Data warehousing – What is it and why is it important?

Have a question? Email me anytime sean@iheavy.com A data warehouse is a special type of database.  It is used to store large amounts of data, such as analytics, historical, or customer data, and then build large reports and data mining against it.  It is markedly different from a web-facing or high-transaction database, which typically has …

Migrating to the Cloud – Why and why not?

A lot of technical forums and discussions have highlighted the limitations of EC2 and how it loses  on performance when compared to physical servers of equal cost.  They argue that you can get much more hardware and bigger iron for the same money.  So it then seems foolhardy to turn to the cloud.  Why this …

Semi-Synchronous Replication – What is it and why is it important?

Replication in MySQL allows you to copy and replay changes from your primary database to an alternate backup or slave database.  This facility in MySQL is an asynchronous process, which means it does not happen at the time it occurs on the primary.  It could happen a second later, or minutes later.  In fact sometimes …

Migration to MySQL – What is it and why is it important?

MySQL is a relational database that backs many internet websites and enterprise applications.  Like all enterprise software, it has a whole complement of features which are well documented, such as data types, storage engines, transactional behaviors and so forth.  It also has a set of processes, many of which involve how software operates on Linux …

Root Cause Analysis – What is it and why is it important?

Root Cause Analysis is the means to identify the ultimate source and cause of an outage.  When an outage occurs that causes serious downtime of a website, typically organizations are in crisis mode.  Urgency of resolution sometimes pushes aside due process, change management and general caution.  Root Cause Analysis attempts to as much as possible …

Offsite Backups – What are they and why are they important?

Backups are obviously an important part of any managed infrastructure deployment.  Computing systems are inherently fallible, through operator error or hardware failure.  Existing systems must be backed up, from configurations, software and media files, to the backend data store. In a managed hosting environment or cloud hosting environment, it is convenient to use various filesystem …

Database Replication – What is it and why is it important?

Database replication is a service for shipping changes to your database, off to a copy housed on another server, potentially even in another data center. Each change to the records of information in your database or groups of them are organized into transactions.  These each get unique identifiers or change numbers.  Those groupings of changes …

Infrastructure Provisioning – What is it and why is it important?

In the old days… You would have a closet in your startup company with a rack of computers.  Provisioning involved: Deciding on your architectural direction, what, where & how Ordering the new hardware Waiting weeks for the packages to arrive Setup the hardware, wire things together, power up Discover some component is missing, or failed …

Data Spot Checks – What are they and why are they important?

Loading data into a database whether it is Oracle or MySQL, involves passing a lot of hurdles.  If you’re working with CSV files, special characters may cause trouble, end of line characeters, very long lines, and so forth. Once your data load is complete, spot checks involve basic checks to determine that all went well.  …