I’ll be one of two speakers at the next Seattle Web Technology Bi-Weekly Meet up on Nov 21 at the Citrus Lounge.
They’ve sexed it up a little by calling it a face-off between Windows Azure and Amazon EC2 (no prizes for guessing which side I represent) but really it’s going to be a primer on the Platform-as-a service and Infrastructure-as-a-service models. I expect some lively discussions during Q&A.
I’ll be covering questions such as what cloud computing is, what EC2 provides, what is datacenter automation and the differences between a standard datacenter liks Rackspace and Amazon EC2. Meanwhile you folks who’ve large investments in say EXCHANGE servers will be able to pose questions to Marcus Wendt of Composite C1.
It’s Amex sponsored and you’ll get a ticket good for a beer or a Citrus signature drink with which you can get cozy and warm up by the fireplace while Marcus and I are beamed through a flat screen with our respective presentations. If you’re in Seattle drop in. I hope to see you or at least, hear you there.
Effective MySQL: Optimizing SQL Statements
by Ronald Bradford
No Nonsense, Readable, Practical, and Compact
I like that this book is small; 150 pages means you can carry it easily. It’s also very no nonsense. It does not dig too deeply into theory unless it directly relates to your day-to-day needs. And those needs probably cluster heavily around optimizing SQL queries, as those pesky developers are always breaking things 😉
Jokes aside, this new book out on Oracle Press is a very readable volume. Bradford has drawn directly from real-world experience to give you the right bite size morsels you need in your day-to-day MySQL activities. Continue reading Book Review – Effective MySQL
Often when we think about speeding up and scaling, we focus on the application layer itself. We look at the webserver tier, and database tier, and optimize the most resource intensive pages.
There’s much more we can do to speed things up, if we only turn over the right stones. Whether you’re using WordPress or not, many of these principals can be applied. However we’ll use WordPress as our test case.
Continue reading 5 Tips to Cache Websites and Boost Speed
Saw this awesome infographic by Cloud Spectator on twitter today. A great snapshot of the expected growth in Cloud Computing. If the Cloud Computing market was stacked up against world economies it would be the 51st largest in the world with massive inequality – Amazon has half the share.
What do you do after founding not one, but two companies and watching them fail miserably all by the time you were barely out of college?
Move to the Valley, make shrewd investments in other startups and become insanely rich like Sean Parker? A Bit lofty perhaps. How about try, try again and succeed. Then reinvent yourself as a guru dishing out startup wisdom through your blog and publishing a book that ends up the top of the New York Times Bestseller’s list. That’s essentially what Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup did.
True entrepreneurs fail many times before they succeed and continuously find opportunities to reinvent themselves. Ries is one of them. He’s taken all that he’s learned from his failures, and later successes, from his college years in the 1990s right through the dotcom crash, and packaged them into a guide for startups to consult in their quest for world domination. Continue reading Book Review – The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Join 12,100 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean.
Recently at Surge 2011, the annual conference on scalability and performance, Google’s CIO Ben Fried gave an illuminating keynote address. His main insight was that generalists are the people that will lead engineering teams in successfully scaling the web.
Read: Why devops talent is in short supply
In a world where the badge of Specialist or Expert is prized, this was refreshing perspective from an industry bigwig. As tech professionals, or any professional for that matter, we don’t welcome the label of generalist. The word suggests a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. But the generalist is no less an expert than the specialist. Generalists can get their hands greasy with the tools to fix bugs in the machine but they are especially good at mobilizing the machine itself; with their talents of broad vision, and perspective they can direct an entire team to accomplish tasks efficiently. This ability to see big-picture can not be underestimated especially during times of crisis or pressure to meet targets. For a team to scale the web effectively, you’re going to need a good mix of both types of personalities.
Also: Why a killer title can make or break your content efforts
Continue reading Why generalists are better at scaling the web
Amazon’s spot market for computing power is set up as an open market for surplus servers. The price is dynamic and depends on demand. So when demand is low, you can get computing instances for rock bottom prices. When you do that you normally set a range of prices you’re willing to pay. If it goes over your top end, your instances get killed and re-provisioned for someone else. Obviously this wouldn’t work for all applications, like a website that has to be up all the time, but for computing power, say to run some huge hedge fund analytics, it might fit perfectly. Continue reading $1000 per hour Servers, Anyone?
Help! How To Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done
I’ve long overcome that sheepish feeling when browsing the Self-help section at the bookstore. Sure, How to Make Friends and Influence People or the Seven Steps to World Domination in your bookcase aren’t exactly the sort of titles to suggest a deep intellect but I like to keep an open mind when checking out the latest hardcover secret to happiness and prosperity. Basically I try not to diss a book just because it’s got “soup” on the cover.
I will concede that publishers have gone a bit overboard with churning out the number of self-help titles in the last 20 years or so. As with anything that proliferates you’re stuck with having to wade through the swamp of well, BS. HELP! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done by Oliver Burkeman is ideal for those curious enough about self-improvement but too cool to buy into mind-body-soul mantras.
Continue reading Book Review – Help! by Oliver Burkeman
Could pro-waitering serve up some lessons on web scalability? Observing peak hour dining at a New York restaurant gave us some insight.
I was dining at a restaurant the other day with friends. It was a warm and cozy place, nicely decorated with a long, narrow dining room. The food was scrumptious, yet we were getting increasingly frustrated by the service as the night went along.
With some waiting experience behind me, I could immediately see the problem. The waiters, probably through lack of experience, were making the mistake of doing one thing at a time. They would go to a table, respond to one customer’s request, and go and fetch that item. Back and forth, back and forth they would dart, but always dealing with one request at a time. Continue reading iHeavy Newsletter 84 – Restaurant Scalability
Oracle starts charging for MySQL Add-ons
Exciting news, Oracle just announced commercial MySQL extensions that they’ll be offering paid extensions to the core MySQL free product.
To be sure, this has raised waves of concern among the community, but on the whole I suspect it will be a good thing for MySQL. This brings more commercial addons to the table, which only increases the options for customers. Many will continue to use the core database product only, and avoid license hassles while others will surely embark on a hybrid approach if it solves their everyday business problems. Continue reading Oracle Announces Paid MySQL Add-ons