might turn out to be problematic when it has to deal with a hundred. And then a thousand. And a million. And a hundred billion. Kinda obvious, isn’t it?
    • kordless: I've come to a hypothesis that technology's purpose is to gently erode the concept of "self"
    • Microsoft: Close to a year ago we reset and focused on how we would actually get Git to scale to a single repo that could hold the entire Windows codebase (include estimates of growth and history) and support all the developers and build machines.
    • XorNot: I've run extensive benchmarks of Hadoop/HBase in Docker containers, and there is no performance difference. There is no stability difference (oh a node might crash? Welcome to thing which happens every day across a 300 machine cluster). Any clustered database setup should recover from failed nodes. Any regular relational database should be pretty close to automated failover with replicated backups and an alert email. Containerization doesn't make this better or worse, but it helps a lot with testing and deployment.
    • Dan Luu: When I was at Google, someone told me a story about a time that “they” completed a big optimization push only to find that measured page load times increased. When they dug into the data, they found that the reason load times had increased was that they got a lot more traffic from Africa after doing the optimizations. The team’s product went from being unusable for people with slow connections to usable, which caused so many users with slow connections to start using the product that load times actually increased.

  • There's a quintessential Silicon Valley moment in The Founder, a movie about the more interesting than expected McDonald's origin story. Brothers Mac and Dick McDonald kicked around from startup to startup. Nothing stuck. Drive-ins ruled the day, but were ripe for disruption. They were slow, used lots of servers, had too many options, attracted the wrong user base, and often delivered the wrong results. Metrics told them users mostly bought burgers, fries, and milkshakes. So the brothers decided to completely rethink how burgers were made and sold. What they came up with disrupted the food industry: a serverless drive-in based on a new low latency pipeline for making burgers called the Speedy System. An order was delivered within 30 seconds of being made; metrics helped control the latency distribution. Here's a short vignette showing how it was done. You'll love it. They traced the exact dimensions of the kitchen and conducted numerous simulations to figure out the optimal configuration. Users walk up to the window to order, so no servers. The API was narrow, only a few items could be ordered. Waste was reduced because utensils were done away with using innovative packaging design. Automation and a proprietary tool chain delivered a consistent product experience. And as often happens in Silicon Valley the founders were out maneuvered. While the McDonald brothers innovated the tech, Ray Kroc innovated the business model. Guess who ended up with everything? 

Don't miss all that the Internet has to say on Scalability, click below and become eventually consistent with all scalability knowledge (which means this post has many more items to read so please keep on reading)...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb082017

In-memory noSQL DBMS Client in Big Data Cluster

This is guest post by Sergei Sheinin, creator of the 2DX Web UI Database Cluster Framework, a low latency big data cluster with in-memory noSQL DBMS Web Browser client.

When I began working in the field of data management the disconnect between rigid structure of relational database tables and free form of documents managed by end users and their businesses stood out as a technical and managerial hurdle. On the one hand there were strict definitions of normalized relational database models and unstructured document formats on the other. Often the users in charge of changing document structures held organizational responsibilities far removed from database modeling or programming. On one occasion I was involved in a project where call center operators made on the fly decisions to update a document structure based on phone conversations with customers. Such updates had to be streamed into a relational back-end creating havoc in database structure and build of table columns.

In seeking a permanent solution I researched merits of Entity-Attribute-Value database schema and its applications. This technique proved successful in enabling front end users to modify relational-bound documents through performing updates to structure described in their metadata. However application of EAV raised its own issues, for example accommodation of updated document metadata at times required changes to definitions of the relational tables, attention of developers due to complexity of application layer in client-server interoperability, rapidly growing fact tables and performance of multiple join statements in select queries...

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Monday
Feb062017

Part 2 of Thinking Serverless —  Platform Level Issues 

This is a guest repost by Ken Fromm, a 3x tech co-founder — Vivid Studios, Loomia, and Iron.io. Here's Part 1.

Job processing at scale at high concurrency across a distributed infrastructure is a complicated feat. There are many components involvement — servers and controllers to process and monitor jobs, controllers to autoscale and manage servers, controllers to distribute jobs across the set of servers, queues to buffer jobs, and whole host of other components to ensure jobs complete and/or are retried, and other critical tasks that help maintain high service levels. This section peels back the layers a bit to provide insight into important aspects within the workings of a serverless platform.

Throughput

Throughput has always been the coin of the realm in computer processing — how quickly can events, requests, and workloads be processed. In the context of a serverless architecture, I’ll break throughput down further when discussing both latency and concurrency. At the base level, however, a serverless architecture does provide a more beneficial architecture than legacy applications and large web apps when it comes to throughput because it provide for far better resource utilization.

In a post by Travis Reeder on What is Serverless Computing and Why is it Important he addresses this topic.

Cost and optimal use of resources is a huge reason to do serverless. If you are a big company with a bunch of apps/APIs/microservices, you are currently running those things 24/7 and they are using resources 100% of the time, no matter if they are in use or not. With a FaaS infrastructure, instead of running apps 24/7, you can execute functions for any number of apps on demand and share all the same resources. Theoretically, you could reduce waste (idle time) to almost nothing while still providing fast response time. For a FaaS provider, this cost savings is passed up to the end user, the developer. For an enterprise, this can reduce capex and opex big time.

Another way of looking at it is that by moving to more discrete tasks that can run in universal platform with self-contained dependencies, tasks can run anytime anywhere across a serverless architecture. This is in contrast to a set of stand alone monolithic applications whereby operations teams have to spend significant cycles arbitrating which applications to scale, when, and how. (A serverless architecture can also increase throughput of application and feature development but much has been said in this regard as it relates to microservices and functions as a service.)

A Graph of Tasks and Projects

The graph below shows a set of tasks over time for a single account on the a serverless platform. The overarching yellow line indicates all tasks for an account and the other lines represent projects within the account. The project lines should be viewed as a microservice or a specific set of application functions. A few years ago, the total set would have been built as a traditional web application and hosted as a long-running application. As you can see, however, each service or set of functions has a different workload characteristic. Managing the aggregated set at an application level is far more complex than managing at the task level within a serverless platform, not to mention the resource savings by scaling commodity task servers as opposed to much more complex application servers.

All Tasks (Application View) vs Specific Tasks (Serverless View)

Latency

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Friday
Feb032017

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For February 3rd, 2017

Hey, it's HighScalability time:


 

We live in interesting times. F/A-18 Super Hornets Launch drone swarm.

If you like this sort of Stuff then please support me on Patreon.

  • 100 billion: words needed to train large networks; 73,653: hard drives at Backblaze; 300 GB hour: raw 4k footage; 1993: server running without rebooting; 64%: of money bet is on the Patriots; 950,000: insect species; 374,000: people employed by solar energy; 10: SpaceX launched Iridium Next satellites; $1 billion: Pokémon Go revenue; 1.2 Billion: daily active Facebook users; $7.17 billion: Apple service revenue; 45%: invest in private cloud this year; 

  • Quoteable Quotes:
    • @kevinmarks: #msvsummit @varungyan: Google's scale is about 10^10 RPCs per second in our microservices
    • language: "Order and chaos are not a properties of things, but relations of an observer to something observed - the ability for an observer to distinguish or specify pattern."
    • general_ai: Doing anything large on a machine without CUDA is a fool's errand these days. Get a GTX1080 or if you're not budget constrained, get a Pascal-based Titan. I work in this field, and I would not be able to do my job without GPUs -- as simple as that. You get 5-10x speedup right off the bat, sometimes more. A very good return on $600, if you ask me.
    • Al-Khwarizmi: Maybe I'm just not good at it and I'm a bit bitter, but my feeling is that this DL [deep learning] revolution is turning research in my area from a battle of brain power and ingenuity to a battle of GPU power and economic means
    • Space Rogue: pcaps or it didn't happen
    • LtAramaki: Everyone thinks they understand SOLID, and when they discuss it with other people who say they understand SOLID, they think the other party doesn't understand SOLID. Take it as you will. I call this the REST phenomenon.
    • evaryont: I don’t see this as them [Google] trying to “seize” a corner of the web, but rather Google taking it’s paranoia to the next level. If they can’t ever trust anyone in the system [Certificate Authority], why not create your own copy of the system that no one else can use? Being able to have perfect security from top to bottom, similar to their recently announced custom chips they put in every one of their servers.
    • David Press: The benefits of SDN are less about latency and uptime and more about flexibility and programmability.
    • Benedict Evans: Web 2.0 was followed not by anything one could call 3.0 but rather a basic platform shift...one can see the rise of machine learning as a fundamental new enabling technology...one can see quite a lot of hardware building blocks for augmented reality glasses...so the things that are emerging at the end of the mobile S-Curve might also be the beginning of the next curve. 
    • @kevinmarks: 20% people have 0 microservices in production - the rest are already running microservices
    • @joeerl: You've got to be joking - should be 1M clients/server at least
    • SikhGamer: We considered using RabbitMQ at work but ultimately opted for SNS and SQS instead. Main reason being that we cared about delivering value and functionality. Over the cost of yet managing another resource. And the problems of reliability become Amazon's problem. Not ours.
    • DataStax: A firewall is the simplest, most effective means to secure a database. Sounds complicated, but it’s so easy a government agent could do it.
    • @danielbryantuk: "If you think good architecture is expensive, try bad architecture" @KevlinHenney #OOP2017
    • Peter Dizikes: The new method [wisdom from crowds] is simple. For a given question, people are asked two things: What they think the right answer is, and what they think popular opinion will be. The variation between the two aggregate responses indicates the correct answer.
    • Philip Ball: Looked at this way, life can be considered as a computation that aims to optimize the storage and use of meaningful information. So living organisms can be regarded as entities that attune to their environment by using information to harvest energy and evade equilibrium.
    • Ed Sutton: The study shows the effectiveness of personality targeting by showing that marketers can attract up to 63% more clicks and up to 1400% more conversions in real-life advertising campaigns on Facebook when matching products and marketing messages to consumers’ personality characteristics.
    • Pete Trbovitch: Today’s mobile app ecosystem most closely resembles the PC shareware era. Apps that are offered free to download can carry an ad-supported income model, paid extended content, or simply bonus features to make the game easier to beat. The bar to entry is as low as it’s ever been 
    • @BenedictEvans: Global mainframe capacity went up 4-5x from 2000-2010. ‘Dead’ technology can have a very long half-life
    • @searls: I keep seeing teams spend months building custom infrastructure that could be done in 20 minutes with Heroku, Github, Travis. Please stop.
    • @mdudas: Starbucks says popularity of its mobile app has created long lines at pickup counters & led to drop in transactions.
    • @cdixon: Software eats networking: Nicira (NSX) will generate $1B revenue for VMWare this year
    • raubitsj: With respect to vibration: we [Google] found vibration caused by adjacent drives in some of our earlier drive chassis could cause off-track writes. This will cause future reads to the data to return uncorrectable read errors. Based on Backblaze's methodology they will likely call out these drives as failed based on SMART or RAID/ReedSolomon sync errors.

  • Well this is different. GitLab live streamed the handling of their GitLab.com Database Incident - 2017/01/31. It wasn't what you would call riveting, but that's an A+++ for transparency. They even took audience questions during the process. What went wrong? The snippets function was DDoSd which generated a large increase of data to the database so the slaves were not able to keep up with the replication state. WAL transaction files that were no longer in the production backlog were being requested so transaction logs were missed. They were starting the copy again from a known good state then things went sideways. They were lucky to have a 6 hour old backup and that's what they were restoring too. Sh*te happens, how the team handled it and their knowledge of the system should give users confidence going forward.

  • OK, this turned out to be false, but nobody doubted it could be true or where things are going in the future. Hotel ransomed by hackers as guests locked out of rooms.

  • Interesting use of Lambda by AirBnB. StreamAlert: Real-time Data Analysis and Alerting. There's an evolution from compiling software using libraries that must be in the source tree; running software that requires downloading lots of package from a repository; and now using services that require a lot of other services to be available in the environment for a complex pipeline to run. StreamAlert just doesn't use Lambda, it also uses Kinesis, SNS, S3, Cloudwatch, KMS, and IAM. Each step is both a deeper level of lock-in and an enabler of richer functionality. What does StreamAlert do?: a real-time data analysis framework with point-in-time alerting. StreamAlert is unique in that it’s serverless, scalable to TB’s/hour, infrastructure deployment is automated and it’s secure by default. 

Don't miss all that the Internet has to say on Scalability, click below and become eventually consistent with all scalability knowledge (which means this post has many more items to read so please keep on reading)...

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Thursday
Feb022017

Performance, Scalability, and High Availability: 3 Key Infrastructure Adaptability Requirements

This is a guest post by Tony Branson

Performance, scalability, and HA are often used interchangeably, and any confusion about them can result in unrealistic metrics and deployment delays. It is important to invest your time and understand the differences among these three approaches before you invest your money in resilient systems.

Performance

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Tuesday
Jan312017

Sponsored Post: InnoGames, Contentful, Stream, Loupe, New York Times, Scalyr, VividCortex, MemSQL, InMemory.Net, Zohocorp

Who's Hiring?

  • GoCardless is building the payments network for the internet. We’re looking for DevOps Engineers to help scale our infrastructure so that the thousands of businesses using our service across Europe can take payments. You will be part of a small team that sets the direction of the GoCardless core stack. You will think through all the moving pieces and issues that can arise, and collaborate with every other team to drive engineering efforts in the company. Please apply here.

  • InnoGames is looking for Site Reliability Engineers. Do you not only want to play games, but help building them? Join InnoGames in Hamburg, one of the worldwide leading developers and publishers of online games. You are the kind of person who leaves systems in a better state than they were before. You want to hack on our internal tools based on django/python, as well as improving the stability of our 5000+ Debian VMs. Orchestration with Puppet is your passion and you would rather automate stuff than touch it twice. Relational Database Management Systems aren't a black hole for you? Then apply here!

  • Contentful is looking for a JavaScript BackEnd Engineer to join our team in their mission of getting new users - professional developers - started on our platform within the shortest time possible. We are a fun and diverse family of over 100 people from 35 nations with offices in Berlin and San Francisco, backed by top VCs (Benchmark, Trinity, Balderton, Point Nine), growing at an amazing pace. We are working on a content management developer platform that enables web and mobile developers to manage, integrate, and deliver digital content to any kind of device or service that can connect to an API. See job description.

  • The New York Times is looking for a Software Engineer for its Delivery/Site Reliability Engineering team. You will also be a part of a team responsible for building the tools that ensure that the various systems at The New York Times continue to operate in a reliable and efficient manner. Some of the tech we use: Go, Ruby, Bash, AWS, GCP, Terraform, Packer, Docker, Kubernetes, Vault, Consul, Jenkins, Drone. Please send resumes to: technicaljobs@nytimes.com

Fun and Informative Events

  • DBTA Roundtable Webinar: Fast Data: The Key Ingredients to Real-Time Success. Thursday February 23, 2017 | 11:00 AM Pacific Time. Join Stephen Faig, Research Director Unisphere Research and DBTA, as he hosts a roundtable discussion covering new technologies that are coming to the forefront to facilitate real-time analytics, including in-memory platforms, self-service BI tools and all-flash storage arrays. Brian Bulkowski, CTO and Co-Founder of Aerospike, will be speaking along with presenters from Attunity and Hazelcast. Learn more and register.

  • Your event here!

Cool Products and Services

  • Auth0 is the easiest way to add secure authentication to any app/website. With 40+ SDKs for most languages and frameworks (PHP, Java, .NET, Angular, Node, etc), you can integrate social, 2FA, SSO, and passwordless login in minutes. Sign up for a free 22 day trial. No credit card required. Get Started Now.

  • Build, scale and personalize your news feeds and activity streams with getstream.io. Try the API now in this 5 minute interactive tutorial. Stream is free up to 3 million feed updates so it's easy to get started. Client libraries are available for Node, Ruby, Python, PHP, Go, Java and .NET. Stream is currently also hiring Devops and Python/Go developers in Amsterdam. More than 400 companies rely on Stream for their production feed infrastructure, this includes apps with 30 million users. With your help we'd like to ad a few zeros to that number. Check out the job opening on AngelList.

  • A note for .NET developers: You know the pain of troubleshooting errors with limited time, limited information, and limited tools. Log management, exception tracking, and monitoring solutions can help, but many of them treat the .NET platform as an afterthought. You should learn about Loupe...Loupe is a .NET logging and monitoring solution made for the .NET platform from day one. It helps you find and fix problems fast by tracking performance metrics, capturing errors in your .NET software, identifying which errors are causing the greatest impact, and pinpointing root causes. Learn more and try it free today.

  • Scalyr is a lightning-fast log management and operational data platform.  It's a tool (actually, multiple tools) that your entire team will love.  Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tabs and different services -- all of your logs, server metrics and alerts are in your browser and at your fingertips. .  Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, Grab, and InsideSales. Learn more today or see why Scalyr is a great alternative to Splunk.

  • InMemory.Net provides a Dot Net native in memory database for analysing large amounts of data. It runs natively on .Net, and provides a native .Net, COM & ODBC apis for integration. It also has an easy to use language for importing data, and supports standard SQL for querying data. http://InMemory.Net

  • VividCortex is a SaaS database monitoring product that provides the best way for organizations to improve their database performance, efficiency, and uptime. Currently supporting MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, MongoDB, and Amazon Aurora database types, it's a secure, cloud-hosted platform that eliminates businesses' most critical visibility gap. VividCortex uses patented algorithms to analyze and surface relevant insights, so users can proactively fix future performance problems before they impact customers.

  • MemSQL provides a distributed in-memory database for high value data. It's designed to handle extreme data ingest and store the data for real-time, streaming and historical analysis using SQL. MemSQL also cost effectively supports both application and ad-hoc queries concurrently across all data. Start a free 30 day trial here: http://www.memsql.com/

  • ManageEngine Applications Manager : Monitor physical, virtual and Cloud Applications.

  • www.site24x7.com : Monitor End User Experience from a global monitoring network. 

If any of these items interest you there's a full description of each sponsor below...

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Monday
Jan302017

Part 1 of Thinking Serverless — How New Approaches Address Modern Data Processing Needs 

This is a guest repost by Ken Fromm, a 3x tech co-founder — Vivid Studios, Loomia, and Iron.io.

First I should mention that of course there are servers involved. I’m just using the term that popularly describes an approach and a set of technologies that abstracts job processing and scheduling from having to manage servers. In a post written for ReadWrite back in 2012 on the future of software and applications, I described “serverless” as the following.

The phrase “serverless” doesn’t mean servers are no longer involved. It simply means that developers no longer have to think that much about them. Computing resources get used as services without having to manage around physical capacities or limits. Service providers increasingly take on the responsibility of managing servers, data stores and other infrastructure resources…Going serverless lets developers shift their focus from the server level to the task level. Serverless solutions let developers focus on what their application or system needs to do by taking away the complexity of the backend infrastructure.

At the time of that post, the term “serverless” was not all that well received, as evidenced by the comments on Hacker News. With the introduction of a number of serverless platforms and a significant groundswell on the wisdom of using microservices and event-driven architectures, that backlash has fortunately subsided.

A Sample Use Case

Since it is useful to have an example in mind as I discuss issues and concerns in developing a serverless app, I will use the example of a serverless pipeline for processing email and detecting spam. It is event-driven in that when an email comes in, it will spawn a series of jobs or functions intended to operate specifically on that email.

In this pipeline, you may have tasks that perform parsing of text, images, links, mail attributes, and other items or embedded objects in the email. Each item or element might have different processing requirements which in turn would entail one or more separate tasks as well as even its own processing pipeline or sequence. An image link, for example, might be analyzed across several different processing vectors to determine the content and veracity of the image. Depending on the message scoring and results — spam or not — various courses of actions will then be taken, which would likely, in turn, involve other serverless functions.

Thinking at the Task Level

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