Hot Scalability Links for February 4, 2010

Lots of cool stuff happening this week...

  1. Voldemort gets rebalancing. It's one thing to shard data to scale, it's a completely different level of functionality to manage those shards intelligently. Voldemort has stepped up by adding advanced rebalancing functionality: Dynamic addition of new nodes to the cluster; Deletion of nodes from cluster; Load balancing of data inside a cluster.
  2. Microsoft Finally Opens Azure for Business. Out of the blue Microsoft opens up their platform as a service service. Good to have more competition and we'll keep an eye out for experience reports.
  3. New details on LinkedIn architecture by Greg Linden. LinkedIn appears to only use caching minimally, preferring to spend their efforts and machine resources on making sure they can recompute computations quickly than on hiding poor performance behind caching layers.
  4. The end of SQL and relational databases?  by David Intersimone. For new projects, I believe, we have genuine non-relational alternatives on the table (pun intended).
  5. HipHop for PHP: Move Fast. When you make millions of widgets saving pennies per widget quickly adds up to real money. Facebook released HipHop, a PHP compiler, aimed at shaving off cycle of CPU and bytes of memory in production of their social widgets.
  6. What Second Life can teach your datacenter about scaling Web apps By Ian Wilkes. A really excellent article on scaling lessons from Second Life. This article will lay out some pragmatic advice for getting past this point in the real world of limited foresight and budgets. Hopefully more on this later.
  7. Fixing GSLB (Global Server load balancing) by Royans. A nice explanation of why DNS sucks for failover and Google's proposal to fix it (and get location information).
  8. HBase Architecture 101 - Write-ahead-Log by Lars George. Learn all about the esoterica of write-ahead-logging and how HBase uses it to survive server crashes.
  9. Plurk: Instant conversations using Comet. Plurk released instant notifications which allows hundred thousands of active users, who have post posted over 1 billion unique messages, to converse with only sub-second delays. Not only is this impressive, but as impressive is that they use Node.js and V8 to do it. This combination of technologies uses 10 times less memory than their previous solution. Not bad for javascript.
  10. The Builders' Manifesto by Umair Haque. If you are a worried about how to scale the future, this sounds pretty good to me. Here's the problem in a nutshell. What leaders "lead" are yesterday's organizations. But yesterday's organizations — from carmakers, to investment banks, to the healthcare system, to the energy industry, to the Senate itself — are broken. Today's biggest human challenge isn't leading broken organizations slightly better. It's building better organizations in the first place. It isn't about leadership: it's about "buildership", or what I often refer to as Constructivism.