What is eventually consistent and will it work for you?

In the tech world we’re fond of inventing all sorts of technical terms, that are admittedly kind of confusing. Join 13,500 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean. I was attending an excellent talk recently called Data at Scale, part of the Database Month series that Eric Benari hosts. In it Mark Uhrmacher presented …

10 reaons active-active is hard and how to solve it

Multi-master replication provides redundant copies of your most important business assets. What’s more it allows applications to scale out, which is perfect for cloud hosting solutions like Amazon Web Services. But when you decide you need to scale your write capacity, you may be considering active-active setup. This is dangerous, messy and prone to failure. …

The four-letter-word dividing Dev and Ops

What’s that word?  RISK Operations teams are tasked with stability and uptime. That means working against change, limiting or slowing it down where possible. Developers are tasked with features and delivering business solutions. For that an ORM layer seems appealing for example. It speeds up & simplifies coding. At the same time it eliminates database drudgery. For …

The myth of five nines – Why high availability is overrated

Join 38,000 others and follow Sean Hull on Twitter @hullsean. In the Internet world 24×7 has become the de facto standard. Websites must be always on, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In our pursuit of perfection, performance is being measured down to three decimal places, that is being up 99.999% of …

iHeavy Newsletter 84 – Restaurant Scalability

Restaurant Scalability 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 …

Cloud for Burst Capacity

One very strong case for cloud computing is that it can satisfy applications with seasonal traffic patterns.  One way to test the advantages of the cloud is through a hybrid approach. Cloud infrastructure can be built completely through scripts.  You can spinup specific AMIs or machine images, automatically install and update packages, install your credentials, …

Service Monitoring – What is it and why is it important?

Data centers are complex beasts, and no amount of operator monitoring by itself can keep track of everything.  That’s why automated monitoring is so important. So what should you monitor?  You can divide up your monitoring into a couple of strategic areas.  Just as with metrics collection, there is business & application level monitoring and …

Point-in-time Recovery – What is it and why is it important?

Web-facing database servers receive a barrage of activity 24 hours a day.  Sessions are managed for users logging in, ratings are clicked and comments are added.  Even more complex are web-based ecommerce applications.  All of this activity is organized into small chunks called transactions.  They are discrete sets of changes.  If you’re editing a word …

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 …

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 …