Monday, March 08, 2010

facebook, a big waste of time - keep reading

I never understood what is good at and what things is trying to solve. Now you can read as well how it got the attention and the needed funds:

Interesting is a lot of folks, news media, companies are simple copy-pasting things without even thinking is it worth opening a profile on this server !? !?

Think again

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

marketing going extreme

Been quiet for some time, busy with my job and working on System Data Recorder, cpuplayer. But today have seen the IBM cat brain scam news !

Did my CS major in Artificial Intelligence and I do recall some facts about this topic and how difficult such things are to modelate. I was amazed they were able to achieve such goal - but now all makes sense and clear how shameful from IBM to send out such marketing campaign. On the other hand wonder how ACM has let the Gordon Prize going for marketing purposes !?

"The project won itself the ACM Gordon Bell Prize in recognition of outstanding achievement in high-performance computing at the show."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Problem Solving and Computer Graphics

As a SysAdmin I have to use command line utilities and scripts to collect and interpret data from various servers. Sometimes I need to analyse reports generated by some other systems/tools about my servers. A lot of numbers, charts, stats but all mainly static. But what if we take a step further and combine these numbers with geometric primitives into something useful trying to give them as well some motion... ? Say you have mpstat numbers and you would like to plug in all these numbers and play them somehow to listen to your system... something like a  mp3 player but in this case you will play some CPU metrics.

Can we combine problem solving with geometry and help our life to understand more quickly a problem and visualize a performance issue, lets say ? We might be able to do that. At the moment we dont have proper tools and ways of looking into all these numbers...

Welcome Problem Solving and Computer Graphics ! I started a small project called cpuplayer after some talks and ideas shared with Dr. Neil Gunther. Some parts were inspired by the Apdex Performance Index, some by the Barycentric Visualizer and some other by real support cases.

The player is implemented in C using OpenGL to be simple and efficient. Im not on AJAX/Flash based solutions nor a social network type of person where you spend a heck of your private time clicking instead of going to see a movie or read a book - for me it is important to pass commands to a machine and let the machine do the work and return that information and help me understand what I have to do to fix a problem quickly without spending long hours in front of a terminal.

Why even bother to use such utilities ? Simple put it: better visualize your workload or better understand whats going on by seeing the thing ! Below you can see cpuplayer playing data from a 8 CPU server, every 5 seconds. At the moment this is a simple screenshot, added to this page, but for WEB we are working to add animated gif support so in future you can see it all, like a movie:) 

The current version it is still a prototype, being heavily under work and testing.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Darwin Streaming Server 6.0.3 and Solaris

Apple has released a new version of their streaming software: Darwin Streaming Server, DSS.
Many production systems use Solaris 10 for DSS without a problem. DSS works nicely on Solaris 8,9 and 10 and some examples are already presented:

- DSS 5.5.x on Solaris 10 with ZFS and zones
- Prune's patch

Now we have a new version out: 6.0.3 with new features and better Solaris 10 support, here
For all of you interested in streaming you might want to check it out.

Wish list:
- OpenSolaris integration: IPS package, testing
- DTrace probes for DSS
- DSS 64bit support for Solaris
- Better documentation for OpenSolaris, Solaris

Enjoy and happy streaming on Solaris

Friday, May 23, 2008

Turbocharging your sysadmin day

It is final: Neil will visit Finland, to teach us about PDQ, Capacity Planning and Performance Analysis.
You don't get these sort of classes from your local vendor, so all admins pay attention !

Why Capacity Planning matters and why should you listen and understand such things ?
  • don't end up having your Java development team changing your DataCenter infrastructure every 6-12 months based on their fantasies how the world should run and support their latest builds. More and more visible is the penetration of a dozens of Java architects, developers and consultants into the heart of Data Centers. They change wires, servers, standard operation procedures to make the applications faster and scale, so they said. Instead they focus in making their own J2EE application less buggy they start shifting and virtually touching intimate parts of the data centers without a clue what are they doing. Management pressured by business demands accepts quickly and approves all this mess without a real understanding. At the end: admins have to clean up after all these folks and redo all the things to avoid severe service outages (Java is an example here based on the high number of current projects, same applies to any other language or technologies)
  • avoid the mess - where everyone is a system manager and nobody does know what's going on
  • save time and money
  • work smart
One might argue that hardware is anyway so cheap nowadays so you can entirely skip this section and renew all over again your infrastructure when you run in troubles... and here comes the Guerrilla Capacity Planning class:
  • Capacity Planning and mathematics. Capacity planning is not a software or something you buy from or your local software store
  • Tactical planning
  • Analyse your current load capacity
  • Model your business and forecast
  • Avoid spending $$$ for another commercial software, PDQ the open-source analytic solver software can be easily used to model and resolve performance problems
Welcome, Neil

Thursday, November 01, 2007

JVM Internals

Good morning !

I have posted a new training material about Java Virtual Machine Internals + a real example of using DTrace to debug a sample application delivered with BEA Weblogic Portal 10. You can find the material and source code under this

Why JVM Internals ?

As SysAdmin you have to handle and maintain dozens of services running on top of an
application server: BEA, Sun, IBM, Oracle, etc ... but most often you
find yourself in troubles understanding concepts like: garbage collection,
generations, heap size, object allocation. The presentation will help you to understand
why is important to size a JVM and how to do that, to troubleshoot
a JVM problem on Solaris or simple debug a Java application using DTrace.
A real case example has been used, more will come later on.

If you're interested to have a class about this topic let me know. (Scandinavia only)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Go Norway !

Just returned from my summer holiday, from Norway. Some photos available here:

The trip was very nice. In aprox 3 weeks I made around 7500km with my Subaru. The weather was in general ok, sometimes raining, it was even snowing up in mountains, but in general cool :)

I have updated my photo gallery using JAlbum, very easy to use.