Sunday, June 22, 2008

Denver Visit, New Piñata & Scalability Videos

Week in Denver

I will be in Denver this week till Friday June 27th. Unfortunately, I will miss nPost Golf 2.0 event in Seattle.

Despite a busy work day schedule in Denver, I am looking forward to seeing some friends and colleagues also. If you are a fellow storage blogger or reader or working on a cool storage technology and located in Denver area, ping me and we can meet one evening during my visit.

New Piñata for EMC & IBM

Recently, a reader alerted me to new Data Domain blog Dedupe Matters written by Brian Biles. Welcome Brian to the world of Bloggers. Lets see how quickly EMC and IBM bloggers make you the new piñata like they did to HDS bloggers. ;-)

In any case, it’s a nice change from their rumored no blogging policy. Hopefully, blogging at Data Domain will go beyond people in Ivory Towers.

Video of Presentations from Google Scalability Conference

Google already uploaded the videos of presentations from last week's Google Scalability Conference. I also plan to discuss some of the presentation topics in further details as time permits.

Welcome Remarks by Brian Bershad

GIGA+ by Swapnil Patil

HPC with NetworkSpaces for R by David Hendersen

Chapel by Brad Chamberlain

SMP via Transactional Memory by Vijay Menon

Communicating Like Nemo by Jennifer Wong

Maidsafe by David Irvine

CARMEN by Paul Watson

Scalable Wikipedia by Thorsten Schuett

Monday, June 16, 2008

Google Conference on Scalability - First Impression

As expected from conference schedule, Google conference turned out to be a technical event primarily focused on parallel programming and infrastructure scalability. At last minute, Google decided to merge two tracks in to one. Though, I got to attend all the sessions, they felt time-compressed and rushed. I was surprised to see lot of attendees who came from outside Seattle. I met quite a few people from Bay area, Canada and Europe. I enjoyed the sessions though some audience members commented about very technical nature of the conference compared to previous year. As Brian Bershad, Google commented in his welcome speech, the challenge is to find technologies and solutions to scale handling search queries from 600 million to 6 billion. And, I came away better informed on different challenges and potential solutions we may see down the road.

I also sat down and chatted with Robin Harris. We decided to forego making a video of our conversation. I am not a big fan of talking head videos or podcasts unless they leverage the unique values of these methods not available through written words or pictures. And who wants to listen to two storage bloggers chatting about nothing. I find them miserable myself so why put others through the same misery.

In my opinion, three sessions: CARMEN: a Scalable Science Cloud [PDF], GIGA+: Scalable Directories for Shared File Systems [PDF] and maidsafe stood out at the conference from infrastructure scalability perspective. Communicating Like Nemo was very entertaining. The common theme in audience questions on most infrastructure presentations was reliability, availability, scalability, and security of the offered solution. It is a good indication of what is on the mind of people when evaluating new infrastructure offerings. With the popularity of hashing in storage of data, speeding up hash lookup is becoming an interesting problem for scalability.

David Irvine's session on maidsafe was the only session where a speaker white-boarded most of the presentation. His confidence and knowledge was commendable. Not many speakers can pull off white-boarding 80% of presentation with 100s in audience. Comparing maidsafe with ant colony was an interesting way to show scalability and simplicity of solution. Maidsafe solution seems to be in same category as RevStor, Seanodes, Cleversafe, Oceanstor, Farsite and several others that are trying to leverage storage across 100s and 1,000s of distributed nodes in a peer-to-peer or quid pro quo network, a solution most likely attractive to players in cloud and web distribution market.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Heading to Google Scalability Conference

Like Robin Harris, I am also attending Google Scalability Conference in Seattle Friday and Saturday. Hopefully, I will see him at the event. All sessions at Google conference look good. Unfortunately, I will miss half of them as two tracks are running in parallel. I am looking forward to hearing about maidsafe, CARMEN, GIGA+, and Google Maps scale down.

Recently, several readers inquired whether I lost interest in blogging as I am posting very irregularly. Nothing can be further from the truth. I am still as excited about blogging as I was almost five years ago when I first delve into blogs. The lack of frequent updates is due to my attention being somewhere else (new dig, rig and gig). Will elaborate some other time.

BTW, checkout Storage Optimization blog by Carter George. His startup Ocarina got interesting story with their data footprint reduction technology. I am looking forward to learning more once I refocus on new exciting stuff in storage. Hopefully, Ocarina can change the KPCB's luck in storage space.