Home > personal > Hot technologies I care about – Sep '08

Hot technologies I care about – Sep '08

September 17, 2008
Iron Worker by ikegami

photo by: ikegami

I’ve been too busy to blog lately, and for that I apologize.  But here’s a quicky detailing the technologies (internet related and not) I’m excited about right now:

  • Drizzle.  For years now, I’ve felt that MySQL has been doing in a direction in opposition to my use case.  Stored procedures, views, etc etc have added bloat and complexity without offering me anything useful.  Turns out I’m not alone – and thus Drizzle was born.  To say I’m *super* excited about this is a serious understatement.
  • Google & Percona’s MySQL patches.  While I wait for Drizzle, I’m stuck dealing with terrible concurrency issues in MySQL/InnoDB that force us to partition data way before we really should have to, making our system more complex.  It’s crazy having a server keel over when it shouldn’t be either CPU-bound *or* IO-bound but that’s life with MySQL and InnoDB these days – or at least, it was until Google and Percona fixed what I couldn’t get MySQL to fix with our Platinum Enterprise subscriptions.  Open source rules!
  • Flash storage.  I really wish I could talk about this some more (pesky NDAs), but there are datacenter changes coming that are more dramatic than anything I’ve seen in 14 years of working on them. I hope I’ve talked to everyone in the space (and from the companies I’ve talked to, one of them seems to be the *very* clear winner for this upcoming round), but if you’re a storage vendor working on flash appliances and I haven’t talked to you, ping me.  We’re a bleeding edge customer and we’ll put your stuff in production faster than you can deliver it to us.  🙂
  • ZFS.  Regardless of flash storage, ZFS is the filesystem of choice – head and shoulders over everything we’ve used or heard of.  The advent of flash just makes this even more compelling.  The downside?  It’s not on Linux.  😦
  • OpenSolaris.  ZFS is so incredible, my hand has been forced, and we’re about to put our first OpenSolaris system into production.  OpenSolaris is, in theory, the Solaris kernel (think ZFS, DTrace, SMF, high concurrency, etc) with the GNU-like userland (think Linux-like).  In practice, it’s still extremely painful for a Linux expert and Solaris n00b like me to use – even on a single-purpose machine like a MySQL server.  Only ZFS makes the pain worth it.  For development, it’s basically unusable for Linuxers (it’s probaby fabulous for Solaris guys – lucky ducks).
  • Nexenta.  Unlike OpenSolaris, Nexenta *is* the Solaris kernel plus GNU userland.  Unfortunately, it’s not backed by Sun or anyone else I have any relationship with.  Sun has been absolutely the very best technology vendor we’ve ever dealt with in terms of support, technical knowledge, and just plain listening to us, so that’s a big issue.  I wish Sun had taken Nexenta’s approach (or would just buy them or offer support or something).  If OpenSolaris continues to be painful, we may fall back on Nexenta instead – remember, ZFS is the driving factor here.
  • Amazon Web Services competitors.  They’ve been promising they’d be coming out for years now and I’m shocked they’ve given Amazon this much runway.  But I believe a few more are getting very close (can’t say more, again, pesky NDAs).  Now, we’re extremely happy with Amazon, so we have no plans to switch, but competition is good for everyone – and Amazon is a fierce competitor.  Plus there are still gaps in Amazon’s strategy, and if I can mix & match to plug some of those gaps, awesome – sign me up.
  • Memcached.  This one’s been on my list for years, and it’s still way up there.  Binary protocol on the verge of shipping, nice patch to resolve some networking issues we’ve seen, and talk about scabability.  If you’re building web apps and this isn’t a core part of your infrastructure, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Big RAM.  4GB DIMMs are dirt cheap, so if you’re not loading your DB and Memcached boxes to the gills, you’re missing the boat.  Cheap 2-socket 64GB (and relatively cheap 128GB at 4-sockets) are here.
  • Sun Fire X4140 and X4440.  The best 1U (2-socket) and 2U (4-socket) servers on earth.  Despite being late to the game with quad-core, Opteron RAM performance kills Xeon, so these are the servers we’re buying.  You can load them to the gills with 4GB DIMMs, enjoy the dual-power supplies (yes, in the 1U box too), and crank out some great stuff.
  • OpenSocial, Y!OS, etc.  The big boys are finally getting real about getting open and cross-pollinating data and I think we’re finally nearing an inflection point.  We’re hiring a Sorcerer to do nothing but think and build in this space.  I’m sure magic will ensue.
  • Nikon D90 and Canon 5D MkII.  Nikon’s taken the photography world by storm with amazing high-ISO performance, and Canon just announced a DSLR that shoots full 1080p video.  Both look amazing and both are game-changers.
  • Onkyo TX-SR806.  I’m an A/V junkie and this thing is amazing.  5 HDMI inputs (need more?), THX Ultra2 Plus (the low-volume enhancements are *awesome* with young kids sleeping at home), automatic room EQ, decodes every modern audio encoding, etc.  I don’t even use the amplifier section (I have separates), but it’s turning out to be the best Pre/Pro I’ve ever owned.  Sounds fabulous on my gear.
  • iPhone App Store.  That thing is a game changer, and we’re barely seeing the tip of the iceberg.  All the other players have to respond – which is great for you and I.  And talk about a platform that’s a dream to develop on!
So there you have it.  Those are the most important pieces of tech I’m watching these days.  I’ll *definitely* be writing up our ZFS experiments as they come along and I have interesting data to share.  Stay tuned.  
Oh, and if you’re curious about what I *wish* was on the list, there’s really only one thing:  iTunes syncing.  I have two desktops (one at my office, one at home) and two laptops, plus my wife has accounts on my computers.  Keeping those all in sync so that when I update a playlist at the office, the update is waiting for me at home, is a nightmare.  I’d pay lots of money if someone could solve that – seems like iTunes + AWS + a smart coder = solved, no?  Wish I had some time….
  1. Kostas
    September 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    For iTunes syncing, just use Dropbox…

  2. September 17, 2008 at 10:25 pm


    Nice list, makes a good reading for people in charge of architecting consumer web services. Have you checked on the Maria engine?


  3. September 17, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Welcome to the world of OpenSolaris and ZFS. I have to agree ZFS is definitely something that can’t be ignored, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Sun employee myself. Search Google for “ZFS Cheatsheet” and you’ll find a simple cheatsheet of sorts I’ve put together.

    Oh, and please please please read the ZFS Best Practices guide (see Google again). It’ll save you a lot of hassles and answer a lot of questions.

    As for Nexenta: You should find most of the functionality you require in Nexenta is already in OpenSolaris in one form or another – except maybe the high reliance on the GNU env and apt like functionality. For the GNU env just add /usr/gnu/bin to your path before /usr/bin and you’ll get the GNU tools you’re used to. Just beware, most of them are not aware of Solaris specific technologies (eg ZFS/NFS4 ACLS, zones) so what you see may not always be 100% true (ps and ls are just two examples).

    For the apt like functionality: you’ve got me on that one, though IPS is coming along slowly but surely. It works great for updating OpenSolaris and makes the whole upgrade/update process a million times easier than it is on Solaris and even uses ZFS snapshots for easy rollback like Nexenta does.

    Anyway, good luck with the OpenSolaris/ZFS integration. You won’t be disappointed.

    Oh, and development on OpenSolaris isn’t that bad 🙂

  4. September 18, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Oh, I forgot to mention: get your hands on one of Sun’s T5120/T5140/T5220/T5240 systems via their try-and-buy scheme. The UltraSPARC T2 processors may not have the singled threaded performance of the Xeons, but it can’t be beaten for massive multi-threading like that used in a Web or database environment. And they’re power efficient too.

  5. September 18, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Such as sweet geek-post, I love Solaris, I miss my box so much. It was called Lemon, and was a quad-cpu (400mhz, I think.) with 4gb ram. That box kicked ass! I think it was the most expensive server in the company, and it was mine mine mine!

  6. September 18, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Check out SuperSync for iTunes library synching. They support networked synching of any two iTunes library… plus basic support for other music library types (and Tivo!) the free demo works well enough for most users… http://supersync.com/

    – Brad
    p.s. They have a form on their site for blog writers to request a free 2-pak for evaluation.. 🙂

  7. September 18, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Does Amazon’s announcement today go anyway to filling your needs / gaps in their strategy?


    Sounds like the perfect fit for Smugmug

  8. September 18, 2008 at 3:08 pm


    Agreed WRT Percona and MySQL’s patches.

    I think 5.0.67 is going to be our major migration point. I’m also going to look at moving some of the Google V2 patches to 5.0.67.

    Also, consider ditching your MySQL AB support contract and just give the cash to Percona.

    Do they really do anything for you other than take your money?

    I’m thinking of just throwing out some cash to get an ideal 5.0.x build with all the right patches. So close now to a 5.0.x build with the V2 patches, percona changes, and google’s InnoDB patches.

    Then we can migrate to Drizzle in the long term. 5.1.x is just that interesting to me right now.


  9. Chuck Norem
    September 19, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    For iTunes sync’ing, TuneRanger works pretty well:

  10. David E. Anderson
    September 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    check out TuneRanger, an extender for iTunes. I just started using it.

  11. Rich
    October 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    When do you think you’ll be able to talk about the flash storage technology you reference in your post?

  12. Tim
    October 8, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    On the T2 solaris chip front, don’t forget they also have incredible bandwidth a-la the opteron’s. The memory controller is built-in there as well.

    As for nexenta: if you go that way, just realize that you’re at Nexenta’s mercy for patches/upgrades. I’m running it at home, but don’t expect the latest and greatest by any means. For instance, the newest build of nexenta is currently based off of b85 of the opensolaris project from back in march of 08. SXCE is currently on b99.

  13. January 18, 2009 at 6:32 am

    8MUDnS hi! how you doin?

  14. Woosyrof
    January 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Едем с подельником в гости. На моём автомобиле(грузовик Scania). Ползём не на скорости, торопиться некуда, несмотря на позднее время. Останавливает машины на остановке девица. Нам в ту же сторону. Девушка изрядно поддата. Падает на сидушку. Только трогаемся, у нее гудит мобильник, и не успев выслушать абонента, она начинает голосить: “Да, #лядь! Еду уже, зае#ал, скоро приеду!!! Еду, #лядь!”.
    В озлобленности кидает трубку в сумку. Спустя пару минут, очень нежным и тихим тоном:
    – Парин, а нельзя ли чуть-чуть поскорей, а то меня муж дома вые#ет…
    На мгновение задумывается. Понимает, что в культурной компании так себя не ведут, и произносит:
    – А, это в переносном смысле…
    Погружается в себя. Начинает рыться у себя в сумочке. Мы понимаем, что про себя она никак не закончит внутренний монолог. И вот, уже скорее для себя, она с некоторой грустинкой в голосе произносит немного тише:
    – А вот в прямом, наверное, уже вряд ли…
    Находит в сумке сигаретку, закуривает ее, выпускает дым (нас уже нет для нее, все на полном автопилоте). И мстительно-мечтательным тоном:
    – А более мне сегодня, вобщем-то, и не нужно…

  15. January 23, 2009 at 5:20 am

    О сайте вам скажу харашо получилось

    вот так


  16. February 5, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Вот недавно озадачился выбором кальяна.
    Куда не придешь, огромный выбор – разные цвета, разные по высоте, на 1, на 2 трубки, в общем я потерялся.

  17. February 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    слушаю Theory of a Dead Man-Say Goodbye

  18. February 8, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    и так начну….
    миниролко(любимая,устраняющая сушняк)
    спирт….хз откуда он….
    напульсник кожаный…..
    зажигалко с футбалистам
    билетики со стадиона..скока-летскака зим)
    таблетки от голавы
    диск ЛЧ финал 2006-2005 Барселана
    ЮСБИ пвовода

  19. February 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    На самом деле несколько бредовая тема,но вдруг стало интересно узнать,у кого какая песня на звонке *ну и на sms

    )какой чудесный день..какой чудесный пень..какой чусный яяя.и песенка мая=))
    воть=)эт вместо гудкофф
    на звонке Sum 41-King Of The Contradiction
    на маму 30 минут до юпитера.. иль как там их.
    на папу Сам 41=))
    на СМС -Литиум передоз=)
    на будильник Фрик-Стрелки=)

  20. February 14, 2009 at 5:31 am

    У меня были длинные волосы… Сначала они страшно лезли,а потом бац и обломились (частично) “до плеч”. Я подстригла все волосы
    до одного уровня. Но волосы продолжаются обламываться,только теперь выше… Может кто знает что делать?!Чувствую скоро наверное могу остаться без волос?!

  21. February 18, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Подработка любому знатоку HTML\CSS, РАБОТА ОЧЕНЬ ПРОСТАЯ!
    Есть заказы в неограниченном количестве для любого человека, который знает что такое HTML\CSS

    Работа очень простая!
    2-3 часа работы оцениваю в $20

  22. February 21, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    У нас в подъезде была проблемма с электричеством. Несколько раз вырубало автоматы. Бесперебойника нет и естественно вырубался некорректно комп. Теперь беда. Как только загружается комп (винда), так сразу синий экран смерти.
    Остался только линь, но на данный момент нет выхода в инет. Как можно сделать проверку винта?

  23. February 23, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Посоветуйте а если есть поделитесь Англо-Русским переводчиком чтоб очень качественно переводил текст

  24. March 1, 2009 at 2:16 am

    Кто нибудь знает хорошую прогу для создание вэб сайтов , желательно что бы был

  25. March 5, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Каким видом спорта Вы занимаетесь?
    Я занималась плаванием , щас играю в теннис.

  26. March 6, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Добрый день, мы организовываем новую услугу по регистрации сайтов в каталогах.
    В течение месяца решили сделать, бесплатный прогон всем желающим.

    Нужно будет лишь написать отзыв о услуги.

    Кого интересует данная услуга переходите на сайт seoca.ru, заполняйте форму.
    и в течение 24 часов будет произведена регистрация.

  27. November 14, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Canon FTL. I'll never buy another one of their camera's. This seals it. Peace.

  28. November 24, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Revitol Review – Skin problems can occur at any age, but there may be a way to avoid them by using revitol and it offers 90 days money back guarantee at http://www.Revitolskincarez.com

  1. September 24, 2008 at 10:02 am
  2. December 23, 2008 at 4:10 pm
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