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Should Apple Build their Own Cloud?

Wed, 03/30/2016 - 16:56

This is one of the most interesting build or buy questions of all time: should Apple build their own cloud? Or should Apple concentrate on what they do best and buy cloud services from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google?

It’s a decision a lot of companies have to make, just a lot bigger, and because it’s Apple, more fraught with an underlying need to make a big deal out of it.

This build or buy question was raised and thoroughly discussed across two episodes of the Exponent podcast, Low Hanging Fruit and Pickaxe Retailers, with hosts Ben Thompson and James Allworth, who regularly talk about business strategy with an emphasis on tech. A great podcast, highly recommended. There’s occasional wit and much wisdom.

Dark Clouds Over Apple’s Infrastructure Efforts
Categories: Architecture

Sponsored Post: TechSummit, zanox Group, Varnish, LaunchDarkly, Swrve, Netflix, Aerospike, TrueSight Pulse, Redis Labs, InMemory.Net, VividCortex, MemSQL, Scalyr, AiScaler, AppDynamics, ManageEngine, Site24x7

Tue, 03/29/2016 - 17:25

Who's Hiring?
  • The zanox Group are looking for a Senior Architect. We're looking for someone smart and pragmatic to help our engineering teams build fast, scalable and reliable solutions for our industry leading affiliate marketing platform. The role will involve a healthy mixture of strategic thinking and hands-on work - there are no ivory towers here! Our stack is diverse and interesting. You can apply for the role in either London or Berlin.

  • Swrve -- In November we closed a $30m funding round, and we’re now expanding our engineering team based in Dublin (Ireland). Our mobile marketing platform is powered by 8bn+ events a day, processed in real time. We’re hiring intermediate and senior backend software developers to join the existing team of thirty engineers. Sound like fun? Come join us.

  • Senior Service Reliability Engineer (SRE): Drive improvements to help reduce both time-to-detect and time-to-resolve while concurrently improving availability through service team engagement.  Ability to analyze and triage production issues on a web-scale system a plus. Find details on the position here: https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/434

  • Manager - Performance Engineering: Lead the world-class performance team in charge of both optimizing the Netflix cloud stack and developing the performance observability capabilities which 3rd party vendors fail to provide.  Expert on both systems and web-scale application stack performance optimization. Find details on the position here https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/860482

  • Software Engineer (DevOps). You are one of those rare engineers who loves to tinker with distributed systems at high scale. You know how to build these from scratch, and how to take a system that has reached a scalability limit and break through that barrier to new heights. You are a hands on doer, a code doctor, who loves to get something done the right way. You love designing clean APIs, data models, code structures and system architectures, but retain the humility to learn from others who see things differently. Apply to AppDynamics

  • Software Engineer (C++). You will be responsible for building everything from proof-of-concepts and usability prototypes to deployment- quality code. You should have at least 1+ years of experience developing C++ libraries and APIs, and be comfortable with daily code submissions, delivering projects in short time frames, multi-tasking, handling interrupts, and collaborating with team members. Apply to AppDynamics
Fun and Informative Events
  • Discover the secrets of scalability in IT. The cream of the Amsterdam and Berlin tech scene are coming together during TechSummit, hosted by LeaseWeb for a great day of tech talk. Find out how to build systems that will cope with constant change and create agile, successful businesses. Speakers from SoundCloud, Fugue, Google, Docker and other leading tech companies will share tips, techniques and the latest trends in a day of interactive presentations. But hurry. Tickets are limited and going fast! No wonder, since they are only €25 including lunch and beer.

  • Varnish Summits are a worldwide event series where Varnish customers, partners, open source users and other enthusiasts come together to network and learn.  At the summits Varnish Software's experts and core developers do a deep dive into technical best practices and offer workshops for both new and advanced Varnish users.

  • Are you developing - or thinking about creating - UDFs to use with Aerospike? Do you want to get the most out of using UDFs within Aerospike? If so, register for our webinar on April 13th at 11am PT / 2pm ET to hear Sergey Zhemzhitsky, CTO of CleverDATA (a division of LANIT, a leading system integrator in Russia) walk through real-life use cases pertaining to UDFs – namely, how his team implemented Aerospike’s UDFs at CleverDATA. Sign up here to reserve your seat!
Cool Products and Services
  • Dev teams are using LaunchDarkly’s Feature Flags as a Service to get unprecedented control over feature launches. LaunchDarkly allows you to cleanly separate code deployment from rollout. We make it super easy to enable functionality for whoever you want, whenever you want. See how it works.

  • TrueSight Pulse is SaaS IT performance monitoring with one-second resolution, visualization and alerting. Monitor on-prem, cloud, VMs and containers with custom dashboards and alert on any metric. Start your free trial with no code or credit card.

  • Turn chaotic logs and metrics into actionable data. Scalyr is a tool your entire team will love. Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tools and tabs. Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, 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 measures your database servers’ work (queries), not just global counters. If you’re not monitoring query performance at a deep level, you’re missing opportunities to boost availability, turbocharge performance, ship better code faster, and ultimately delight more customers. VividCortex is a next-generation SaaS platform that helps you find and eliminate database performance problems at scale.

  • 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/

  • aiScaler, aiProtect, aiMobile Application Delivery Controller with integrated Dynamic Site Acceleration, Denial of Service Protection and Mobile Content Management. Also available on Amazon Web Services. Free instant trial, 2 hours of FREE deployment support, no sign-up required. http://aiscaler.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...

Categories: Architecture

How we implemented the video player in Mail.Ru Cloud

Mon, 03/28/2016 - 16:56

We’ve recently added video streaming service to Mail.Ru Cloud. Development started with contemplating the new feature as an all-purpose “Swiss Army knife” that would both play files of any format and work on any device with the Cloud available. Video content uploaded to the Cloud mostly falls into one of the two categories: “movies/series” and “users’ videos”. The latter are the videos that users shoot with their phones and cameras, and these videos are most versatile in terms of formats and codecs. For many reasons, it is often a problem to watch these videos on other end-user devices without prior normalization: a required codec is missing, or the file size is too big to download, or whatever.

In this article, I’ll go into detail to explain how video playback works in Mail.Ru Cloud, and how we made the Cloud player “omnivorous” and ensured support on a maximum number of end-user devices.

Storing and Caching: two approaches
Categories: Architecture

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For March 25th, 2016

Fri, 03/25/2016 - 16:57

Did you know there's a field called computational aesthetics? Neither did I. It's cool though.

 

If you like this sort of Stuff then please consider offering your support on Patreon.
  • 51%: of billion-dollar startups founded by immigrants; 2.8 billion: Twitter metric ingestion service writes per minute; 1 billion: Urban Airship push notifications a day; 1.5 billion: Slack messages sent per month; 35 million: server nodes in the world; 10: more regions will be added to Google Cloud;  697 million: WeChat active monthly users; 

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • Dark Territory: When officials in the Air Force or the NSA neglected to let Microsoft (or Cisco, Google, Intel, or any number of other firms) know about vulnerabilities in its software, when they left a hole unplugged so they could exploit the vulnerability in a Russian, Chinese, Iranian, or some other adversary’s computer system, they also left American citizens open to the same exploitations—whether by wayward intelligence agencies or by cyber criminals, foreign spies, or terrorists who happened to learn about the unplugged hole, too. 
    • @xaprb: If you adopt a microservices architecture with 1000x more things to monitor, you should not expect your monitoring cost to stay the same.
    • The Swrve Monetization Report 2016: almost half of all the revenue generated in mobile gaming comes from just 0.19 percent of users.
    • Nassim Taleb: Now some empiricism. Consider that almost all tech companies "in the tails" were not started by "funding". Take companies you are familiar with: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook. These companies started with risk-taking. Funding came in small amounts, way later.
    • @leegomes: In a big shift, Google says a go-anywhere self-driving car might not be ready for 30 years.
    • Google’s Eric Schmidt: Machine learning will be basis of ‘every huge IPO’ in five years.
    • @brendangregg: "Memory bandwidth is the number one issue we see today" Denis at Facebook
    • @ogrisel: PostgreSQL 9.6 will support parallel aggregation! TPC-H Q1 @ 100GB benchmark shows linear scaling up to 30 workers 
    • @sarah_edo: The hardest part of being a developer isn't the code, it's learning that the entire internet is put together with peanut butter and goblins.
    • @beaucronin: "Cryptocurrencies are an emergent property of the Internet – almost a fifth protocol"
    • Thomas Frey: We are moving toward an era of megaprojects. We’ll finish the Pan-American Highway with a 25-mile bridge over the Darien Gap in Panama. 
    • @samphippen: “Do you expect me to talk?” “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to be willing to relocate to san francisco"
    • @brendanbaker: Outside of the core people, who actually know what they're doing, AI is talked about like gamification was three years ago.
    • @RichRogersHDS: Did you know? The collective noun for a group of programmers is a merge-conflict." - @omervk
    • @jbeda: This is how you know Google is serious about cloud. Real money on real facilities. 
    • Farhad Manjoo: The lesson so far in the on-demand world is that Uber is the exception, not the norm. Uber, but for Uber — and not much else.
    • @DKThomp: Airbnb woulda made a killing in 1900: One third of urban families used to make 10%+ of their income from "lodgers" 
    • @AstroKatie: "We can make 'smart drones'!" "Your chatbot became a Nazi in like a day." "OK good point."
    • @adrianco: I agree GCP are setup for next gen apps, think they are missing out on where most of the $ are being spent in the short term.
    • @EdwardTufte: Like book publishers and Silicon Valley, the further the distance from content production, the greater the money. 
    • Biz Carson: Slack grew from 80 to 385 employees in 14 months
    • Chip Overclock®: One of those things is being evidence-based. Don't guess. Test. Measure. Look and see. Ask. If you can avoid guessing, do so.

  • Impressive demo of the new smaller, less dorky looking Meta augmented reality headset. Here's a hands on report. The development kit is $949. This most likely will be the new app store level opportunity so it might be smart to get on it now. The Gold Rush phase is still in the future. The uses are obvious to anyone who reads Science Fiction. This is a TED talk, so of course no details on performance, etc. What are the backend infrastructure opportunities? Hopefully they'll keep all that open instead of building another walled garden.

  • Is artificial intelligence ready to rule the world? IMHO: No. You would need a large training set. The problem is we have so few good examples of ruling the world successfully. You could create an artificial world in VR with a simulated world to generate training data, but that's just another spin on in the long history of Utopian thinking. We should probably learn to govern ourselves first before we pitch it over to an AI.

  • "It's better to have a media strategy than a security strategy." That's Greg Ferro commenting in an episode of Network Break on Home Depot's paltry $19.5 million fine for their massive 2014 data breach. Why pay for security when there's no downside? It's not like people stopped shopping at Home Depot. 

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)...

Categories: Architecture

What does Etsy's architecture look like today?

Wed, 03/23/2016 - 16:56

This is a guest post by Christophe Limpalair based on an interview (video) he did with Jon Cowie, Staff Operations Engineer and Breaksmith @ Etsy.

Etsy has been a fascinating platform to watch, and study, as they transitioned from a new platform to a stable and well-established e-commerce engine. That shift required a lot of cultural change, but the end result is striking.

In case you haven't seen it already, there's a post from 2012 that outlines their growth and shift. But what has happened since then? Are they still innovating? How are engineering decisions made, and how does this shape their engineering culture? These are questions we explored with Jon Cowie, a Staff Operations Engineer at Etsy, and the author of Customizing Chef, in a new podcast episode.

What does Etsy's architecture look like nowadays?
Categories: Architecture

To Compress or Not to Compress, that was Uber's Question

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 16:57

Uber faced a challenge. They store a lot of trip data. A trip is represented as a 20K blob of JSON. It doesn't sound like much, but at Uber's growth rate saving several KB per trip across hundreds of millions of trips per year would save a lot of space. Even Uber cares about being efficient with disk space, as long as performance doesn't suffer. 

This highlights a key difference between linear and hypergrowth. Growing linearly means the storage needs would remain manageable.  At hypergrowth Uber calculated when storing raw JSON, 32 TB of storage would last than than 3 years for 1 million trips, less than 1 year for 3 million trips, and less 4 months for 10 million trips.

Uber went about solving their problem in a very measured and methodical fashion: they tested the hell out of it. The goal of all their benchmarking was to find a solution that both yielded a small size and a short time to encode and decode.

The whole experience is described in loving detail in the article: How Uber Engineering Evaluated JSON Encoding and Compression Algorithms to Put the Squeeze on Trip Data. They came up with a matrix of 10 encoding protocols (Thrift, Protocol Buffers, Avro, MessagePack, etc) and 3 compression libaries (Snappy, zlib, Bzip2). The target environment was Python. Uber went to an IDL approach to define and verify their JSON protocol, so they ended up only considering IDL solutions. 

The conclusion: MessagePack with zlib.  Encoding time: 4231 ms. Decoding: 715 ms. There was a 78% reduction in size relative to the JSON zlib combination.

The result: 1 TB disk will now last almost a year (347 days), compared to a month (30 days) without compression. Uber now has enough space to last over 30 years compared to just under 1 year before. That's a huge win for a relatively simple change. Hopefully there's a common library handling all the messaging so this change could be completely transparent to all the developers. Uber also noted that smaller packet sizes mean less data transiting through the system which means less processing time which means less hardware is needed. Another big win.

Something to consider: don't use JSON for messaging. The compression/decompression times are still dog slow. If you are going to use an IDL, which every grown up project eventually moves to for reliability and security reasons, consider not using JSON for messaging. Go for a binary protocol from the start. The performance savings can be dramatic. A lot of the performance drain comes from serialization/deserialization churning through memory and that can be reduced greatly by not using text based protocols like JSON. JSON is convenient, but it's also hugely wasteful at scale. 

Categories: Architecture

To Compress or Not to Compress, that was Uber's Question

Mon, 03/21/2016 - 16:57

Uber faced a challenge. They store a lot of trip data. A trip is represented as a 20K blob of JSON. It doesn't sound like much, but at Uber's growth rate saving several KB per trip across hundreds of millions of trips per year would save a lot of space. Even Uber cares about being efficient with disk space, as long as performance doesn't suffer. 

This highlights a key difference between linear and hypergrowth. Growing linearly means the storage needs would remain manageable.  At hypergrowth Uber calculated when storing raw JSON, 32 TB of storage would last than than 3 years for 1 million trips, less than 1 year for 3 million trips, and less 4 months for 10 million trips.

Uber went about solving their problem in a very measured and methodical fashion: they tested the hell out of it. The goal of all their benchmarking was to find a solution that both yielded a small size and a short time to encode and decode.

The whole experience is described in loving detail in the article: How Uber Engineering Evaluated JSON Encoding and Compression Algorithms to Put the Squeeze on Trip Data. They came up with a matrix of 10 encoding protocols (Thrift, Protocol Buffers, Avro, MessagePack, etc) and 3 compression libaries (Snappy, zlib, Bzip2). The target environment was Python. Uber went to an IDL approach to define and verify their JSON protocol, so they ended up only considering IDL solutions. 

The conclusion: MessagePack with zlib.  Encoding time: 4231 ms. Decoding: 715 ms. There was a 78% reduction in size relative to the JSON zlib combination.

The result: 1 TB disk will now last almost a year (347 days), compared to a month (30 days) without compression. Uber now has enough space to last over 30 years compared to just under 1 year before. That's a huge win for a relatively simple change. Hopefully there's a common library handling all the messaging so this change could be completely transparent to all the developers. Uber also noted that smaller packet sizes mean less data transiting through the system which means less processing time which means less hardware is needed. Another big win.

Something to consider: don't use JSON for messaging. The compression/decompression times are still dog slow. If you are going to use an IDL, which every grown up project eventually moves to for reliability and security reasons, consider not using JSON for messaging. Go for a binary protocol from the start. The performance savings can be dramatic. A lot of the performance drain comes from serialization/deserialization churning through memory and that can be reduced greatly by not using text based protocols like JSON. JSON is convenient, but it's also hugely wasteful at scale. 

Categories: Architecture

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For March 18th, 2016

Fri, 03/18/2016 - 16:56

We come in peace. 5,000 years of battles mapped from Wikipedia. Maybe not.

 

If you like this sort of Stuff then please consider offering your support on Patreon.

 

  • 500 petabytes: data stored in Dropbox; 8.5 kB: amount of drum memory in an IBM 650; JavaScript: most popular programming language in the world (OMG); $20+ billion: Twitch in 2020; Two years: time it took to fill the Mediterranean; 

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • Dark Territory: The other bit of luck was that the Serbs had recently given their phone system a software upgrade. The Swiss company that sold them the software gave U.S. intelligence the security codes.
    • Alec Ross~ The principle political binary of the 20th century is left versus right. In the 21st century the principle political binary is open versus closed. The real tension both inside and outside countries are those that embrace more open economic, political and cultural systems versus those that are more closed. Looking forward to the next 20 years the states and societies that are more open are those that will compete and succeed more effectively in tomorrows industry.
    • @chrismaddern"Population size: 1. Facebook 2. China

Jeff Dean on Large-Scale Deep Learning at Google

Wed, 03/16/2016 - 16:56

If you can’t understand what’s in information then it’s going to be very difficult to organize it.

 

This quote is from Jeff Dean, currently a Wizard, er, Fellow in Google’s Systems Infrastructure Group. It’s taken from his recent talk: Large-Scale Deep Learning for Intelligent Computer Systems.

Since AlphaGo vs Lee Se-dol, the modern version of John Henry’s fatal race against a steam hammer, has captivated the world, as has the generalized fear of an AI apocalypse, it seems like an excellent time to gloss Jeff’s talk. And if you think AlphaGo is good now, just wait until it reaches beta.

Jeff is referring, of course, to Google’s infamous motto: organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Historically we might associate ‘organizing’ with gathering, cleaning, storing, indexing, reporting, and searching data. All the stuff early Google mastered. With that mission accomplished Google has moved on to the next challenge.

Now organizing means understanding.

Some highlights from the talk for me:

  • Real neural networks are composed of hundreds of millions of parameters. The skill that Google has is in how to build and rapidly train these huge models on large interesting datasets, apply them to real problems, and then quickly deploy the models into production across a wide variery of different platforms (phones, sensors, clouds, etc.).

  • The reason neural networks didn’t take off in the 90s was a lack of computational power and a lack of large interesting data sets. You can see how Google’s natural love of algorithms combined with their vast infrastructure and ever enlarging datasets created a perfect storm for AI at Google.

  • A critical difference between Google and other companies is that when they started the Google Brain project in 2011, they didn’t keep their research in the ivory tower of a separate research arm of the company. The project team worked closely with other teams like Android, Gmail, and photos to actually improve those properties and solve hard problems. That’s rare and a good lesson for every company. Apply research by working with your people.

  • This idea is powerful: They’ve learned they can take a whole bunch of subsystems, some of which may be machine learned, and replace it with a much more general end-to-end machine learning piece. Often when you have lots of complicated subsystems there’s usually a lot of complicated code to stitch them all together. It’s nice if you can replace all that with data and very simple algorithms.

  • Machine learning will only get better, faster. A paraphrased quote from Jeff: The machine learning community moves really really fast. People publish a paper and within a week lots of research groups throughout the world have downloaded the paper, have read it, dissected it, understood it, implemented some extensions to it, and published their own extensions to it on arXiv.org. It’s different than a lot other parts of computer science where people would submit a paper, and six months later a conference would decide to accept it or not, and then it would come out in the conference proceeding three months later. By then it’s a year. Getting that time down from a year to a week is amazing.

  • Techniques can be combined in magical ways. The Translate Team wrote an app using computer vision that recognizes text in a viewfinder. It translates the text and then superimposes the translated text on the image itself. Another example is writing image captions. It combines image recognition with the Sequence-to-Sequence neural network. You can only imagine how all these modular components will be strung together in the future.

  • Models with impressive functionality are small enough run on Smartphones. For technology to disappear intelligence must move to the edge. It can’t be dependent on network umbilical cord connected to a remote cloud brain. Since TensorFlow models can run on a phone, that might just be possible.

  • If you’re not considering how to use deep neural nets to solve your data understanding problems, you almost certainly should be. This line is taken directly from the talk, but it’s truth is abundantly clear after you watch hard problem after hard problem made tractable using deep neural nets.

Jeff always gives great talks and this one is no exception. It’s straightforward, interesting, in-depth, and relatively easy to understand. If you are trying to get a handle on Deep Learning or just want to see what Google is up to, then it's a must see.

There’s not a lot of fluff in the talk. It’s packed. So I’m not sure how much value add this article will give you. So if you want to just watch the video I’ll understand.

As often happens with Google talks there’s this feeling you get that we’ve only been invited into the lobby of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. In front of us is a locked door and we're not invited in. What’s beyond that door must be full of wonders. But even Willy Wonka’s lobby is interesting.

So let’s learn what Jeff has to say about the future…it’s fascinating...

What is Meant by Understanding?
Categories: Architecture

Sponsored Post: zanox Group, Varnish, LaunchDarkly, Swrve, Netflix, Aerospike, TrueSight Pulse, Redis Labs, InMemory.Net, VividCortex, MemSQL, Scalyr, AiScaler, AppDynamics, ManageEngine, Site24x7

Tue, 03/15/2016 - 16:56

Who's Hiring?
  • The zanox Group are looking for a Senior Architect. We're looking for someone smart and pragmatic to help our engineering teams build fast, scalable and reliable solutions for our industry leading affiliate marketing platform. The role will involve a healthy mixture of strategic thinking and hands-on work - there are no ivory towers here! Our stack is diverse and interesting. You can apply for the role in either London or Berlin.

  • Swrve -- In November we closed a $30m funding round, and we’re now expanding our engineering team based in Dublin (Ireland). Our mobile marketing platform is powered by 8bn+ events a day, processed in real time. We’re hiring intermediate and senior backend software developers to join the existing team of thirty engineers. Sound like fun? Come join us.

  • Senior Service Reliability Engineer (SRE): Drive improvements to help reduce both time-to-detect and time-to-resolve while concurrently improving availability through service team engagement.  Ability to analyze and triage production issues on a web-scale system a plus. Find details on the position here: https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/434

  • Manager - Performance Engineering: Lead the world-class performance team in charge of both optimizing the Netflix cloud stack and developing the performance observability capabilities which 3rd party vendors fail to provide.  Expert on both systems and web-scale application stack performance optimization. Find details on the position here https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/860482

  • Software Engineer (DevOps). You are one of those rare engineers who loves to tinker with distributed systems at high scale. You know how to build these from scratch, and how to take a system that has reached a scalability limit and break through that barrier to new heights. You are a hands on doer, a code doctor, who loves to get something done the right way. You love designing clean APIs, data models, code structures and system architectures, but retain the humility to learn from others who see things differently. Apply to AppDynamics

  • Software Engineer (C++). You will be responsible for building everything from proof-of-concepts and usability prototypes to deployment- quality code. You should have at least 1+ years of experience developing C++ libraries and APIs, and be comfortable with daily code submissions, delivering projects in short time frames, multi-tasking, handling interrupts, and collaborating with team members. Apply to AppDynamics
Fun and Informative Events
  • Varnish Summits are a worldwide event series where Varnish customers, partners, open source users and other enthusiasts come together to network and learn.  At the summits Varnish Software's experts and core developers do a deep dive into technical best practices and offer workshops for both new and advanced Varnish users.

  • Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) hosts a 1-hour live roundtable webcast on Thursday, April 7 at 11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST on the topic of "Leveraging Big Data with Hadoop, NoSQL and RDBMS". Presenters include Brian Bulkowski, CTO and Co-founder of Aerospike; Kevin Petrie, Sr. Director & Technology Evangelist at Attunity; and Reiner Kappenberger, Global Product Manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Security. Sign up here to reserve your seat!
Cool Products and Services
  • Dev teams are using LaunchDarkly’s Feature Flags as a Service to get unprecedented control over feature launches. LaunchDarkly allows you to cleanly separate code deployment from rollout. We make it super easy to enable functionality for whoever you want, whenever you want. See how it works.

  • TrueSight Pulse is SaaS IT performance monitoring with one-second resolution, visualization and alerting. Monitor on-prem, cloud, VMs and containers with custom dashboards and alert on any metric. Start your free trial with no code or credit card.

  • Turn chaotic logs and metrics into actionable data. Scalyr is a tool your entire team will love. Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tools and tabs. Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, 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 measures your database servers’ work (queries), not just global counters. If you’re not monitoring query performance at a deep level, you’re missing opportunities to boost availability, turbocharge performance, ship better code faster, and ultimately delight more customers. VividCortex is a next-generation SaaS platform that helps you find and eliminate database performance problems at scale.

  • 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/

  • aiScaler, aiProtect, aiMobile Application Delivery Controller with integrated Dynamic Site Acceleration, Denial of Service Protection and Mobile Content Management. Also available on Amazon Web Services. Free instant trial, 2 hours of FREE deployment support, no sign-up required. http://aiscaler.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...

Categories: Architecture

Snuggling Up to Papers We Love - What's Your Favorite Paper?

Mon, 03/14/2016 - 17:13

From a talk by @aysylu22 at QCon London on modern computer science applied to distributed systems in practice.

 

"CS research is timeless." Lessons learned are always pertinent. @aysylu22 #qconlondon

— Paula Walter (@paulacwalter) March 8, 2016

 

There has been a renaissance in the appreciation of computer science papers as a relevant source of wisdom for building today's complex systems. If you're having a problem there's likely some obscure paper written by a researcher twenty years ago that just might help. Which isn't to say there aren't problems with papers, but there's no doubt much of the technology we take for granted today had its start in a research paper. If you want to push the edge it helps to learn from primary research that has helped define the edge.

If you would like to share your love of papers, be proud, you are not alone:

What's Your Favorite Paper? 

If you ask your average person they'll have a favorite movie, book, song, or Marvel Universe character, but it's unlikely they'll have have a favorite paper. If you've made it this far that's probably not you.

My favorite paper of all time is without a doubt SEDA: An Architecture for Well-Conditioned, Scalable Internet Services. After programming real-time distributed systems for a long time I was looking to solve a complex work scheduling problem in a resource constrained embedded system. I stumbled upon this paper and it blew my mind. While I determined that the task scheduling latency of SEDA wouldn't be appropriate for my problem, the paper gave me a whole new way to look out how programs were structured and I used those insights on many later projects.

If you have another source of papers or a favorite paper please feel free to share.

Related Articles
Categories: Architecture

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For March 11th, 2016

Fri, 03/11/2016 - 17:56

The circle of life. Traffic flow through microservices at Netflix (Rob Young)

 

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  • 400Gbps: DDoS attack; 50,000: frames per second Mythbusters films in HD; 3,900: pages Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks; 1 terabit: satellites deliver in-flight Internet access at hundreds of megabits per second; 18%: overall mobile market revenue increase; 21 TB: amount of date the BBC writes daily to S3; $300 million: Snapchat revenue; 

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • Dark Territory:  Yes, he told them, the NORAD computer was supposed to be closed, but some officers wanted to work from home on the weekend, so they’d leave a port open.
    • @davefarley77: If heartbeat was a clock cycle, retrieving data from fastest SSD is equivalent to crossing whole of London on foot  @__Abigor__ #qconlondon
    • @fiddur: "Legacy is everything you wrote before lunch." - @russmiles #qconlondon
    • @BarryNL: Persistent memory could be the biggest change to computer architecture in 50 years. #qconlondon
    • @mpaluchowski: "You can tell which services are too big. That's the ones developers don't want to work with." #qconlondon @SteveGodwin
    • @danielbryantuk: "I'm not going to say how big microservices should be, but at the BBC we have converged on about 600 lines of Java" @SteveGodwin #qconlondon
    • Steve Kerr~ What we have to get back to is simple, simpl, simple. That's good enough. The leads to the spectacular. You can't try the spectacular without doing the simple first. Our guys are trying to make the spectacular plays when we just have to make the easy ones. If we don't get that cleaned up we're in big trouble.
    • Dark Territory: a disturbing thought smacked a few analysts inside NSA: Anything we’re doing to them, they can do to us.
    • @andyhedges: ~100k TPS with JDK SSL, then ~500k TPS with netty equivalent on same box. Netty fully uses the server's CPU resources too. #qconlondon
    • Paul Marks: Humanoid robots can’t outsource their brains to the cloud due to network latency
    • @manumarchal: O.5TB generated during each flight by jet engines sensors, used for optimising fuel consumption and accelerating repair #Iot #qconlondon
    • fhe: It's both exciting and eerie [AlphaGo]. It's like another intelligent species opening up a new way of looking at the world (at least for this very specific domain). and much to our surprise, it's a new way that's more powerful than ours.
    • @jaykreps: "Part of using Google's Cloud is convincing yourself that Google will invest 5+ years in really entering the market"
    • DEAN TAKAHASHI: With just 3 games, Supercell made $924M in profits on $2.3B in revenue in 2015.
    • @anne_e_currie: Even an anti-wrinkle cream liked my tweet about containers at #qconlondon. It's good to see #container appreciation has spread so wide.
    • @KingPrawnBalls: Failure is inevitable. What matters is that u learn from it. Never fail the same way twice! #qconlondon Josh Evans, Director Ops Eng Netflix
    • Quiizlet: Everyone involved unanimously picked GCP. It came down to this: we believe the core technology is better.
    • @KevlinHenney: "I have to change the word 'compassion' to 'derisking the people problem' when dealing with upper management." — @kkirk #QConLondon
    • People have said so much good stuff this week it can't all fit in the summary. Please read the whole post to see all the Quotable Quotes.

  • Strange to think the impact movies have had on national security policy. Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War. Ronald Reagan after watching the movie WarGames asked if someone could hack the military. The answer: Yes, the problem is much worse than you think. Did anything happen? Nope. People didn't understand computers back then so they didn't think there was a threat (or opportunity in war). A stance that wouldn't change for over a decade. Admiral John "Mike" McConnell watched Sneakers and came up with a NSA mission statement from a soliloquy in the movie: The world isn’t run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It’s run by ones and zeroes, little bits of data. It’s all just electrons. . . . There’s a war out there, old friend, a world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information: what we see and hear, how we work, what we think. It’s all about the information. 

  • Think about this: Amazon launched S3 on March 14, 2006 and with it they started the cloud revolution. That's just ten years ago! James Hamilton in A Decade of Innovation takes a little trip down memory lane. He lists year by year the major AWS product releases and it's impressive. Contributing to this speed may be how decisions are made: Another interesting aspect of AWS is how product or engineering debates are handled. These arguments come up frequently and are as actively debated at AWS as at any company. These decisions might even be argued with more fervor and conviction at AWS but its data that closes the debates and decisions are made remarkably quickly. At AWS instead of having a “strategy” and convincing customers that is what they really need, we deliver features we find useful ourselves and we invest quickly in services that customers adopt broadly. Good services become great services fast.

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)...

Categories: Architecture

The Simple Leads to the Spectacular

Wed, 03/09/2016 - 17:56

 

Steve Kerr, head coach of the record setting Golden State Warriors (my local Bay Area NBA basketball team), has this to say about what the team needs to do to get back on track (paraphrased):

What we have to get back to is simple, simple, simple. That's good enough. The simple leads to the spectacular. You can't try the spectacular without doing the simple first. Make the simple pass. Our guys are trying to make the spectacular plays when we just have to make the easy ones. If we don't get that cleaned up we're in big trouble. 

If you play the software game, doesn't this resonate somewhere deep down in your git repository?

If you don't like basketball or despise sports metaphors this is a good place to stop reading. The idea that "The simple leads to the spectacular" is probably the best TLDR of Keep it Simple Stupid I've ever heard.

Software development is fundamentally a team sport. It usually takes a while for this lesson to pound itself into the typical lone wolf developer brain. After experiencing a stack of failed projects I know it took an embarrassingly long time for me to notice this pattern. It's one of those truths that gradually reveals itself over time...

Categories: Architecture

Performance Tuning Apache Storm at Keen IO

Tue, 03/08/2016 - 17:56


Hi, I'm Manu Mahajan and I'm a software engineer with Keen IO's Platform team. Over the past year I've focused on improving our query performance and scalability. I wanted to share some things we've learned from this experience in a series of posts.

Today, I'll describe how we're working to guarantee consistent performance in a multi-tenant environment built on top of Apache Storm.

tl;dr we were able to make query response times significantly more consistent and improve high percentile query-duration by 6x by making incremental changes that included isolating heterogenous workloads, making I/O operations asynchronous, and using Storm’s queueing more efficiently.

High Query Performance Variability

Keen IO is an analytics API that allows customers to track and send event data to us and then query it in interesting ways. We have thousands of customers with varying data volumes that can range from a handful of events a day to upwards of 500 million events per day. We also support different analysis types like counts, percentiles, select-uniques, funnels, and more, some of which are more expensive to compute than others. All of this leads to a spectrum of query response times ranging from a few milliseconds to a few minutes.

The software stack that processes these queries is built on top of Apache Storm (and Cassandra and many other layers). Queries run on a shared storm cluster and share CPU, memory, IO, and network resources. An expensive query can easily consume physical resources and slow down simpler queries that would otherwise be quick.

If a simple query takes a long time to execute it creates a really bad experience for our customers. Many of them use our service to power real-time dashboards for their teams and customers, and nobody likes to wait for a page while it's loading.

Measuring Query Performance Variability
Categories: Architecture

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For February 19th, 2016

Sat, 03/05/2016 - 18:20

JPL is firing up their Exoplanet Travel Bureau . Reserve your space now.

 

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  • 200K : msgs send per second through iMessage; 750 million : xactions per week in App and iTunes store; 11 million : Apple Music subscribers; .7c : speed of light in silicon; 1.125Tpbs : fastest ever data transmission; 360TB : Superman memory crystal stores data forever;  $1bn : Uber’s yearly cost for market share in China;

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • Joseph Bradley : “Here is the takeaway. Blockchains must be massively more scalable than the current tech that supports Bitcoin. We start scaling slowly or quickly. And if we choose the latter, it will “require fundamental protocol redesign.”
    • @sigfpe : Nobody knows how to “program” DNA. They just copy-and-paste bits from other organisms. A bit like how most code is built from stackoverflow.
    • @evankirstel : Slack now has 2.3 million daily active users, 675,000 paid seats, and 280 apps in its directory
    • Jonas Luster : Money spoiled blogging. Why? Because people moved from doing great things for money and then talking about them on their free blogs, to people doing nothing but talking on their monetized blogs. 
    • @mattocko : What’s vilely hypocritical re Koch’s latest dirty dealings (vs electric cars) is they enjoy 100x subsidies for oilco 
    • Greg Ferro : In my view, the most common architectural flaw made by network engineers is that the data centre has a single network. I believe that the correct perspective is that any “network” is a “network of networks”.
    • @antirez : @Nick_Craver I’ve always this nice feeling that you manage to run a top-traffic site with 1/100 of the hardware. It’s like a reality check…
    • @levie : With Apple, Amazon, and Netflix now producing their own shows, Box will be accepting script submissions for enterprise software dramas.
    • Fred George : We had 50 IT professionals, 25+ titles and zero people understanding the project they were working on…
    • @jasongorman : “They asked for a bridge, but I know what they really needed was (another) reusable civil engineering framework”
    • @aplokhotnyuk : @cbrisket @giltene @netty_project @eBay Neutrino is highly available… We have measured upwards of 300+ requests per second on a 2-core VM.
    • jsmthrowaway : You don’t even need unikernels, and as much as I loathe myself for saying it, I find myself agreeing with a few of Cantrill’s points regarding unikernels in prod. Not all of them, and I think it’s worth exploring, but there’s a spectrum here: on one end, unikernel app containers, and on the other full jails. The Google approach with minimal containers that still act Unixy and Posixy but carry very little distribution overhead is somewhere around 0.1 on the spectrum.
    • @Beaker : This is why I call these “Internet-scale monoculture vulnerabilities.” FFS. 

  • We never considered the possibility Skynet may just be stupid. The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people : At root, this is a story about the problems that occur in the absence [of] adversarial peer review. NSA and GCHQ cut corners in their machine-learning approach, and no one called them on it, and they deployed it, and it kills people. But is also a microcosm of the spy services’ culture of secrecy and the way that the lack of peer review turns into missteps.

  • buffer overflow exploit in glibc  remained undetected for 8 years. How Bazaar. Also,  Linux kernel bug delivers corrupt TCP/IP data to Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker containers .

  • How Uber Engineering Evaluated JSON Encoding and Compression Algorithms to Put the Squeeze on Trip Data . They tested a whole bunch of different compression approaches. A whole bunch. Their goal was to find a solution that both yielded a small size and a short time to encode and decode. The conclusion: “MessagePack with zlib. We felt this was the best choice for our Python-based, sharded datastore with no strict schema enforcement (Schemaless). We only discovered this combination because we took a disciplined approach to test a wide range of protocols and algorithm combinations on real data and production hardware. First lesson learned: when in doubt, invest in benchmarking.” Result: A 1 TB disk will now last almost a year (347 days), compared to a month (30 days) without compression. We now have enough space to last over 30 years compared to just under 1 year, thanks to putting the squeeze on the data.

  • That feeling when you try to show your Grandma how to use the TV remote.  When you’re house sitting for millennials and ask how the lights work . This is funny and a little sad, not much has changed in 30 years. 

  • If you are IBM and your insatiable demon child needs feeding, what do you do? You buy companies for their data.  Why IBM Just Bought Billions of Medical Images for Watson to Look At : Merge’s data set contains some 30 billion images, which is crucial to IBM because its plans for Watson rely on a technology, called deep learning, that trains a computer by feeding it large amounts of data.

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)...

Categories: Architecture

Stuff The Internet Says On Scalability For March 4th, 2016

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 17:56

Presented for your consideration: Drone Units of the U.S Armed Forces

 

If you like this sort of Stuff then please consider offering your support on Patreon.
  • 16 terabytes: new Samsung SSD; 1%: earned income from an on-demand platform; $35: PI 3 has 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM and WiFi; 1.5 million messages per second: Netflix cache replication;

  • Quotable Quotes:
    • @jzawodn: all right.. everything on one disk in one computer: 15TB SSD
    • @jaykreps: The disadvantage is that the needs of most companies are really different from Google's. Depth vs breadth thing.
    • Eliezer Sternberg: The brain tries to maximize the efficiency of our thinking by recognizing familiar patterns and anticipating them.
    • david-given: I would love to have a modernised Ada. With case sensitivity. And garbage collection (a lot of the language semantics are obviously intended to be based around having a garbage collector. 
    • @tyler_treat: You're not even building microservices if you have things operating in lockstep and tightly coupled interactions and data models.
    • cognitive electronic warfare: using artificial intelligence to learn in real-time what the adversaries’ radar is doing and then on-the-fly create a new jamming profile. That whole process of sensing, learning and adapting is going on continually
    • @WhatTheFFacts: Cleopatra lived closer to the invention of the iPhone than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid.
    • @mjpt777: "I think the net contribution of RPC to human welfare is negative. It was a disaster." - Butler Lampson
    • @just_security: Comey[FBI]: until these devices[smart phones], there was no closet, no room, no basement in America where we couldn't get in.
    • @traviskorte: The people who give algorithms credit for "creating" DeepDream art are the same ones who say predictive scoring is just a neutral tool. Hmm.
    • Emin Gün Sirer: Bitcoin provides an incredibly strong consistency guarantee, far stronger than eventual consistency. Specifically, it guarantees serializability, with a probability that is exponentially decreasing with latency.
    • The best thing about working at Facebook: But what makes Facebook a unique place to work isn't its vibrant campuses or cushy salaries. It's the sheer, insane scale of how many people use its product around the world. 
    • TradersBit: I have found that maybe 80% of everything I am developing/have developed for TradersBit could soon run on Lambda.
    • @asymco: There were over 1,800 automobile manufacturers in the United States from 1896 to 1930
    • Rob Harrop: it’s better to preserve good service for a smaller number of customers rather than give bad service to all customers, which is what will happen as latency starts to degenerate under heavy load if your queue isn’t bounded.
    • @jaykreps: Microservices are about scaling the number of engineers not the number of requests 
    • mbrock: The ideal is low coupling and high cohesion. That's supposed to mean your system is composed of parts that can be understood separately. Low coupling means that the innards of each module are isolated from the others. High cohesion means that each module presents a clear and distinct purpose.
    • js8: What seems to be the main contention here - should the interface just use the names (akin to philosophical nominalism) and leave them open to interpretation or should it somehow encode the properties of things it describes (akin to philosophical realism)?
    • Ross Williamson: if you’re working on a new product, try to do less. More and more features aren’t going to drive user adoption. It’s better to focus on a niche, and give those users exactly what they want.
    • overenginered: In a sense, working with AWS and Azure has given me a very clear view on how exactly design decisions cost real money. Once you get a lot of traffic, each instance needed to balance the load is costing a non trivial amount of money. For that I'm grateful, because I can now see the need and the benefits of optimizing code and taking basic hygienic measures.

  • What has Google learned from creating three container management systems—Borg, Omega, and Kubernetes—in over a decade? The benefits of containerization go beyond merely enabling higher levels of utilization. Containerization transforms the data center from being machine oriented to being application oriented...The design of Kubernetes as a combination of microservices and small control loops is an example of control through choreography—achieving a desired emergent behavior by combining the effects of separate, autonomous entities that collaborate.

  • I can just imagine the disappointment of AIs as they learn how real people don't live up to their fictional counterparts. Computers read 1.8 billion words of fiction to learn how to anticipate human behaviour. What, you mean great minds don't really go on strike and escape to Atlantis when they get a little butthurt? 

  • This is why human drivers will eventually be made illegal. Google: Self-driving car followed 'the spirit of the road' before accident: The test driver, who had been watching the bus in the mirror, also expected the bus to slow or stop, Google said, "and we can imagine the bus driver assumed we were going to stay put.

  • At a cost of $1.5 trillion it's nice to learn that the F-35 doesn't completely suckHere's what I've learned so far dogfighting in the F-35. For a moving example of to counter this fiscal and strategic insanityBoyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War is a great read. It contains an illuminating discussion on the OODA loop as well. There seems a natural tendency for large projects to keep expanding in scope until they embrace all features and address no particular mission.

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)...

Categories: Architecture

Asyncio Tarantool Queue, get in the queue

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 17:56

 

In this article, I’m going to pay specific attention to information processing via Tarantool queues. My colleagues have recently published several articles in Russian on the benefits of queues (Queue processing infrastructure on My World social network and Push messages in REST API by the example of Target Mail.Ru system). Today I’d like to add some info on queues describing the way we solved our tasks and telling more about our work with Tarantool Queue in Python and asyncio.

The task of notifying the entire user base
Categories: Architecture

Malice or Stupidity or Inattention? Using Code Reviews to Find Backdoors

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 18:27

The temptation to put a backdoor into a product is almost overwhelming. It’s just so dang convenient. You can go into any office, any lab, any customer site and get your work done. No hassles with getting passwords or clearances. You can just solve problems. You can log into any machine and look at logs, probe the box, issue commands, and debug any problem. This is very attractive to programmers.

I’ve been involved in several command line interfaces to embedded products and though the temptation to put in a backdoor has been great, I never did it, but I understand those who have.

There’s another source of backdoors: infiltration by an attacker.

We’ve seen a number of backdoors hidden in code bases you would not expect. Juniper Networks found two backdoors in its firewalls. Here’s Some Analysis of the Backdoored Backdoor. Here’s more information to reaffirm your lack of faith in humanity: NSA Helped British Spies Find Security Holes In Juniper Firewalls. And here are a A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic Engineering.

Juniper is not alone. Here’s a backdoor in AMX AV equipment. A Secret SSH backdoor in Fortinet hardware found in more products. There were Backdoors Found in Barracuda Networks Gear. And The 12 biggest, baddest, boldest software backdoors of all time. Who knows how many backdoors are embedded in chips? Security backdoor found in China-made US military chip. And so on.

By now we can pretty much assume backdoors are the rule, not the exception.

Backdoors are a Cheap form of Attack
Categories: Architecture

Sponsored Post: zanox Group, Varnish, LaunchDarkly, Swrve, Netflix, Aerospike, TrueSight Pulse, Redis Labs, InMemory.Net, VividCortex, MemSQL, Scalyr, AiScaler, AppDynamics, ManageEngine, Site24x7

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 18:15

Who's Hiring?
  • The zanox Group are looking for a Senior Architect. We're looking for someone smart and pragmatic to help our engineering teams build fast, scalable and reliable solutions for our industry leading affiliate marketing platform. The role will involve a healthy mixture of strategic thinking and hands-on work - there are no ivory towers here! Our stack is diverse and interesting. You can apply for the role in either London or Berlin.

  • Swrve -- In November we closed a $30m funding round, and we’re now expanding our engineering team based in Dublin (Ireland). Our mobile marketing platform is powered by 8bn+ events a day, processed in real time. We’re hiring intermediate and senior backend software developers to join the existing team of thirty engineers. Sound like fun? Come join us.

  • Senior Service Reliability Engineer (SRE): Drive improvements to help reduce both time-to-detect and time-to-resolve while concurrently improving availability through service team engagement.  Ability to analyze and triage production issues on a web-scale system a plus. Find details on the position here: https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/434

  • Manager - Performance Engineering: Lead the world-class performance team in charge of both optimizing the Netflix cloud stack and developing the performance observability capabilities which 3rd party vendors fail to provide.  Expert on both systems and web-scale application stack performance optimization. Find details on the position here https://jobs.netflix.com/jobs/860482

  • Software Engineer (DevOps). You are one of those rare engineers who loves to tinker with distributed systems at high scale. You know how to build these from scratch, and how to take a system that has reached a scalability limit and break through that barrier to new heights. You are a hands on doer, a code doctor, who loves to get something done the right way. You love designing clean APIs, data models, code structures and system architectures, but retain the humility to learn from others who see things differently. Apply to AppDynamics

  • Software Engineer (C++). You will be responsible for building everything from proof-of-concepts and usability prototypes to deployment- quality code. You should have at least 1+ years of experience developing C++ libraries and APIs, and be comfortable with daily code submissions, delivering projects in short time frames, multi-tasking, handling interrupts, and collaborating with team members. Apply to AppDynamics
Fun and Informative Events
  • Varnish Summits are a worldwide event series where Varnish customers, partners, open source users and other enthusiasts come together to network and learn.  At the summits Varnish Software's experts and core developers do a deep dive into technical best practices and offer workshops for both new and advanced Varnish users.
Cool Products and Services

  • Containers & Databases: From Development to Deployment with Docker and Aerospike. What is Docker and why is it important to Developers, Admins and DevOps when they are using Aerospike, the high performance NoSQL Database? Find out in this on-demand webinar by Alvin Richards, VP of Product at Aerospike. The video includes an interactive demo showcasing the core Docker components (Machine, Engine, Swarm and Compose) and how Aerospike makes developing & deploying multi-container applications simpler. The slides are shared here.

  • Dev teams are using LaunchDarkly’s Feature Flags as a Service to get unprecedented control over feature launches. LaunchDarkly allows you to cleanly separate code deployment from rollout. We make it super easy to enable functionality for whoever you want, whenever you want. See how it works.

  • TrueSight Pulse is SaaS IT performance monitoring with one-second resolution, visualization and alerting. Monitor on-prem, cloud, VMs and containers with custom dashboards and alert on any metric. Start your free trial with no code or credit card.

  • Turn chaotic logs and metrics into actionable data. Scalyr is a tool your entire team will love. Get visibility into your production issues without juggling multiple tools and tabs. Loved and used by teams at Codecademy, ReturnPath, 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 measures your database servers’ work (queries), not just global counters. If you’re not monitoring query performance at a deep level, you’re missing opportunities to boost availability, turbocharge performance, ship better code faster, and ultimately delight more customers. VividCortex is a next-generation SaaS platform that helps you find and eliminate database performance problems at scale.

  • 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/

  • aiScaler, aiProtect, aiMobile Application Delivery Controller with integrated Dynamic Site Acceleration, Denial of Service Protection and Mobile Content Management. Also available on Amazon Web Services. Free instant trial, 2 hours of FREE deployment support, no sign-up required. http://aiscaler.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...

Categories: Architecture

A Journey Through How Zapier Automates Billions of Workflow Automation Tasks

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 17:56

This is a guest repost by Bryan Helmig, ‎Co-founder & CTO at Zapier, who makes it easy to automate tasks between web apps.

 

Zapier is a web service that automates data flow between over 500 web apps, including MailChimp, Salesforce, GitHub, Trello and many more.

Imagine building a workflow (or a "Zap" as we call it) that triggers when a user fills out your Typeform form, then automatically creates an event on your Google Calendar, sends a Slack notification and finishes up by adding a row to a Google Sheets spreadsheet. That's Zapier. Building Zaps like this is very easy, even for non-technical users, and is infinitely customizable.

As CTO and co-founder, I built much of the original core system, and today lead the engineering team. I'd like to take you on a journey through our stack, how we built it and how we're still improving it today!

The Teams Behind the Curtains

It takes a lot to make Zapier tick, so we have four distinct teams in engineering:

  • The frontend team, which works on the very powerful workflow editor.
  • The full stack team, which is cross-functional but focuses on the workflow engine.
  • The devops team, which keeps the engine humming.
  • The platform team, which helps with QA, and onboards partners to our developer platform.

All told, this involves about 15 engineers (and is growing!).

The Architecture
Categories: Architecture