July 15th, 2009
We had a fair bit of data piled up at our virtual server on The Rackspace Cloud’s Cloud Sites system (previously known as Mosso). When we decided to move off Cloud Sites and on to Amazon EC2 moving that data quickly became extremely important. MySQL offers several methods of transporting data from the database and mirroring/replication seemed to be the ideal fit since we’d get our data synchronized in real time with the old database. Unfortunately, because of the way Cloud Sites are configured we can’t use mirroring at all (it’s already being used internally by Rackspace for scaling).
Since, we were using Cloud Sites we didn’t have SSH access to our box. Rackspace recommended we use mysqldump on another server and connect to our MySQL instance to grab the data directly over the internet. Two problems with that:
- Moving 15GB. of data on a single connection sequentially would take forever. (We were getting only ~200Kb/sec)
- The data would not be compressed, so we’d have to move the full 15GB.
- Setup a virtual Cloud Server on Rackspace Cloud with enough space for the data.
- Use mysqldump on this new server to connect to Cloud Sites and grab the data. Since they’re in the same server farm you get much much higher transfer rates.
- Compress using gzip and place in a web server document directory.
- On the Amazon server use aget to download the newly compressed gz file. We used 10 parts and got about 1800Kb/sec.
- Unzip and execute the SQL.
This reduced the amount of time needed to manageable proportions and therefore caused a minimal service outage.
July 8th, 2009
Details are sketchy but Google is finally throwing their huge sombrero into the Operating System ring. After years of surveying the competition and developing online versions of all the popular office applications, Google is now going to tackle the foundation of the PC platform. We know it will be a new windowing system that will run on a Linux kernel. It will also be completely open source (the GPL wins again).
There are several obvious things that will happen here. Google is going to put it’s considerable marketing muscle behind getting Netbooks to use Chrome as the default instead of various other flavors of Linux. Microsoft is going to push these same vendors to use Windows 7 instead. Google is going to price this thing rock bottom, in all likelihood it will be a free download. Couple that with Snow Leopard’s ridiculously low upgrade price and it becomes clear that this OS cycle consumers are going to be the big winners.
I have long maintained that the only thing stopping Linux from becoming a viable desktop OS is that design (UI/UX or otherwise) doesn’t work by committee. But the community is perhaps the single most important part of the open source movement. By putting Google designers in charge of figuring out the windowing system Chrome is probably going to be the first linux flavor to be genuinely polished from a UI perspective (Even though Doug Bowman might disagree).
There is one big problem though. I can’t use it. Not as my primary OS anyway.
Google say the only way developers will build applications for it is through web technologies, taking a page out of Apple’s iPhone 1.0 marketing spiel. Given enough bandwidth you might be able to get away without access to the internals of the PC but as long as there is a need to run compiled code for applications/games like Photoshop or Fallout 3 this is not going to be my OS of choice. It will however be perfect for any number of people that just want a computer that does their email and web stuff. Throw in the occasional flash game for good luck.
Cower in fear Microsoft, this is the moment Balmer has been sweating for years (literally). Maybe Microsoft should sue Google for monopolistic tactics. After all, you can’t install a competing web browser when the OS is the web browser.