Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / server

  • Apr 23 / 2014
  • 0
technology

Intel Hears Footsteps

When IBM insisted on alternative sources of supply for processors back in the day“Wistron and Inventec will begin ODM production of ARM-architecture servers for Hewlett-Packard (HP) in the second half of 2014, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.” this is not what Intel was thinking… ARMed CPUs in servers. Servers were barely on the radar and ARM didn’t exist. Now Wintel is surrounded by alternative operating systems and hardware. Competition would be great, eh?

See Wistron, Inventec to start ODM production of ARM-architecture servers for HP in 2H14.

  • Apr 17 / 2014
  • 34
technology

FLOSS Is A Winner

No matter how many times we read that FLOSS is junk made by amateurs “In 2013, for the first time, we saw open source quality for the projects in the Scan service surpass that of proprietary projects at all code base sizes. The 2012 Coverity Scan Report looked at a sample analysis of more than 250 proprietary code bases totaling more than 380 million lines of code, with an average codebase of nearly 1.5 million lines of code, and we found that open source code had lower defect density levels up to 1 million lines of code. For the 2013 report, we analyzed approximately 500 million lines of code across almost 500 proprietary C/C++ projects.” the reality is different. FLOSS is made by all kinds of programmers but because it is FLOSS and everyone can run, examine, modify and distribute the software, more eyes make bugs disappear. Coverity is one of the eyes and they tell us that out of hundreds of millions of lines of code scanned, FLOSS has a lower density of defects.

Size of Codebase (Lines of Code) FLOSS Non-Free
Less than 100,000 .35 .38
100,000-499,999 .50 .81
500,000-1 million .70 .84
More than 1 million .65 .71
Average across projects .59 .72

Accept it. No matter whether it’s price, performance or correctness that matters most to you, FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

See 2013-Coverity-Scan-Report.pdf.

  • Apr 11 / 2014
  • 15
technology

Wintel Balloon Deflates

One of the most fun things in life is the site of a buoyant balloon taking flight, reaching unimaginable heights gracefully and easily. That was the old Wintel monopoly when neither Intel nor M$ had to do anything to dominate all of IT. When the leak started in the middle of XP’s reign, no one was fired for buying Intel and M$’s stuff. Many folks were run out of business simply for providing good products at reasonable price. Not so now. M$ has had to actually build decent products over the last decade but it wasn’t enough to keep the balloon up. Wintel was too expensive, too bulky, and too rigid to do what users wanted done.

“executive VP in charge of operating systems Terry Myerson, told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that he was OK with a services model. Specifically, when she asked about the Nokia X line of phones–those new low-priced Android phones running Microsoft services announced at Mobile World Congress. He was cool with a phone running Android, precisely because he was happy to see Microsoft services running on as many devices as possible, regardless of the operating system”It took a lot of work but ARM and the FLOSS community have bypassed both companies. To remain relevant, Intel is diversifying into ARM and making x86 as efficient as they can with Moore’s Law and every other trick they can find. Still Intel’s processors are more expensive than ARM even if energy consumption is not as much disadvantage. There’s just too much silicon involved. Meanwhile, 8-core CPUs and great graphics modules abound in the ARMed world and ARMed CPUs are outselling Intel by a wide margin. Android/Linux has done a similar number on M$’s stuff, so much that M$ now seeks to leverage its PC and server platform into services to sell, just like Google which Ballmer accused of having no business-plan…

See Turning The Ship: Microsoft Might Have Begun A Subtle Shift From Windows To Services.

  • Apr 09 / 2014
  • 0
technology

Kernel.org Broken Again

“Secure Connection Failed
An error occurred during a connection to www.kernel.org. The OCSP server has no status for the certificate. (Error code: sec_error_ocsp_unknown_cert) “

Netcraft reports their OCSP server is down: “0% uptime in the past 24h”

I hope this is not a hangover from the OpenSSL problemKernel.org uses heartbeat…

I updated my machines yesterday.

See also ‘Change All Passwords’ Warning Issued After Massive Internet Breach

UPDATE A few minutes later, kernel.org is working again.

  • Mar 31 / 2014
  • 2
technology

MySQL Evolves At Oracle

Apparently, Oracle has decided not only to allow MySQL to live, they are letting it grow.“This new version of MySQL has demonstrated the ability to respond to 512,000 read-only queries per second (qps), more than twice 250,000 read-only QPS that MySQL 5.6 was capable of performing.” They are improving its scalability on multiple processors and making the code more modular for future changes.

From a business-perspective, I was thinking they would just keep MySQL around as a place-holder to make it easier for startups to move up to Oracle’s big dog, but this move seems more like diversification. Perhaps Oracle recognizes that some organizations will remain sensitive to price indefinitely and it is better to sell them support rather than letting them run off to PostgreSQL or MariaDB. It’s all good.

See Oracle doubles the speed of MySQL query handling.

  • Mar 28 / 2014
  • 5
technology

Nvidia Bends Moore’s Law

The Pascal architecture from Nvidia will be based on multi-layer chips and stacked memory for a huge increase in bandwidth to/from the GPU.

Combined with their CPU roadmap, this technology will allow personal computing or HPC modules to triple in performance every year for the next few years. Are we there yet?

  • Mar 28 / 2014
  • 3
technology

Mr Pogson to government: Change your OS, save $billions

I was just watching CNN mangle yet another great story.“Using the General Services Administration’s estimated annual cost of ink — $467 million — Suvir concluded that if the federal government used Garamond exclusively it could save nearly 30% — or $136 million per year. An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also jumped on board” A student figured out how government could save huge amounts of money by using more slender typefaces which demand less ink and less paper. I imagine the savings from converting US government to GNU/Linux and FLOSS could save much, much more.

In the case of the US government the savings on M$’s licences would have even greater leverage. The obscene profits M$ makes offshore are often held in US treasuries so the US government (ie taxpayers) is paying M$ again for interest on those treasuries. If M$ were starved of the money they depend on from the US government they would have to repatriate more of those funds… In total we are pushing near $1billion in savings the US government could have by going to FLOSS and GNU/Linux.

See Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions.

  • Mar 28 / 2014
  • 0
technology

South Tyrol: You Can Be Fired For Using That Other OS

It used to be said that “no one was ever fired” for using that other OS, but that’s no longer true.“The new policy is meant to reduce IT costs. Should this fail, the region must resort to reduce its workforce, in order to balance the region’s budget. A second motivation is to strengthen the ICT companies in the region. "We are of course eager to promote the local IT sector. Our aim is to find areas and niches that can be covered by local IT enterprises with free and open source solutions. We are emphasising areas where we, as a regional administration, have special skills above and beyond IT."” The government of South Tyrol (a region of northern Italy), wanting to cut spending on non-Free software licences instead of positions, is “recommending” FLOSS. Good for them. No government owes M$ a living. No government should ever “agree” to M$ fiddling with their IT. No government should ever agree with arbitrary restrictions on software like not examining or copying it. FLOSS is the right way to do IT. South Tyrol recommends the whole European Community use FLOSS and open standards.

See South Tyrol governor: 'EC, use open formats'.

  • Mar 27 / 2014
  • 0
technology

WebScaleSQL, MySQL on Steroids

MySQL is very popular with small organizations and many users of web applications but it is too slow for many larger operations. “WebScaleSQL is a collaboration among engineers from several companies that face similar challenges in running MySQL at scale, and seek greater performance from a database technology tailored for their needs.
Our goal in launching WebScaleSQL is to enable the scale-oriented members of the MySQL community to work more closely together in order to prioritize the aspects that are most important to us. We aim to create a more integrated system of knowledge-sharing to help companies leverage the great features already found in MySQL 5.6, while building and adding more features that are specific to deployments in large scale environments. In the last few months, engineers from all four companies have contributed code and provided feedback to each other to develop a new, more unified, and more collaborative branch of MySQL.”

Enter WebScaleSQL, a collaborative tweak to Oracle’s as-issued “community” MySQL release.

No this is not a guy working in the basement of his mother’s home… These guys are heavy hitters like Google and FaceBook who already do a lot and who want to share the cost and share the creativity of their staff to do better. This is how FLOSS (other software too) should be done, Oracle… Instead of the world being limited by the imagination of one organization, the world can and does make better software by cooperating instead of hiding the work and restricting input. Instead of trying to get one database/data-structure to do everything, the world can use what works best and if it doesn’t exist, create it. It’s all good.

See WebScaleSQL | "We're Gonna Need A Bigger Database".
See also, their FAQ.

  • Mar 25 / 2014
  • 4
technology

Canary Islands Goes Free

Yes! Yet another government gets the picture. Various software empires have been charging them multiple times for the same product.“The switch to Postgresql is expected to result in a reduction in the number of proprietary RDBMS licences. The Canary Islands is using over 40 proprietary database management systems. OpenOffice will be installed on some 30,000 workstations across the islands.

The Canary Islands’ overhaul of IT systems began in 2011 and is now starting to bear fruit, financially and technologically. In February, the government announced that it had managed to cut costs for server and workstation operating systems by 25.4 per cent, by switching to free and open source alternatives.”
What’s with that? If a normal business mows the lawn they charge for mowing the lawn. M$ and “partners” charge for mowing the lawn, looking at it, and even more if you have more than one lawn. Same with Oracle. How are they charging these days? Per named user, per processor and different amounts depending on what the product is called. Then there are paid updates. It costs money just to pay people to comply with the licence and more money to change anything in the system… FLOSS is so much simpler. Get the software and use it. The licence permitting use, examination, modification and distribution is all the same charge, $0. What were they thinking using that non-Free stuff previously?

The GNU Public Licence and variations cover a lot of FLOSS, like GNU/Linux operating systems. Then there is the database, PostgreSQL. It comes with its own FLOSS licence, allowing, “Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose, without fee, and without a written agreement is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph and the following two paragraphs appear in all copies.” Piece of cake, eh? This is the way to do IT.

See Canary Islands make Postgres default database.

  • Mar 24 / 2014
  • 4
technology

AMD Drops Oracle

“The migration of 276TB of data, which was completed last year, was prompted by "an environment outage that took weeks to recover," according to an internal document seen by El Reg. This encouraged AMD to replace Oracle for something else.
In the end, the processor giant settled on using Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution along additional open-source projects Apache Hive, ZooKeeper, HBase, HDFS, httpfs, LZO compression, MapReduce and others.
According to AMD, the Hadoop software was able to reduce query times by 300 per cent, and now has an unlimited row limit for query results compared to 100,000 rows on the Oracle system.”
Oracle is supposed to be the end-all and be-all of enterprise databases but it’s costly for many and too clumsy for others. AMD had huge data and a failure prompted them to switch. No doubt the switch cost something but what was the cost of the failure? What is the cost of an infinite number of licensing fees to support Oracle in the manner to which it has become accustomed?

See AMD: Why we had to evacuate 276TB from Oracle DB to Hadoop.

  • Mar 19 / 2014
  • 0
technology

Debian Installer Jessie Alpha 1 release

Debian announces the first “alpha” release of the installer for their next release. “The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first alpha release of the installer for Debian 8 "Jessie".”It’s wonderful to have some good news in this week of rumours of war and missing airliners. It worked for me. Just 15 minutes from download to a working system and there was only one tiny error message with a checkbox offering to let me ignore it… ;-)

See Debian Installer Jessie Alpha 1 release.