Architecture : SSD-Based Solutions Show Advantages In the NoSQL DB Tier (Video)

Today we look at the NoSQL database tier.  Some of this is taken from notes from a work-in-progressAn Introduction to Using High-Performance Flash-Based Storage in Constructing High Volume Transaction Architectures – A Manager’s Guide to Selecting Flash Storage.  This is not a complete look at Big Data, rather a partial look at some of the things Aerospike, one of the more interesting NoSQL databases, is doing. 

Aerospike and the NoSQL Database Tier.  An alternative or in addition to the relational database tier, there is a NoSQL database tier. With the arrival in recent years of Big Data architectures, new elements of a new architecture for dealing with both structured and unstructured data has arrived and with it some databases, like Aerospike, offer an extreme high performance solution in transaction-oriented environments.  Quite a bit different from typical Hadoop implementations as one of Aerospike’s real differentiators is that Aerospike was built as an in-memory database. Traditionally, in the past, this tier we have seen a number of spinning disks.  However, in the past few years, especially with the need for real-time information there has been a move to SSDs and PCIe-based flash cards.  Using Aerospike’s NoSQL database provides a means to get those high performance results. It is built to be run in-memory or in-flash. A partial glimpse into an architecture.  It is built to run on relatively low cost clustered hardware with either lots of memory and/or flash storage.  It supports ACID properties and as a NoSQL database also leverages a key-value store. If we look at an example in this tier – you can see the an example architecture where various transactions are occurring within applications and Aerospike interacts with these. It should be noted that with App tier, Aerospike uses a Smart Client to communicate to the Aerospike cluster.


Of course, the producing/consuming sources may vary dramatically – from applications, web services, hadoop clusters, mobile devices, weblogs, marketing data repositories and many more.   Aerospike  is a best-of-breed of the NoSQL databases. You can see an example of a typical deployment is (from the Aerospike presentation below) :


And some of the Aerospike server deployments :


Aerospike offers support for the ACID standard and support for a high performance, clustered architecture.


Of course, there are other databases such as MongoDB, Cassandra and HBase to name a few. You may choose  to use NoSQL database over relational databases. It depends wholly on what you are doing. The NoSQL database tier’s storage on these servers can use SSDs, flash PCIe cards and flash arrays.  Traditionally this tier has adopted a “share-nothing” philosophy using traditional spinning disks, SSDs or flash PCIe cards. Up to recently, flash arrays seemed like not only over-kill but also seemingly moving against the grain of the “share-nothing” philosophy.  SSDs and cards, like Micron’s P320h offer excellent performance and offer a price/performance advantage over arrays.  As prices of flash drops flash arrays are becoming a consideration in this tier and there are a number of recent deployments leveraging flash arrays for the NoSQL DB tier.  Recently, Aerospike tested Micron’s P320h (SLC SSD) PCIe card.  It “blew away the competition” according to people doing the testing.  You can read more here:


More information on the P320h :


It should be noted that there are two versions of this from Micron. Micron offers a 2.5″ Flash PCIe form-factor which is hot-swappable.  You can read more here :


It should be noted that competitors are not standing still and Virident, Fusion-IO and others have and are coming out with new cards that are worth looking at.

To understand what Aerospike is doing it is worth watching this video :


If you want to learn more, it is worth visiting Aerospike’s BrightTalk site



gotostorageGo to more posts on storage and flash storage at


Four Groovy/Grails Recommended Presentations : Introduction to; RESTful Async in Grails 2.3; Road to Grails 3.0

Peter Ledbrook provides an excellent presentation. He covers Groovy scripting, testing and Grails. See :


Grails has become an increasingly popular framework. If you are interested in learning more about Grails – you might want watch Ken Kousen’s Grails Goodness presentation :


If you want to learn more about RESTful APIS in Grails, Graeme Rocher,  project lead and co-founder of the Grails web application framework, presents the latest Async features offered by Grails and how they can be used to create non-blocking REST APIs. In the talk, he discusses the goals and features of Grails 2.3. He offers demonstrations of Grails-based RESTful software.


Finally, Graeme Rocher also presents the road to Grails 3.0 – discussing features in 2.3 and what will be in 3.0.


Recommended Reading: Exadata X3 – Measuring Smart Scan Efficiency With AWR

Ran across this on twitter. If you are interested in getting datapoints on Oracle Exadata there are some nice new data points from Trivadis that are certainly worth reading.  Keeping in mind that this is Exadata X3 (1/8 rack = 2 servers) and that Exadata X4 is now available. The report is in PDF format.




Recommended Viewing : Overcoming Roadblocks to the All-Flash Data Center

Very good talk on Nimbus Data‘s all-flash array.  Definitely worth listening to if you are looking at implementing flash storage in your data center.  Thomas Isakovich, CEO and gemini-drive-swapfounder of Nimbus Data along with George Crump of Storage Switzerland provided an informative hour covering considerations of implementing all-flash arrays into the data center. Nimbus Data has been doubling their array sales every year for the past three years and they are doing this without the traditional VC funding.  One interesting aspect to me about this, is that having watched the unfortunate Violin Memory IPO and subsequent disappointing earnings, coupled to a stock that went from $9 a share to $2.50 a share and today sits at $3.41 –  it is refreshing to see a company with a different strategy.  The talk discussed typical roadblocks to implementing all flash in a data center.  The new Gemini arrays were covered – these are actually very fast enterprise SSD-based array that is highly customized to deliver high performance, throughput and low latency in a small form factor with excellent power and cooling numbers. Gemini can produce over 2 million IOPS and 12 Gbps throughput. Also covered is the array software, Halo, which has dedup, thin-provisioning, cloning, snapshots, encryption, etc. Also covered were use-cases for Gemini. Good talk. You can select the image below or go to this link to go to talk.

ndbright01I encourage you to go the the Storage Swiss web site which is full of resources on these topics. Excellent site.


gotostorageGo to more posts on storage and flash storage at

Windows 8 : The Missing Piece

I spent a few hours downstairs (the top floor is a Unix-only floor) installing Windows 8.1 Pro on a PC I put together.  There has been a lot of criticism of Windows 8 and I completely understand some of the reasoning.  For me Windows 8 is a breath of fresh air compared to past versions of Windows. Really ?  Yes. For someone that found previous versions of Windows lacking and someone who screenshot_06comes from the MacOS and Unix world – it is quite a bit nicer.  It is visually interesting and pretty nice.  I can understand how for people that have lived with past versions of Windows  might  find the UI jarring and at odds with the past.  Loading 8 and then downloading 8.1 from Microsoft’s store and then adding a slew of software – NetBeans, Sublime, Visual Studio, etc – it went very well. One missing piece – a touchpad – I found  the Logitech T650 which reminds me of my Apple’s Magic Trackpad. You can select the image to see what it does. The Logitech trackpad is an excellent addition if you do or don’t have a touchscreen monitor. It is nicely customized for the Windows 8 environment.

Recommended Viewing/Reading : Grails 2.3.x RESTful APIs

Grails recently introduced a number of new REST APIs in 2.3.  Grails is an open source, full stack, web application framework for the JVM. It takes advantage of the Groovy programming language and convention over configuration to provide a productive and stream-lined development experience.  There is a nice screencast that demonstrates the ease of creating RESTful controllers in Grails.

If you are interested in more details. There is a nice write-up at


Another very interesting recent talk is Writing Polyglot Web Development in Grails :




Recommended Viewing : Presentation Videos From O’Reilly Velocity 2013 Conference – Web Performance And Operations

The  presentations from the O’Reilly Velocity 2013 Conference are available in video format.  If you don’t what this conference is about :

  • Three days of concentrated focus on key aspects of web performance, operations and mobile performance.
  • Keynotes, tutorials and sessions
  • Experts, visionaries and industry leaders converge along with hundreds of web developers, sys admins and other web professionals all under one roof.

The slides :


In addition – a recent post on immutable servers :



Recommended Viewing/Reading : Immutable Servers and More

I’ve seen the adoption of immutable servers at very large companies –  it is spreading. In the next article and video you get a behind the seen view of one such deployment. They are using AWS. The video discusses the types of servers and infrastructure that goes into such a deployment. Also discussed are issues and problems encountered. Chad Fowler recently wrote a nice post on immutable deployments.


Chad Fowler recently discussed immutable infrastructure on “Foodfight” :

To get at the notes/outline information – more at the site.  If you still are asking yourself, what is an “immutable deployment” ?  There is an excellent explanation from Martin Fowler available :


You can find more here and here.


Recommended Reading : Visualizing Java Garbage Collection

There is a nice article on Java garbage collection.  Ben Evans, a Java trainer and consultant provides an excellent article and presentation which covers the basics of garbage collection, of the various GC algorithms, the HotSpot JVM, object creation, memory pools, demos of GC, the Java runtime switches and various tools. The article:


Ben Evans provides a really presentation on the topic :


 Select the image to view the slides and presentation.