Links for 2014-04-09

  • MICA: A Holistic Approach To Fast In-Memory Key-Value Storage [paper]

    Very interesting new approach to building a scalable in-memory K/V store. As Rajiv Kurian notes on the mechanical-sympathy list: ‘The basic idea is that each core is responsible for a portion of the key-space and requests are forwarded to the right core, avoiding multiple-writer scenarios. This is opposed to designs like memcache which uses locks and shared memory. Some of the things I found interesting: The single writer design is taken to an extreme. Clients assist the partitioning of requests, by calculating hashes before submitting GET requests. It uses Intel DPDK instead of sockets to forward packets to the right core, without processing the packet on any core. Each core is paired with a dedicated RX/TX queue. The design for a lossy cache is simple but interesting. It does things like replacing a hash slot (instead of chaining) etc. to take advantage of the lossy nature of caches. There is a lossless design too. A bunch of tricks to optimize for memory performance. This includes pre-allocation, design of the hash indexes, prefetching tricks etc. There are some other concurrency tricks that were interesting. Handling dangling pointers was one of them.’ Source code here: https://github.com/efficient/mica

    (tags: mica in-memory memory ram key-value-stores storage smp dpdk multicore memcached concurrency)

  • Google’s Open Bidder stack moving from Jetty to Netty

    Open Bidder traditionally used Jetty as an embedded webserver, for the critical tasks of accepting connections, processing HTTP requests, managing service threads, etc. Jetty is a robust, but traditional stack that carries the weight and tradeoffs of Servlet’s 15 years old design. For a maximum performance RTB agent that must combine very large request concurrency with very low latencies, and often benefit also from low-level control over the transport, memory management and other issue, a different webserver stack was required. Open Bidder now supports Netty, an asynchronous, event-driven, high-performance webserver stack. For existing code, the most important impact is that Netty is not compatible with the Servlet API. Its own internal APIs are often too low-level, not to mention proprietary to Netty; so Open Bidder v0.5 introduces some new, stack-neutral APIs for things like HTTP requests and responses, cookies, request handlers, and even simple HTML templating based on Mustache. These APIs will work with both Netty and Jetty. This means you don’t need to change any code to switch between Jetty and Netty; on the other hand, it also means that existing code written for Open Bidder 0.4 may need some changes even if you plan to keep using Jetty. [….] Netty’s superior efficiency is very significant; it supports 50% more traffic in the same hardware, and it maintains a perfect latency distribution even at the peak of its supported load.
    This doc is noteworthy on a couple of grounds: 1. the use of Netty in a public API/library, and the additional layer in place to add a friendlier API on top of that. I hope they might consider releasing that part as OSS at some point. 2. I also find it interesting that their API uses protobufs to marshal the message, and they plan in a future release to serialize those to JSON documents — that makes a lot of sense.

    (tags: apis google protobufs json documents interoperability netty jetty servlets performance java)

  • The University Times: TCD Provost Under Pressure To “Re-think” Identity Initiative

    Students, staff and alumni put pressure on Provost to reconsider changes to Trinity College Dublin’s name and coat of arms.

    alumni scholars from 2004 and 1994 who had been invited back for the dinner shouted ‘Dublin’ after the Provost welcomed them back to “Trinity College”.

    (tags: tcd tcuod rebranding fail identity dublin)

  • Daring Fireball: Rethinking What We Mean by ‘Mobile Web’

    We shouldn’t think of “the web” as only what renders in web browsers. We should think of the web as anything transmitted using HTTP and HTTPS. Apps and websites are peers, not competitors. They’re all just clients to the same services.
    +1. Finally, a Daring Fireball post I agree with! ;)

    (tags: daring-fireball apps web http https mobile apple android browsers)

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