Links for 2014-05-06

  • Minimum Viable Block Chain

    Ilya Grigorik describes the design of the Bitcoin/altcoin block chain algorithm. Illuminating writeup

    (tags: algorithms bitcoin security crypto blockchain ilya-grigorik)

  • Docker Plugin for Jenkins

    The aim of the docker plugin is to be able to use a docker host to dynamically provision a slave, run a single build, then tear-down that slave. Optionally, the container can be committed, so that (for example) manual QA could be performed by the container being imported into a local docker provider, and run from there.
    The holy grail of Jenkins/Docker integration. How cool is that…

    (tags: jenkins docker ops testing ec2 hosting scaling elastic-scaling system-testing)

  • Simple Binary Encoding

    an OSI layer 6 presentation for encoding/decoding messages in binary format to support low-latency applications. […] SBE follows a number of design principles to achieve this goal. By adhering to these design principles sometimes means features available in other codecs will not being offered. For example, many codecs allow strings to be encoded at any field position in a message; SBE only allows variable length fields, such as strings, as fields grouped at the end of a message. The SBE reference implementation consists of a compiler that takes a message schema as input and then generates language specific stubs. The stubs are used to directly encode and decode messages from buffers. The SBE tool can also generate a binary representation of the schema that can be used for the on-the-fly decoding of messages in a dynamic environment, such as for a log viewer or network sniffer. The design principles drive the implementation of a codec that ensures messages are streamed through memory without backtracking, copying, or unnecessary allocation. Memory access patterns should not be underestimated in the design of a high-performance application. Low-latency systems in any language especially need to consider all allocation to avoid the resulting issues in reclamation. This applies for both managed runtime and native languages. SBE is totally allocation free in all three language implementations. The end result of applying these design principles is a codec that has ~25X greater throughput than Google Protocol Buffers (GPB) with very low and predictable latency. This has been observed in micro-benchmarks and real-world application use. A typical market data message can be encoded, or decoded, in ~25ns compared to ~1000ns for the same message with GPB on the same hardware. XML and FIX tag value messages are orders of magnitude slower again. The sweet spot for SBE is as a codec for structured data that is mostly fixed size fields which are numbers, bitsets, enums, and arrays. While it does work for strings and blobs, many my find some of the restrictions a usability issue. These users would be better off with another codec more suited to string encoding.

    (tags: sbe encoding protobuf protocol-buffers json messages messaging binary formats low-latency martin-thompson xml)

  • Observations of an Internet Middleman

    That leaves the remaining six [consumer ISPs peering with Level3] with congestion on almost all of the interconnect ports between us. Congestion that is permanent, has been in place for well over a year and where our peer refuses to augment capacity. They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers. They are not allowing us to fulfil the requests their customers make for content. Five of those congested peers are in the United States and one is in Europe. There are none in any other part of the world. All six are large Broadband consumer networks with a dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. In countries or markets where consumers have multiple Broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers.
    Amazing that L3 are happy to publish this — that’s where big monopoly ISPs have led their industry.

    (tags: net-neutrality networking internet level3 congestion isps us-politics)

  • interview with Google VP of SRE Ben Treynor

    interviewed by Niall Murphy, no less ;). Some good info on what Google deems important from an ops/SRE perspective

    (tags: sre ops devops google monitoring interviews ben-treynor)

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