Friday, November 20, 2009

Message Queuing slides and source code!

I gave a talk at the local Python user group, SoCal Piggies. We discussed message queues: they're useful for synchronizing processes, increasing reliability and scalability. The entire source tree, with slides and extra goodies, is linked below. Enjoy!


(diagram credit: RedHat)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Superdevelopers at Facebook

Facebook gets unprecedented traffic. They don't want things to go down so they... release changes constantly, a few times a day! They use peer review and their immense audience to see how well their solutions work, then iterate. The other teams *support* engineering, rather than being gatekeepers.

I actually did this at a medium-sized site many years ago. Push change to live, capture logs for five minutes while people beat it, then undo the change. It worked well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

ntop and RRD

"ntop" conveniently displays web pages with charts and plots of your local network traffic. To record historical traffic, it uses Round Robin Database (rrd). The default ntop package enables the RRD plugin, but doesn't give itself permission to write out its data. Here's how to get the two to work:

sudo apt-get install ntop
sudo install -d /var/lib/ntop
sudo install -o nobody -d /var/lib/ntop/interfaces
sudo install -o nobody -d /var/lib/ntop/rrd
To test, start "sudo ntop" (probably in "screen"), then open the web page http://localhost:3000

To activate the RRD plugin, select Plugins / Round Robin / Describe, then click the red "no" to become a blue "yes." You'll see messages in the terminal where you started ntop.

After a few moments, you can view RRD graphs. One is in Summary / Network Load.