Some irresistible reading for March – outages, code, databases, legacy & hiring

via GIPHY I decided this week to write a different type of blog post. Because some of my favorite newsletters are lists of articles on topics of the day. Join 32,000 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean. Here’s what I’m reading right now. 1. On Outages While everyone is scrambling to figure out …

Why Dropbox didn’t have to fail

Dropbox is currently experiencing a *major* outage. See the dropbox status page to get an update. Join 32,000 others and follow Sean Hull on twitter @hullsean. I’ve written about outages a lot before. Are these types of major failures avoidable? Can we build better, with redundant services so everything doesn’t fall over at once? Here’s …

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. …

No iPhones Were Harmed in the Creation of this Outage

Apple’s recent iMessage outage had some users confused. What do you mean I can’t text my favorite cat photos?? How can Apple do this to me!?!? What happened? Apple provides services to everyone who uses it’s platform. iCloud for example stores your contacts, calendar, photos, apps and documents in the cloud. No more syncing to …

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 …

Zero Downtime – What is it and why is it important?

For most large web applications, uptime is of foremost importants.  Any outage can be seen by customers as a frustration, or opportunity to move to a competitor.  What’s more for a site that also includes e-commerce, it can mean real lost sales. Zero Downtime describes a site without service interruption.  To achieve such lofty goals, …

Feature Flags – What are they and why are they important?

Feature flags are switches that developers architect into their web applications to allow a feature to be turned on or off.  It is simple sounding in description, but harder to implement or enable after the fact. These switches allow the systems team to operationalize new application functionality.  It allows the ability to turn hot button …