September 7, 2012

Integrated internet system design

What are the central challenges in internet system design? We probably all have similar lists, comprising issues such as scale, scale-out, throughput, availability, security, programming ease, UI, or general cost-effectiveness. Screw those up, and you don’t have an internet business.

Much new technology addresses those challenges, with considerable success. But the success is usually one silo at a time — a short-request application here, an analytic database there. When it comes to integration, unsolved problems abound.

The top integration and integration-like challenges for me, from a practical standpoint, are:

Other concerns that get mentioned include:

Let’s skip those latter issues for now, focusing instead on the first four.

Read more

August 19, 2012

DBMS2 analytic glossary — a new project

Enterprise software terminology is too often mired in confusion. I hope to lessen that by publishing a series of web pages that define and describe various industry terms, with one or several paragraphs per subject, and plenty of internal and external links.

Absent a better name, I’ll refer to this as an “analytic glossary”. I want users of the analytic glossary to learn or confirm:

I will do or closely direct the core writing myself. I may hire outside help for ancillary tasks, such as adding links, or for various kinds of wordsmithing.

All this presupposes a site redesign, which hasn’t begun. But I’ve started to draft the content. As I do, I’ll post it here. And I very much want you to comment.

If you think I got something wrong or left anything out — even if it’s just a nuance — please speak up! Later, when the glossary pages are live, I’ll  link them back to the original blog post discussions. Thus, your comments will be part of the permanent glossary record. Read more

July 30, 2012 is back up!

After several hours of DBMS 2 being down, I put out a “We’re broken” note from another blog. Naturally, the next fix I tried seems to have worked. My joy in that far outweighs my embarrassment. 🙂 This kind of thing just happens once in a while when one has business-critical software that isn’t good at having a test-to-production staging cycle.

In case anybody ever runs into the same problems, the short form of the story is:

1. came down due to a corrupted automatic upgrade of WordPress.

2. The fix was to do an automatic install of WordPress to a dummy domain, then copy over the files in the domain’s root and wp-includes directories.

3. The one file that needed to be copied back from the old installation was wp-configure. (Once it occurred to me to start reading from index.php, it took me about 1 minute to figure that out …)


May 13, 2012

We’re back

Our blogs have been moved to a new hosting company, and everything should be working. Ditto our business site.

If you notice any counterexamples, please be so kind as to ping me.

May 9, 2012

Comments are briefly being turned off

I need to move web hosts, and am initiating the process now. This involves a large file copy, a recopy of same, and a variety of manual steps. So until the process is complete, updating site databases is a bad idea.

A comment is, of course, an update. So we’re closing off comments across DBMS 2, Strategic Messaging, Text Technologies, Software Memories, and the Monash Report. I hope to turn them back on shortly.

The sites should remain readable all the way through — unless, of course, there are more hosting company outages.

May 7, 2012

Site reliability has been ghastly

Unfortunately, we’ve had serious site outages over the past few days, as well as an increased frequency of shorter-term problems. My ordinarily excellent hosting company is going through a bad stretch, and I’ll have to move away from them. (As usual, I’ll rely on for recommendations.)

When I pull the trigger on the move, there will be a short period when I turn off comments across all my blogs. I’ll post again here to announce when that is happening.

I apologize for the inconvenience.

March 31, 2012

Our clients, and where they are located

From time to time, I disclose our vendor client lists. Another iteration is below, the first since a little over a year ago. To be clear:

For reasons explained below, I’ll group the clients geographically. Obviously, companies often have multiple locations, but this is approximately how it works from the standpoint of their interactions with me. Read more

February 28, 2011

Updating our vendor client disclosures

Edit: This disclosure has been superseded by a March, 2012 version.

From time to time, I disclose our vendor client lists. Another iteration is below. To be clear:

With that said, our vendor client disclosures at this time are:

Read more

January 20, 2011

Notes, links, and comments January 20, 2011

I haven’t done a pure notes/links/comments post for a while. Let’s fix that now. (A bunch of saved-up links, however, did find their way into my recent privacy threats overview.)

First and foremost, the fourth annual New England Database Summit (nee “Day”) is next week, specifically Friday, January 28. As per my posts in previous years, I think well of the event, which has a friendly, gathering-of-the-clan flavor. Registration is free, but the organizers would prefer that you register online by the end of this week, if you would be so kind.

The two things potentially wrong with the New England Database Summit are parking and the rush hour drive home afterwards. I would listen with interest to any suggestions about dinner plans.

One thing I hope to figure out at the Summit or before is what the hell is going on on Vertica’s blog or, for that matter, at Vertica. The recent Mike Stonebraker post that spawned a lot of discussion and commentary has disappeared. Meanwhile, Vertica has had three consecutive heads of marketing leave the company since June, and I don’t know who to talk to there any more.  Read more

November 29, 2010

I’m partway back

As previously noted, I cut back temporarily on blogging (and taking briefings) a couple of months ago as my parents got sicker, then suspended work altogether a month ago when they died. I am immensely grateful to be in a line of work where choices like that are possible. Once again, I thank you all for your tolerance and kindness.

Last Monday night, Linda and I returned from Columbus, leaving behind an apartment that was hardly packed up at all. We have to go back the week of 12/6; then I’m going to see clients in California the week of 12/13, as I do about once per quarter; then of course come the holidays; there also is estate-related stuff to take care of even while we’re here; and by the way, year-end is when over half of all Monash Advantage members renew. So I surely will be on a limited blogging schedule for most of December as well.

I did, however, get a few posts done this weekend, finishing up one on MarkLogic that had been in the hopper for a while, and adding two rather substantive spin-off posts from that one as well. After the New Year, I would hope to be back up to full speed.

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