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.
The little timeout I am taking to write this note isn't sufficient to dive into the truly interesting things my readers usually expect. However, I'd be a jackass if I let you go any longer without knowing that Surge is going to be friggin' awesome this year. At the end of this year, if you look back and see that you missed attending Surge you'll know what regret truly is. Just sayin'.
My opinion is that the only reason the big enterprise storage vendors have gotten away with network block storage for the last decade is that they can afford to over-engineer the hell out of them and have the luxury of running enterprise workloads, which is a code phrase for “consolidated idle workloads.” When the going gets tough in enterprise storage systems, you do capacity planning and make sure your hot apps are on dedicated spindles, controllers, and network ports.
It was fantasy believing it was possible to pull off a centralized network block storage service in a multi-tenant cloud without any of the architecture shenanigans our enterprise brethren do and think that applications, databases, and business could depend on its being perfect. Honestly, we should have know better. We the applications developers asked what is perhaps the crappiest of all abstractions in computers to solve all of our availability problems for us. We asked for magic. Clearly, the vendor never should have made the promise of magic, but everyone is to blame for this continued expectation that such magic is possible.
The CFPs have been rolling in for Surge 2011; these are exciting times. It does, however, appear that our description of what we're looking for has produced a different set of submissions that what I expected. I think it might help to better understand what sessions were like last year and, luckily, we'll be releasing all of the Surge 2010 video footage this week. I apologize for the poor audio quality, we intend to pull in A/V recording professionals this year.
We've received some great proposals! However, a surprising amount of them are presentations about products. This conference is about problems and their solutions. It is a conference for practitioners by practitioners. Blood... in the mud. I want to (as we did last year) share our struggles for better collective experience.
Emphasis: Accepted proposals will demonstrate real-life scalability challenges and creative solutions. We love case studies and learning from our mistakes.
As such, with this context, I'm extending the Surge 2011 CFP deadline to April 17th.
At OmniTI, I've been a part of writing a lot of open source software, my fair share of closed source software. Some of it has been shipped and some of it has been operated as a service. While it is possible (and quite useful) to take what one learns in one scenario and apply it to another, some things simply translate poorly.
I gave a talk there called "Esperwhispering" that seemed to pique many people's interest. This is the stuff you do when a database just doesn't have the horsepower to answer your questions fast enough.
Esper is an excellent, open-source CEP tool. It's a shame its GPL, but hey... you can't win 'em all.
We use esper to power many things internally at OmniTI and our clients and Esper is the code CEP engine we use to make sure Circonus custsomers know when "things go wrong."
This presentation gives some insight into what it does and why one would use it. The live presentation, of course, had more information and live demos, but... you had to show up for that (or watch the live stream of the event).