Unpacking Cedexis; Creating Multi-CDN and Multi-Cloud applications
Image source: Yonah Russ

Technology is incredibly complex and, at the same time, incredibly unreliable. As a result, we build backup measures into the DNA of everything around us. Our laptops switch to battery when the power goes out. Our cellphones switch to cellular data when they lose connection to WiFi.

At the heart of this resilience, technology is constantly choosing between the available providers of a resource with the idea that if one provider becomes unavailable, another provider will take its place to give you what you want.

When the consumers are tightly coupled with the providers, for example, a laptop consuming power at Layer 1 or a server consuming LAN connectivity at Layer 2, the choices are limited and the objective, when choosing a provider, is primarily one of availability.

Multiple providers for more than availability.

As multi-provider solutions make their way up the stack, however, additional data and time to make decisions enable choosing a provider based on other objectives like performance.

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Virtual Block Storage Crashed Your Cloud Again :(

You know it’s bad when you start writing an incident report with the words “The first 12 hours.” You know you need a stiff drink, possibly a career change, when you follow that up with phrases like “this was going to be a lengthy outage…”, “the next 48 hours…”, and “as much as 3 days”.

That’s what happened to huge companies like NetFlix, Heroku, Reddit,Hootsuite, Foursquare, Quora, and Imgur the week of April 21, 2011. Amazon AWS went down for over 80 hours, leaving them and others up a creek without a paddle. The root cause of this cloud-tastrify echoed loud and clear. Heroku said:

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Ynet on AWS. Let's hope we don't have to test their limits.
Image source: stock photo

In Israel, more than in most places, no news is good news. Ynet, one of the largest news sites in Israel, recently posted a case study (at the bottom of this article) on handling large loads by moving their notification services to AWS.

“We used EC2, Elastic Load Balancers, and EBS… Us as an enterprise, we need something stable…”

They are contradicting themselves in my opinion. EBS and Elastic Load Balancers (ELB) are the two AWS services which fail the most and fail hardest with multiple downtimes spanning multiple days each.

EBS: Conceptually flawed, prone to cascading failures

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Linux and Solaris are Converging but Not the Way You Imagined
Image source: Yonah Russ

In case you haven't been paying attention, Linux is in a mad dash to copy everything that made Solaris 10 amazing when it launched in 2005. Everyone has recognized the power of Zones, ZFS and DTrace but licensing issues and the sheer effort required to implement the technologies has made it a long process.

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While Linux users wait and wait for mature container solutions, full OS and application visibility, and a reliable and high performance file system, Joyent has been waiting to make things a whole lot easier.

The upshot of it is that you can already get ZFS, Dtrace, and Linux apps inside a fully isolated, high performance, SmartOS zone.

Your Graphic Designer is Tanking Your Site!
Image source: Leonardo da Vinci

Your graphic designer is an artist, a trained expert in aesthetics, a master at conveying messages via images and feelings via fonts. He may also be slowing your site down so much that nobody is seeing it.

Artists tend to be heavy on the quality and lighter on the practicality of what they deliver. It’s not entirely their fault. Even the most conscientious and experienced designer needs to sell his work and quality sells. Do marketing departments want to see their company advertised in 4K glory or on their mom’s 19″ LCD?

Quality isn’t worth the cost.

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