Degrade Gracefully – What is it and why is it imporant?

Websites and web applications have traffic patterns that are often unpredictable.  After all growth in traffic is really what we’re after.  However, even with the best stress testing, it’s sometimes difficult to predict what areas of the site will get innundated, or how the site will scale. Degrade gracefully describes an architecture built specially to …

Auto-scaling – What is it and why is it important?

With cloud-based hosting solutions, new servers can be provisioned and “spun up” with a few options on the command line.  This opens a whole new dimension for infrastructure, allowing software scripts to bring new computing power into your web infrastructure. Internet based applications often exhibit seasonal traffic patterns where traffic stays steady or grows slowly …

Mobile Scalability – What is it and why is it important?

We talked about Scalability previously.  So what is mobile scalability?  Mobile devices and smartphones run applications just like your laptop or home computer.  However these applications have some special requirements such as location-based search.  They also are typically not as weighty as their desktop counterparts, as memory and computing cycles are limited on a mobile …

What is disaster recovery and why is it important?

Disaster recovery involves the anticipation of major business outage, and the contingency planning to avoid business loss in revenue, customers or sales. All of the technology components that make up your enterprise applications should be carefully considered against loss.  What happens if this database server disappears?  Do we have all the data backed up somewhere? …

Scalability – What is it and why is it important?

Scaling comes in a few different flavors.  Vertical scaling involves growing the computing power of a single server, adding memory, faster or more CPUs and/or faster disk I/O. Horizontal scaling involves adding additional computing resources or servers in parallel and then load balacing across them. Scalability refers to applications which facilitate scaling well.  With web …

Cloud Computing – What is it and why is it important?

Cloud Computing has a few varied meanings from API services such as twitter to web-based (read cloud-based) email services such as gmail and yahoo. An even bigger tectonic shift is happening though, in the area of infrastructure and hosting, to cloud based solutions.  No longer is provisioning a slow ordering process, followed by a multi-year …

Website Optimization – What is it and why is it important?

When you enter a website name in your browser or click on a google result, you start a cascade of events to unfold.  Your request various pieces and components that make up the webpage from a remote server which hosts that website.  Those pieces are sent back to you, and your browser assembles them. There …

SQL – What is it and why is it important?

The What: SQL is a difficult acronym for a difficult language, but what it does is shuttle information into and out of your database in an organized manner.  Your web applications and developers have to speak it, and your database – whether Oracle, MySQL, Postgres or some other will return information back using this computing …

Open Source – What is it and why is it important?

Open Source, a term understood well by the technology set, but not enough by everyone. Open Source for the software industry is like generic drugs for the pharmaceutical industry.  It enables more players to come to the table, it is a huge driving force behind internet infrastructures, which are built on Linux, Apache and many …