Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Links - 08/28/2007

Don't Worry, It's Safe to Power off that Server and Power It on Again (Vinay Pai): Vinay posts on one of the biggest myths in data center operations: the "Mean Time Between Failure" myth. In short, if you ran 1000 servers for 3 years, there is a .06% chance that any power supply would fail. From this, he notes that dual power supplies are an inefficient solution (from a green standpoint) to a decidedly minor problem. Remember this point for some of my future posts--this myth is busted, and knowing this opens you to some very quick and simple power efficiency practices.

Lowering Barriers to Entry: Open Source and the Enterprise (The Future of Software: Stephen O’Grady): Stephen, of Red Monk fame, argues that the real value of open source software is not its price or code quality, but the ease in which it can be introduced into an enterprise. According to Stephen, open source puts the power of software acquisition into the hands of developers and architects. Would you agree? Is there an equivalent possibility for open source hardware? SaaS? Utility computing? Or will those drive the pendulum back to central management control?

Scalability != concurrency (Ted Leung on the Air): Given my past as a enterprise software development junkie, this article is particularly interesting to me. A little debate is breaking out about the shortcomings of Java in a highly concurrent hardware model, and there seem to be a few upstart languages making a name for themselves. I'm was not aware of Erlang, but you can bet I will spend some time reading about it now (despite its apparent shortcomings--see below). For those interested in utility computing and SLAuto, remember the goal is to deliver the functionality required by the business using the most cost effective resource set necessary to do so. Software is a big part of the problem here, as inefficient programs (or even VMs, it seems) can minimize the impact of better hardware technologies. Keep an eye on this, and if you are writing software to run in a SaaS / utility computing world, consider the importance of concurrency to gaining cost effective scale.

http://www.russellbeattie.com/blog/java-needs-an-overhaul (Russell Beattie): This is the article that triggered Ted's comments above. An interesting breakdown from one developer's point of view, with an brief overview of Erlang's shortcomings as well.

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