I spent a few years writing down my thoughts about how one should approach problems. If you're looking for a how-to guide, a cookbook, or a reference this book is not for you. If you want to learn by challenging the way you think, pick up a copy.
I just finished my presentation at this year's Velocity Conference. Thank you all for the warm reception and the positive feedback. This year's conference is going to be awesome. If you didn't make it this year make sure you sign up early next year; Velocity is not an event to be missed. If you want some more scalability goodness this year in conference form, consider attending Surge; it's going to kick ass.
Now that it's all set up, I gotta say, I think zetaback is the best thing since sliced bread for backing up big file servers.
We have an OpenSolaris file server with about 3TB of data, mostly in home directories. The kind of work my users do means that a lot of this data is in millions of small files. A full backup via rsync took a week; even a mostly empty incremental would take several hours due to rsync having to walk the tree and stat all those files. zetaback did a full backup in about two and a half days (mostly limited by the CPU speed of my backup server, since I'm using gzip compression) and an incremental took less than half an hour.
System Administrator, Linguistics
University of Washington
While I think that most of the accolades here go to the awesomeness that is ZFS, it is very nice to see that Zetaback has so elegantly made this magic accessible.
Congratulations to everyone what has made Zetaback what it is.
I've been attending conference in the "Internet space" regularly for about 12 years. I have enjoyed conferences about web technologies, open source, and programming languages technologies. Many, though not all, of the conferences I've enjoyed have been put on by O'Reilly — they put on some good shows.
Over the last two years I have immensely enjoyed my involvement with the Velocity conference. It is, in my opinion, the de facto conference on web performance and operations. Operations is about keeping it all running and web performance has embraced a definition of speedy content delivery and efficient browser execution. These two aspects of running large customer-facing systems are critical, but they are the bread of a sandwich and the meat is the "architecture."
So, where's the conference about how to architect systems that scale? I thought it might have been Structure, but this year's "buzz-compliant" cloud theme leaves me with a confident and resounding "no." Clouds aren't how you design and build scalable systems, they are simply one of many valid places "where" you build your design.
Fed up with all that, I went back home to OmniTI and asked "what can we do about this?" Our answer? Surge.
OmniTI has a reputation for scalable web applications and architectures. We didn't learn this stuff overnight. Like many of the success stories at Surge, we acquired experience through trial and error, constant collaboration between development and operations teams, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. But we still lean on our friends and peers to see how things can be done better.
Surge started as the brainchild of our employees wanting to bring the best and brightest in Web Operations to our own backyard...
I have to say that I have never before been so excited by a conference. Surge is the "how to scale" conference.