Benchmarking is an art. The question in some cases is – are you benchmarking what you think you are benchmarking. So, to provide a benchmark that models what it cares about, Facebook announced the Linkbench. Linkbench models the social graph OLTP workload. Below you can find a description of the benchmark and the location where you can download it.
Percona provided benchmark results for LinkBench testing their own Percona Server 5.5.30 versus MySQL DB 5.5.30 and 5.6.11.
If you are like a large number of enterprise and cloud software developers and you use Java, and specifically Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE). You may be interesting in knowing that the newly release open source development environment, NetBeans. NetBeans IDE 7.3.1 has support for the latest version of Java EE 7. You can see what the new release supports in the release notes. It should be pointed out that NetBeans has a very strong Platform framework (NetBeans Platform) that allow for the development of rich client platform applications. In addition, NetBeans also supports languages such as C, C++, PHP, Groovy and more.
Matt Henderson, a database and systems architect at Violin Memory, has published a great article on the difference in modernizing versus revolutionizing storage in your data center. In the article he discusses a number of aspects – change in storage in the datacenter – comparing SSDs and flash arrays. Good read for those confused about what does and doesn’t happen when shifting to SSDs or flash arrays.
Some Linux advocates suggest that Oracle Solaris 11 is struggling against Linux distributions and they point to benchmarks in Phoronix that show Linux doing reasonably well against Solaris. One key issue is that the benchmarks use the slower GCC 4.5.2 compiler on Solaris, instead of the Solaris Studio C compiler which is a high performance compiler. Another aspect is that Solaris-based distributions offer a number of features that are lacking in Linux or in early releases on Linux (ZFS, Zones, DTrace, Fault Management Framework, Management Framework, etc) and it can easily be argued that not everything is about performance. Linux emerged as an alternative to commercial versions of Unix by creating open-source copies of Unix technologies. Now, Oracle itself is trying to add Solaris features to their Linux distribution – but it is a difficult process. Oracle itself makes a good case for Solaris in a comparison between Solaris and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Attempts at Moving Solaris Technologies to Linux. Oracle is trying to move Solaris technologies to Linux – for example, Zones on Linux and DTrace on Linux. Work is also underway on porting ZFS to Linux. Interestingly, Parallels, IBM and Google have all aimed at delivering something akin to Solaris Zones to Linux. Despite the release of Solaris 11, a good case can be made that Solaris has suffered at the hands of Oracle’s stewardship of the platform. Oracle’s non-support of OpenSolaris created a vacuum that has made possible a wholly independent version of OpenSolaris called illumos. The illumos distribution is offering a plethora of updates to OpenSolaris technologies and these have been contributed by key software and cloud companies. Companies such as Joyent, Delphix and Nexenta have contributed to this distribution. Joyent, for example, has released a highly innovative cloud-oriented version based on illumos called SmartOS which has added Linux’s KVM, ZFS IO throttling and a number of other features. Joyent’s moving of KVM to Solaris is an interesting move of a major Linux technology to Solaris. An interesting conversation about SmartOS :
In another video – you can see that the Linux community is discovering lightweight zone virtualization :
Joyent, meanwhile, has improved their SmartMachine experience in their cloud (effectively zones) by being able to deeply introspect each zone. You can see more about that on their Cloud Analytics page. While Linux has become the more popular flavor of Unix-oriented operating systems, both Solaris-based distributions and Linux offer strong Unix-based variants. The emergence of illumos-based distributions offers an independent, open source alternative to Linux that offers a wealth of Solaris features. One thing is clear – Linux and illumos-based Solaris distributions are benefiting from each other’s existence.
The arrival of Big Data frameworks has brought with it NoSQL databases. With those databases are questions about scalability and performance. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that both can be seriously answered with flash. Not simply SSDs, but enterprise flash which vastly outperforms them. Two excellent technical papers on running NoSQL databases on flash are on my recommended reading list. In the first, the topic is running Cassandra on top of Violin Memory’s flash arrays and in the second the topic is around HBase.
The alternative to buying an expensive Exadata solution is to use Violin Memory Arrays to quite simply provide a high performing Oracle database software/server/storage combination. Which is after-all what Exadata does. However, in order to do that – it is important to follow some best practices. To help facilitate that – Violin Memory has released a nice best practices technical paper aimed at showing how best to deliver high performance to your Oracle solutions by running them on Violin Memory flash products.
Recently, I decided to upgrade my iPhone 4. I thought I would get an iPhone 5 but after doing some reading of a large number of reviews I went in a different direction. When looking at the reviews I was surprised that HTC One kept coming up on top. Three reviews of interest : Gizmag, The Guardian and CNET. So I visited my local AT&T store and was surprised to discover why. The HTC One is what the iPhone 5 should have been or iPhone 6 should be.After years of buying iPhones I decided to give Android a try – and specifically the HTC One. Migration. HTC made it easy – using the HTC Sync Manager I downloaded my iTunes music, calendars, contacts, etc in under an hour. The Phone. It is a high quality phone and just looking at it you can see that (no cheap plastic). Let’s start with the display is 4.7″ versus iPhone 5’s 4″ display. Resolution is a hefty 1920×1080 (468 pixels/inch) versus the iPhone 5’s 1136×640 (326 pixels/inch). Their processor is a quad-core Snapdragon 600 and is way faster than Apple’s processor. The HTC One hosts double the amount of memory (2 GB versus 1 GB). HTC includes Near-FieldCommunication (NFC). I programmed the HTC One as a universal remote for my HDTV, Comcast box and JVC DVD player. The only area where iPhone has the edge is in the camera hardware. However, the camera software on HTC is way better. To me, the larger, high resolution screen makes a huge difference. Over all, much to my surprise, a full month after buying the phone I can say it has provided the best smartphone experience I’ve had for some time. Apps. I found all the apps I used onthe iPhone, on Google Play. One exception, a Getting-Things-Done app called Things. EverNote feels like it is built for Android – use it extensively and the larger screen makes it more readable and useful. Mail. I think I prefer the built-in Mail app on HTC One. I have four email sources which it handles wonderfully. Calendar. Calendar on the iPhone seems more useful than the built-in calendar on HTC One. I’m searching for a better calendar – but the built-in one works fine – it just isn’t as nice as my iPhone calendar. Blinkfeed. HTC also added a really nice way of looking at information sources called Blinkfeed. It is useful and avoids me having to look at a 1990s view of icons on a screen and provides useful information. No Samsung. Why Not Samsung Galaxy S4 some might ask ? Samsung has a nice phone. It is brimming with features and is very popular. Here’s why. First, put the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 side-by-side. It is obvious that the HTC One is a high quality, aluminum phone and the S4 is basically a plastic phone – the visuals alone will stop you from going to the S4. Second, throwing in a thousand features into a phone gives you lots of features, but does not give you usability. If you try and use the phones for a while – the HTC One is more usable. Overall – for me, the HTC One is a huge leap forward over my iPhone 4. I highly recommend it. One point is that I should make is that iOS 7 has a number of features which make iOS more interesting than the version I’m familiar with (6).
Update 2 : The whole idea of Zoe is a great one. It changes the way you do group photos – see how Zoe is used with Zoe Always Smile.
Update 3 : One final comment. There are those that would prefer a stock Android release for HTC One. I’m not one of those people. HTC has done a great job of providing a suite of software that is really, really nice. Here is what you would lose if you went to stock Android.
If you are interested in sophisticated diagnostic software – DTrace should be of interest to you. Recently, Three talks on DTrace. First, Dan Kimmel of Delphix, gave a talk about their efforts to use DTrace for monitoring.
At the same event, Adam Levanthal talked about DTrace (his slides are here). Here is the video :
And finally, Max Bruning provides a nice video showing how to use DTrace for debugging :