jm + ops   194

'Machine Learning: The High-Interest Credit Card of Technical Debt' [PDF]
Oh god yes. This is absolutely spot on, as you would expect from a Google paper -- at this stage they probably have accumulated more real-world ML-at-scale experience than anywhere else.

'Machine learning offers a fantastically powerful toolkit for building complex systems
quickly. This paper argues that it is dangerous to think of these quick wins
as coming for free. Using the framework of technical debt, we note that it is remarkably
easy to incur massive ongoing maintenance costs at the system level
when applying machine learning. The goal of this paper is highlight several machine
learning specific risk factors and design patterns to be avoided or refactored
where possible. These include boundary erosion, entanglement, hidden feedback
loops, undeclared consumers, data dependencies, changes in the external world,
and a variety of system-level anti-patterns.

[....]

'In this paper, we focus on the system-level interaction between machine learning code and larger systems
as an area where hidden technical debt may rapidly accumulate. At a system-level, a machine
learning model may subtly erode abstraction boundaries. It may be tempting to re-use input signals
in ways that create unintended tight coupling of otherwise disjoint systems. Machine learning
packages may often be treated as black boxes, resulting in large masses of “glue code” or calibration
layers that can lock in assumptions. Changes in the external world may make models or input
signals change behavior in unintended ways, ratcheting up maintenance cost and the burden of any
debt. Even monitoring that the system as a whole is operating as intended may be difficult without
careful design.

Indeed, a remarkable portion of real-world “machine learning” work is devoted to tackling issues
of this form. Paying down technical debt may initially appear less glamorous than research results
usually reported in academic ML conferences. But it is critical for long-term system health and
enables algorithmic advances and other cutting-edge improvements.'
machine-learning  ml  systems  ops  tech-debt  maintainance  google  papers  hidden-costs  development 
3 days ago by jm
Two recent systemd crashes
Hey look, PID 1 segfaulting! I haven't seen that happen since we managed to corrupt /bin/sh on Ultrix in 1992. Nice work Fedora
fedora  reliability  unix  linux  systemd  ops  bugs 
5 days ago by jm
Introducing Atlas: Netflix's Primary Telemetry Platform
This sounds really excellent -- the dimensionality problem it deals with is a familiar one, particularly with red/black deployments, autoscaling, and so on creating trees of metrics when new transient servers appear and disappear. Looking forward to Netflix open sourcing enough to make it usable for outsiders
netflix  metrics  service-metrics  atlas  telemetry  ops 
8 days ago by jm
Announcing Snappy Ubuntu
Awesome! I was completely unaware this was coming down the pipeline.
A new, transactionally updated Ubuntu for the cloud. Ubuntu Core is a new rendition of Ubuntu for the cloud with transactional updates. Ubuntu Core is a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism. The snappy approach is faster, more reliable, and lets us provide stronger security guarantees for apps and users — that’s why we call them “snappy” applications.

Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core itself can be upgraded atomically and rolled back if needed — a bulletproof approach to systems management that is perfect for container deployments. It’s called “transactional” or “image-based” systems management, and we’re delighted to make it available on every Ubuntu certified cloud.
ubuntu  linux  packaging  snappy  ubuntu-core  transactional-updates  apt  docker  ops 
11 days ago by jm
PDX DevOps Graphite replacement
Replacing graphite with InfluxDB, Riemann and Grafana. Not quite there yet, looks like
influxdb  graphite  ops  metrics  riemann  grafana  slides 
12 days ago by jm
Day 1 - Docker in Production: Reality, Not Hype
Good Docker info from Bridget Kromhout, on their production and dev usage of Docker at DramaFever. lots of good real-world tips
docker  ops  boot2docker  tips  sysadvent 
19 days ago by jm
(SDD416) Amazon EBS Deep Dive | AWS re:Invent 2014
Excellent data on current EBS performance characteristics
ebs  ops  aws  reinvent  slides 
26 days ago by jm
AWS re:Invent 2014 Video & Slide Presentation Links
Nice work by Andrew Spyker -- this should be an official feature of the re:Invent website, really
reinvent  aws  conferences  talks  slides  ec2  s3  ops  presentations 
26 days ago by jm
Microsoft Azure 9-hour outage
'From 19 Nov, 2014 00:52 to 05:50 UTC a subset of customers using Storage, Virtual Machines, SQL Geo-Restore, SQL Import/export, Websites, Azure Search, Azure Cache, Management Portal, Service Bus, Event Hubs, Visual Studio, Machine Learning, HDInsights, Automation, Virtual Network, Stream Analytics, Active Directory, StorSimple and Azure Backup Services in West US and West Europe experienced connectivity issues. This incident has now been mitigated.'

There was knock-on impact until 11:00 UTC (storage in N Europe), 11:45 UTC (websites, West Europe), and 09:15 UTC (storage, West Europe), from the looks of things. Should be an interesting postmortem.
outages  azure  microsoft  ops 
4 weeks ago by jm
The Infinite Hows, instead of the Five Whys
John Allspaw with an interesting assertion that we need to ask "how", not "why" in five-whys postmortems:
“Why?” is the wrong question.

In order to learn (which should be the goal of any retrospective or post-hoc investigation) you want multiple and diverse perspectives. You get these by asking people for their own narratives. Effectively, you’re asking “how?“

Asking “why?” too easily gets you to an answer to the question “who?” (which in almost every case is irrelevant) or “takes you to the ‘mysterious’ incentives and motivations people bring into the workplace.”

Asking “how?” gets you to describe (at least some) of the conditions that allowed an event to take place, and provides rich operational data.
ops  five-whys  john-allspaw  questions  postmortems  analysis  root-causes 
4 weeks ago by jm
veggiemonk/awesome-docker
A curated list of Docker resources.
linux  sysadmin  docker  ops  devops  containers  hosting 
6 weeks ago by jm
Zookeeper: not so great as a highly-available service registry
Turns out ZK isn't a good choice as a service discovery system, if you want to be able to use that service discovery system while partitioned from the rest of the ZK cluster:
I went into one of the instances and quickly did an iptables DROP on all packets coming from the other two instances.  This would simulate an availability zone continuing to function, but that zone losing network connectivity to the other availability zones.  What I saw was that the two other instances noticed the first server “going away”, but they continued to function as they still saw a majority (66%).  More interestingly the first instance noticed the other two servers “going away”, dropping the ensemble availability to 33%.  This caused the first server to stop serving requests to clients (not only writes, but also reads).


So: within that offline AZ, service discovery *reads* (as well as writes) stopped working due to a lack of ZK quorum. This is quite a feasible outage scenario for EC2, by the way, since (at least when I was working there) the network links between AZs, and the links with the external internet, were not 100% overlapping.

In other words, if you want a highly-available service discovery system in the fact of network partitions, you want an AP service discovery system, rather than a CP one -- and ZK is a CP system.

Another risk, noted on the Netflix Eureka mailing list at https://groups.google.com/d/msg/eureka_netflix/LXKWoD14RFY/tA9UnerrBHUJ :

ZooKeeper, while tolerant against single node failures, doesn't react well to long partitioning events. For us, it's vastly more important that we maintain an available registry than a necessarily consistent registry. If us-east-1d sees 23 nodes, and us-east-1c sees 22 nodes for a little bit, that's OK with us.


I guess this means that a long partition can trigger SESSION_EXPIRED state, resulting in ZK client libraries requiring a restart/reconnect to fix. I'm not entirely clear what happens to the ZK cluster itself in this scenario though.

Finally, Pinterest ran into other issues relying on ZK for service discovery and registration, described at http://engineering.pinterest.com/post/77933733851/zookeeper-resilience-at-pinterest ; sounds like this was mainly around load and the "thundering herd" overload problem. Their workaround was to decouple ZK availability from their services' availability, by building a Smartstack-style sidecar daemon on each host which tracked/cached ZK data.
zookeeper  service-discovery  ops  ha  cap  ap  cp  service-registry  availability  ec2  aws  network  partitions  eureka  smartstack  pinterest 
6 weeks ago by jm
curl | sh
'People telling people to execute arbitrary code over the network. Run code from our servers as root. But HTTPS, so it’s no biggie.'

YES.
humor  sysadmin  ops  security  curl  bash  npm  rvm  chef 
6 weeks ago by jm
Elastic MapReduce vs S3
Turns out there are a few bugs in EMR's S3 support, believe it or not.

1. 'Consider disabling Hadoop's speculative execution feature if your cluster is experiencing Amazon S3 concurrency issues. You do this through the mapred.map.tasks.speculative.execution and mapred.reduce.tasks.speculative.execution configuration settings. This is also useful when you are troubleshooting a slow cluster.'

2. Upgrade to AMI 3.1.0 or later, otherwise retries of S3 ops don't work.
s3  emr  hadoop  aws  bugs  speculative-execution  ops 
7 weeks ago by jm
Stephanie Dean on event management and incident response
I asked around my ex-Amazon mates on twitter about good docs on incident response practices outside the "iron curtain", and they pointed me at this blog (which I didn't realise existed).

Stephanie Dean was the front-line ops manager for Amazon for many years, over the time where they basically *fixed* their availability problems. She since moved on to Facebook, Demonware, and Twitter. She really knows her stuff and this blog is FULL of great details of how they ran (and still run) front-line ops teams in Amazon.
ops  incident-response  outages  event-management  amazon  stephanie-dean  techops  tos  sev1 
7 weeks ago by jm
IT Change Management
Stephanie Dean on Amazon's approach to CMs. This is solid gold advice for any company planning to institute a sensible technical change management process
ops  tech  process  changes  change-management  bureaucracy  amazon  stephanie-dean  infrastructure 
7 weeks ago by jm
Carbon vs Megacarbon and Roadmap ? · Issue #235 · graphite-project/carbon
Carbon is a great idea, but fundamentally, twisted doesn't do what carbon-relay or carbon-aggregator were built to do when hit with sustained and heavy throughput. Much to my chagrin, concurrency isn't one of python's core competencies.


+1, sadly. We are patching around the edges with half-released third-party C rewrites in our graphite setup, as we exceed the scale Carbon can support.
carbon  graphite  metrics  ops  python  twisted  scalability 
7 weeks ago by jm
Game Day Exercises at Stripe: Learning from `kill -9`
We’ve started running game day exercises at Stripe. During a recent game day, we tested failing over a Redis cluster by running kill -9 on its primary node, and ended up losing all data in the cluster. We were very surprised by this, but grateful to have found the problem in testing. This result and others from this exercise convinced us that game days like these are quite valuable, and we would highly recommend them for others.


Excellent post. Game days are a great idea. Also: massive Redis clustering fail
game-days  redis  testing  stripe  outages  ops  kill-9  failover 
7 weeks ago by jm
Is Docker ready for production? Feedbacks of a 2 weeks hands on
I have to agree with this assessment -- there are a lot of loose ends still for production use of Docker in a SOA stack environment:
From my point of view, Docker is probably the best thing I’ve seen in ages to automate a build. It allows to pre build and reuse shared dependencies, ensuring they’re up to date and reducing your build time. It avoids you to either pollute your Jenkins environment or boot a costly and slow Virtualbox virtual machine using Vagrant. But I don’t feel like it’s production ready in a complex environment, because it adds too much complexity. And I’m not even sure that’s what it was designed for.
docker  complexity  devops  ops  production  deployment  soa  web-services  provisioning  networking  logging 
8 weeks ago by jm
Linus Torvalds and others on Linux's systemd
ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols on the systemd mess (via Kragen)
via:kragen  systemd  linux  ubuntu  gnome  init  ops 
9 weeks ago by jm
cAPTain
a simple, lightweight HTTP server for storing and distributing custom Debian packages around your organisation. It is designed to make it as easy as possible to use Debian packages for code deployments and to ease other system administration tasks.
debian  apt  sysadmin  linux  ops  packaging 
9 weeks ago by jm
Netflix release new code to production before completing tests
Interesting -- I hadn't heard of this being an official practise anywhere before (although we actually did it ourselves this week)...
If a build has made it [past the 'integration test' phase], it is ready to be deployed to one or more internal environments for user-acceptance testing. Users could be UI developers implementing a new feature using the API, UI Testers performing end-to-end testing or automated UI regression tests. As far as possible, we strive to not have user-acceptance tests be a gating factor for our deployments. We do this by wrapping functionality in Feature Flags so that it is turned off in Production while testing is happening in other environments. 
devops  deployment  feature-flags  release  testing  integration-tests  uat  qa  production  ops  gating  netflix 
10 weeks ago by jm
"Linux Containers And The Future Cloud" [slides]
by Rami Rosen -- extremely detailed presentation into the state of Linux containers, LXC, Docker, namespaces, cgroups, and checkpoint/restore in userspace (via lusis)
lsx  docker  criu  namespaces  cgroups  linux  via:lusis  ops  containers  rami-rosen  presentations 
10 weeks ago by jm
Mike Perham on Twitter: "Sweet, monit just sent a DMCA takedown notice to @github to remove Inspeqtor."
'The work, Inspeqtor which is hosted at GitHub, is far from a “clean-room” implementation. This is basically a rewrite of Monit in Go, even using the same configuration language that is used in Monit, verbatim.

a. [private] himself admits that Inspeqtor is "heavily influenced“ by Monit https://github.com/mperham/inspeqtor/wiki/Other-Solutions.

b. This tweet by [private] demonstrate intent. https://twitter.com/mperham/status/452160352940064768 "OSS nerds: redesign and build monit in Go. Sell it commercially. Make $$$$. I will be your first customer.”'

IANAL, but using the same config language does not demonstrate copyright infringement...
copyright  dmca  tildeslash  monit  inspeqtor  github  ops  oss  agpl 
10 weeks ago by jm
Zonify
'a set of command line tools for managing Route53 DNS for an AWS infrastructure. It intelligently uses tags and other metadata to automatically create the associated DNS records.'
zonify  aws  dns  ec2  route53  ops 
10 weeks ago by jm
Mandos
'a system for allowing servers with encrypted root file systems to reboot unattended and/or remotely.' (via Tony Finch)
via:fanf  mandos  encryption  security  server  ops  sysadmin  linux 
10 weeks ago by jm
The End of Linux
'Linux is becoming the thing that we adopted Linux to get away from.'

Great post on the horrible complexity of systemd. It reminds me of nothing more than mid-90s AIX, which I had the displeasure of opsing for a while -- the Linux distros have taken a very wrong turn here.
linux  unix  complexity  compatibility  ops  rant  systemd  bloat  aix 
12 weeks ago by jm
Inviso: Visualizing Hadoop Performance
With the increasing size and complexity of Hadoop deployments, being able to locate and understand performance is key to running an efficient platform.  Inviso provides a convenient view of the inner workings of jobs and platform.  By simply overlaying a new view on existing infrastructure, Inviso can operate inside any Hadoop environment with a small footprint and provide easy access and insight.  


This sounds pretty useful.
inviso  netflix  hadoop  emr  performance  ops  tools 
12 weeks ago by jm
Avoiding Chef-Suck with Auto Scaling Groups - forty9ten
Some common problems which arise using Chef with ASGs in EC2, and how these guys avoided it -- they stopped using Chef for service provisioning, and instead baked AMIs when a new version was released. ASGs using pre-baked AMIs definitely works well so this makes good sense IMO.
infrastructure  chef  ops  asg  auto-scaling  ec2  provisioning  deployment 
12 weeks ago by jm
pcstat
get page cache statistics for files.
A common question when tuning databases and other IO-intensive applications is, "is Linux caching my data or not?" pcstat gets that information for you using the mincore(2) syscall. I wrote this is so that Apache Cassandra users can see if ssTables are being cached.
linux  page-cache  caching  go  performance  cassandra  ops  mincore  fincore 
september 2014 by jm
Troubleshooting Production JVMs with jcmd
remotely trigger GCs, finalization, heap dumps etc. Handy
jvm  jcmd  debugging  ops  java  gc  heap  troubleshooting 
september 2014 by jm
The State of ZFS on Linux
Linux users familiar with other filesystems or ZFS users from other platforms will often ask whether ZFS on Linux (ZoL) is “stable”. The short answer is yes, depending on your definition of stable. The term stable itself is somewhat ambiguous.


Oh dear. that's not a good start. Good reference page, though
zfs  linux  filesystems  ops  solaris 
september 2014 by jm
Mail-in-a-Box
'turns a fresh cloud computer into a working mail server. You get contact synchronization, spam filtering, and so on. On your phone, you can use apps like K-9 Mail and CardDAV-Sync free beta to sync your email and contacts between your phone and your box.'

(via Tony Finch)
via:fanf  mail  diy  hosting  webmail  ops 
september 2014 by jm
Using spot instances
Excellent post on all of the ins and outs of EC2 spot instance usage
ec2  aws  spot-instances  pricing  cloud  auto-scaling  ops 
september 2014 by jm
Nix: The Purely Functional Package Manager
'a powerful package manager for Linux and other Unix systems that makes package management reliable and reproducible. It provides atomic upgrades and rollbacks, side-by-side installation of multiple versions of a package, multi-user package management and easy setup of build environments. '

Basically, this is a third-party open source reimplementation of Amazon's (excellent) internal packaging system, using symlinks to versioned package directories to ensure atomicity and the ability to roll back. This is definitely the *right* way to build packages -- I know what tool I'll be pushing for, next time this question comes up.

See also nixos.org for a Linux distro built on Nix.
ops  linux  devops  unix  packaging  distros  nix  nixos  atomic  upgrades  rollback  versioning 
september 2014 by jm
Applying cardiac alarm management techniques to your on-call
An ops-focused take on a recent story about alarm fatigue, and how a Boston hospital dealt with it. When I was in Amazon, many of the teams in our division had a target to reduce false positive pages, with a definite monetary value attached to it, since many teams had "time off in lieu" payments for out-of-hours pages to the on-call staff. As a result, reducing false-positive pages was reasonably high priority and we dealt with this problem very proactively, with a well-developed sense of how to do so. It's interesting to see how the outside world is only just starting to look into its amelioration. (Another benefit of a TOIL policy ;)
ops  monitoring  sysadmin  alerts  alarms  nagios  alarm-fatigue  false-positives  pages 
september 2014 by jm
On-Demand Jenkins Slaves With Amazon EC2
This is very likely where we'll be going for our acceptance tests in Swrve
testing  jenkins  ec2  spot-instances  scalability  auto-scaling  ops  build 
august 2014 by jm
Apache Kafka 0.8 basic training
This is a pretty voluminous and authoritative presentation about getting started with Kafka; wish this was around when we started using it for 0.7. (We use our own homegrown realtime system nowadays, due to better partitioning, monitoring and operability.)
storm  kafka  presentations  documentation  ops 
august 2014 by jm
Logentries Announces Machine Learning Analytics for IT Ops Monitoring and Real-time Alerting
This sounds pretty neat:
With Logentries Anomaly Detection, users can:

Set-up real-time alerting based on deviations from important patterns and log events.
Easily customize Anomaly thresholds and compare different time periods.

With Logentries Inactivity Alerting, users can:

Monitor standard, incoming events such as an application heart beat.
Receive real-time alerts based on log inactivity (i.e. receive alerts when something does not occur).
logging  syslog  logentries  anomaly-detection  ops  machine-learning  inactivity  alarms  alerting  heartbeats 
august 2014 by jm
Box Tech Blog » A Tale of Postmortems
How Box introduced COE-style dev/ops outage postmortems, and got them working. This PIE metric sounds really useful to head off the dreaded "it'll all have to come out missus" action item:
The picture was getting clearer, and we decided to look into individual postmortems and action items and see what was missing. As it was, action items were wasting away with no owners. Digging deeper, we noticed that many action items entailed massive refactorings or vague requirements like “make system X better” (i.e. tasks that realistically were unlikely to be addressed). At a higher level, postmortem discussions often devolved into theoretical debates without a clear outcome. We needed a way to lower and focus the postmortem bar and a better way to categorize our action items and our technical debt.

Out of this need, PIE (“Probability of recurrence * Impact of recurrence * Ease of addressing”) was born. By ranking each factor from 1 (“low”) to 5 (“high”), PIE provided us with two critical improvements:

1. A way to police our postmortems discussions. I.e. a low probability, low impact, hard to implement solution was unlikely to get prioritized and was better suited to a discussion outside the context of the postmortem. Using this ranking helped deflect almost all theoretical discussions.
2. A straightforward way to prioritize our action items.

What’s better is that once we embraced PIE, we also applied it to existing tech debt work. This was critical because we could now prioritize postmortem action items alongside existing work. Postmortem action items became part of normal operations just like any other high-priority work.
postmortems  action-items  outages  ops  devops  pie  metrics  ranking  refactoring  prioritisation  tech-debt 
august 2014 by jm
The Network is Reliable - ACM Queue
Peter Bailis and Kyle Kingsbury accumulate a comprehensive, informal survey of real-world network failures observed in production. I remember that April 2011 EBS outage...
ec2  aws  networking  outages  partitions  jepsen  pbailis  aphyr  acm-queue  acm  survey  ops 
july 2014 by jm
iosnoop For Linux
it's a shell script! ftrace-based tool to snoop on Linux disk I/O and trace system-wide activity, more-or-less attributing it to the correct process
linux  disk  io  tracing  trace  ops  ftrace 
july 2014 by jm
Boundary's new server monitoring free offering
'High resolution, 1 second intervals for all metrics; Fluid analytics, drag any graph to any point in time; Smart alarms to cut down on false positives; Embedded graphs and customizable dashboards; Up to 10 servers for free'

Pre-registration is open now. Could be interesting, although the limit of 10 machines is pretty small for any production usage
boundary  monitoring  network  ops  metrics  alarms  tcp  ip  netstat 
july 2014 by jm
Xfennec/cv
'This tool can be described as a Tiny Dirty Linux Only C command that looks for coreutils basic commands (cp, mv, dd, tar, gzip/gunzip, cat, ...) currently running on your system and displays the percentage of copied data. It can now also display an estimated throughput (using -w flag).'
coreutils  via:pixelbeat  linux  ops  hacks  procfs  dataviz  unix 
july 2014 by jm
Latest EBS tuning tips
from yesterday's AWS Summit in NYC:

Cheat sheet of EBS-optimized instances. http://t.co/vmTlhUtpWk
Optimize your queue depth to achieve lower latency & highest IOPS. http://t.co/EO48oa0D6X
When configuring your RAID, use a stripe size of 128KB or 256KB. http://t.co/N0ldtFJ4t6
Use larger block size to speed up the pre-warming process. http://t.co/8UoIeWE2px
ebs  aws  amazon  iops  raid  ops  tuning 
july 2014 by jm
Two traps in iostat: %util and svctm
Marc Brooker:
As a measure of general IO busyness %util is fairly handy, but as an indication of how much the system is doing compared to what it can do, it's terrible. Iostat's svctm has even fewer redeeming strengths. It's just extremely misleading for most modern storage systems and workloads. Both of these fields are likely to mislead more than inform on modern SSD-based storage systems, and their use should be treated with extreme care.
ioutil  iostat  svctm  ops  ssd  disks  hardware  metrics  stats  linux 
july 2014 by jm
Tessera
Urban Airship with a new open-source Graphite front-end UI; similar enough to Grafana at a glance, no releases yet, ASL2-licensed
graphite  metrics  ui  front-ends  open-source  ops 
july 2014 by jm
Delivery Notifications for Simple Email Service
Today we are enhancing SES with the addition of delivery notifications. You can now elect to receive an Amazon SNS notification each time SES successfully delivers a message to a recipient's email server. These notifications give you increased visibility into the mail delivery process. With today's release, you can now track deliveries, bounces, and complaints, all via notification to the SNS topic or topics of your choice.
delivery  email  smtp  ses  aws  sns  notifications  ops 
june 2014 by jm
Amazon EC2 Service Limits Report Now Available
'designed to make it easier for you to view and manage your limits for Amazon EC2 by providing the latest information on service limits and links to quickly request limit increases. EC2 Service Limits Report displays all your service limit information in one place to help you avoid encountering limits on future EC2, EBS, Auto Scaling, and VPC usage.'
aws  ec2  vpc  ebs  autoscaling  limits  ops 
june 2014 by jm
Code Spaces data and backups deleted by hackers
Rather scary story of an extortionist wiping out a company's AWS-based infrastructure. Turns out S3 supports MFA-required deletion as a feature, though, which would help against that.
ops  security  extortion  aws  ec2  s3  code-spaces  delete  mfa  two-factor-authentication  authentication  infrastructure 
june 2014 by jm
Call me maybe: Elasticsearch
Wow, these are terrible results. From the sounds of it, ES just cannot deal with realistic outage scenarios and is liable to suffer catastrophic damage in reasonably-common partitions.
If you are an Elasticsearch user (as I am): good luck. Some people actually advocate using Elasticsearch as a primary data store; I think this is somewhat less than advisable at present. If you can, store your data in a safer database, and feed it into Elasticsearch gradually. Have processes in place that continually traverse the system of record, so you can recover from ES data loss automatically.
elasticsearch  ops  storage  databases  jepsen  partition  network  outages  reliability 
june 2014 by jm
Call me maybe: RabbitMQ
We used Knossos and Jepsen to prove the obvious: RabbitMQ is not a lock service. That investigation led to a discovery hinted at by the documentation: in the presence of partitions, RabbitMQ clustering will not only deliver duplicate messages, but will also drop huge volumes of acknowledged messages on the floor. This is not a new result, but it may be surprising if you haven’t read the docs closely–especially if you interpreted the phrase “chooses Consistency and Partition Tolerance” to mean, well, either of those things.
rabbitmq  network  partitions  failure  cap-theorem  consistency  ops  reliability  distcomp  jepsen 
june 2014 by jm
Pillar
Manages migrations for your Cassandra data stores. Pillar grew from a desire to automatically manage Cassandra schema as code. Managing schema as code enables automated build and deployment, a foundational practice for an organization striving to achieve Continuous Delivery.

Pillar is to Cassandra what Rails ActiveRecord migrations or Play Evolutions are to relational databases with one key difference: Pillar is completely independent from any application development framework.
migrations  database  ops  pillar  cassandra  activerecord  scala  continuous-delivery  automation  build 
june 2014 by jm
Plumbr.eu's reference page for java.lang.OutOfMemoryError
With examples of each possible cause of a Java OOM, and suggested workarounds. succinct
reference  plumbr.eu  oom  java  memory  heap  ops 
june 2014 by jm
Database Migrations Done Right
The rule is simple. You should never tie database migrations to application deploys or vice versa. By minimising dependencies you enable faster, easier and cleaner deployments.


A solid description of why this is a good idea, from an ex-Guardian dev.
migrations  database  sql  mysql  postgres  deployment  ops  dependencies  loose-coupling 
may 2014 by jm
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
sre  ops  devops  google  monitoring  interviews  ben-treynor 
may 2014 by jm
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...
jenkins  docker  ops  testing  ec2  hosting  scaling  elastic-scaling  system-testing 
may 2014 by jm
SmartStack vs. Consul
One of the SmartStack developers at AirBNB responds to Consul.io's comments. FWIW, we use SmartStack in Swrve and it works pretty well...
smartstack  airbnb  ops  consul  serf  load-balancing  availability  resiliency  network-partitions  outages 
may 2014 by jm
Go: Best Practices for Production Environments
how Soundcloud deploy their Go services, after 2.5 years of Go in production
go  tips  deployment  best-practices  soundcloud  ops 
april 2014 by jm
AWS Elastic Beanstalk for Docker
This is pretty amazing. nice work, Beanstalk team. not sure how well it integrates with the rest of AWS though
aws  amazon  docker  ec2  beanstalk  ops  containers  linux 
april 2014 by jm
fcron
Fcron is a scheduler. It aims at replacing Vixie Cron, so it implements most of its functionalities. But contrary to Vixie Cron, fcron does not need your system to be up 7 days a week, 24 hours a day : it also works well with systems which are running only occasionnally (contrary to anacrontab). In other words, fcron does both the job of Vixie Cron and anacron, but does even more and better :)) ...


Thanks Craig!
via:chughes  cron  fcron  unix  linux  ops  scheduler  automation  scripts 
april 2014 by jm
Linode announces new instance specs
'TL;DR: SSDs + Insane network + Faster processors + Double the RAM + Hourly Billing'
hosting  linode  ssd  performance  linux  ops  datacenters 
april 2014 by jm
s3funnel
'a command line tool for Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3). Written in Python, easy_install the package to install as an egg. Supports multithreaded operations for large volumes. Put, get, or delete many items concurrently, using a fixed-size pool of threads. Built on workerpool for multithreading and boto for access to the Amazon S3 API. Unix-friendly input and output. Pipe things in, out, and all around.'

MIT-licensed open source. (via Paul Dolan)
via:pdolan  s3  s3funnel  tools  ops  aws  python  mit  open-source 
april 2014 by jm
"H" in cron syntax
This is something Jenkins have come up to randomize and distribute load, in order to avoid the "thundering-herd" bug. Good call
jenkins  randomization  load-balancing  load  thundering-herd  ops  capacity  sleep 
april 2014 by jm
Dead Man's Snitch
a cron job monitoring tool that keeps an eye on your periodic processes and notifies you when something doesn't happen. Daily backups, monthly emails, or cron jobs you need to monitor? Dead Man's Snitch has you covered. Know immediately when one of these processes doesn't work.


via Marc.
alerts  cron  monitoring  sysadmin  ops  backups  alarms 
april 2014 by jm
sysdig
open source, system-level exploration: capture system state and activity from a running Linux instance, then save, filter and analyze.
Think of it as strace + tcpdump + lsof + awesome sauce.
With a little Lua cherry on top.


This sounds excellent. Linux-based, GPLv2.
debugging  tools  linux  ops  tracing  strace  open-source  sysdig  cli  tcpdump  lsof 
april 2014 by jm
Adrian Cockroft's Cloud Outage Reports Collection
The detailed summaries of outages from cloud vendors are comprehensive and the response to each highlights many lessons in how to build robust distributed systems. For outages that significantly affected Netflix, the Netflix techblog report gives insight into how to effectively build reliable services on top of AWS. [....] I plan to collect reports here over time, and welcome links to other write-ups of outages and how to survive them.
outages  post-mortems  documentation  ops  aws  ec2  amazon  google  dropbox  microsoft  azure  incident-response 
march 2014 by jm
htcat/htcat
a utility to perform parallel, pipelined execution of a single HTTP GET. htcat is intended for the purpose of incantations like: htcat https://host.net/file.tar.gz | tar -zx

It is tuned (and only really useful) for faster interconnects: [....] 109MB/s on a gigabit network, between an AWS EC2 instance and S3. This represents 91% use of the theoretical maximum of gigabit (119.2 MiB/s).
go  cli  http  file-transfer  ops  tools 
march 2014 by jm
S3QL
a file system that stores all its data online using storage services like Google Storage, Amazon S3, or OpenStack. S3QL effectively provides a hard disk of dynamic, infinite capacity that can be accessed from any computer with internet access running Linux, FreeBSD or OS-X.

S3QL is a standard conforming, full featured UNIX file system that is conceptually indistinguishable from any local file system. Furthermore, S3QL has additional features like compression, encryption, data de-duplication, immutable trees and snapshotting which make it especially suitable for online backup and archival.
s3  s3ql  backup  aws  filesystems  linux  freebsd  osx  ops 
march 2014 by jm
ZooKeeper Resilience at Pinterest
essentially decoupling the client services from ZK using a local daemon on each client host; very similar to Airbnb's Smartstack. This is a bit of an indictment of ZK's usability though
ops  architecture  clustering  network  partitions  cap  reliability  smartstack  airbnb  pinterest  zookeeper 
march 2014 by jm
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