Links for 2013-01-14

  • Tunlr

    ‘uses DNS witchcraft to allow you to access US/UK-only audio and video services like, BBC iPlayer, etc. without using a VPN or Web proxy.’ According to , it proxies the initial connection setup and geo-auth, then mangles the stream address to stream directly, not via proxy. Sounds pretty useful

    (tags: proxy network vpn dns tunnel content video audio iplayer bbc hulu streaming geo-restriction)

  • OmniTI’s Experiences Adopting Chef

    A good, in-depth writeup of OmniTI’s best practices with respect to build-out of multiple customer deployments, using multi-tenant Chef from a version-controlled repo. Good suggestions, and I am really looking forward to this bit: ‘Chef tries to turn your system configuration into code. That means you now inherit all the woes of software engineering: making changes in a coordinated manner and ensuring that changes integrate well are now an even greater concern. In part three of this series, we’ll look at applying software quality assurance and release management practices to Chef cookbooks and roles.’

    (tags: chef deployment ops omniti systems vagrant automation)

  • Effective Scala

    Twitter’s Scala style guide. ‘While highly effective, Scala is also a large language, and our experiences have taught us to practice great care in its application. What are its pitfalls? Which features do we embrace, which do we eschew? When do we employ “purely functional style”, and when do we avoid it? In other words: what have we found to be an effective use of the language? This guide attempts to distill our experience into short essays, providing a set of best practices. Our use of Scala is mainly for creating high volume services that form distributed systems — and our advice is thus biased — but most of the advice herein should translate naturally to other domains.’

    (tags: twitter scala coding style)

  • Notes on Distributed Systems for Young Bloods — Something Similar

    ‘Below is a list of some lessons I’ve learned as a distributed systems engineer that are worth being told to a new engineer. Some are subtle, and some are surprising, but none are controversial. This list is for the new distributed systems engineer to guide their thinking about the field they are taking on. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a good beginning.’ This is a pretty nice list, a little over-stated, but that’s the format. I particularly like the following: ‘Exploit data-locality’; ‘Learn to estimate your capacity’; ‘Metrics are the only way to get your job done’; ‘Use percentiles, not averages’; ‘Extract services’.

    (tags: systems distributed distcomp cap metrics coding)

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  1. Tom A
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 12:23 | Permalink

    Hi Justin – I recently discovered Ansible:

    For me it’s a lot better than Chef / Puppet. Worth giving a try.

  2. Posted January 16, 2013 at 15:15 | Permalink

    Thanks — I like the look of Ansible, although I’m not sure it’s going to win the “momentum” war at this stage…