Last year, Google’s IO conference sold out in under an hour of painful and awkward page refreshes against a clunky Cold Fusion-based system. This year, they increased the price and brought the system in-house. The event sold out in minutes, with many insisting they never had a chance.
In the spirit of the recently released movie adaptation of the popular book The Hunger Games, I have a suggestion for how Google can structure registration next year.
There will be an open registration period (perhaps a week) where developers can put their names into a drawing. If Google wishes to provide multiple entries for those who have previously attended, have contributed to projects, or are otherwise important to them, they can do so.
At a given date and time, Google will conduct the Google IO Reaping. A certain number of names will be drawn and receive email notification that they have an opportunity to purchase a ticket–I’d suggest they have 24-48 hours, so there’s no rush. Everyone who receive an invitation from the reaping gets a ticket if they pay for one.
If seats don’t get sold as tickets, they go back into the pool and re-reaped. The goal is that only the people who signed up for the reaping can be named as Google Tributes. Of course, people sometimes will need to cancel, and we’ll put those back into the pool to be re-reaped, and if someone else takes the seat the original purchaser gets a refund.
This process avoids a huge sign-up rush. It also gives everyone in every time zone an equal chance to make it in. And, finally, it restores an opportunity for Google to give previous participants an edge while keeping things fair.
What do you think, Google? May the odds be EVER in IO’s favor?
I moderated a panel at the Content Delivery Summit (affiliated with the Streaming Media East event in New York last month) and they were nice enough to record the video. Very cool stuff!
The subject was about the convergence between CDN services and Cloud Computing services. Enjoy!
It isn’t every day that a project of your conception takes off and gains enough traction to change things for everyone at your company. It’s even less common that such a project gets recognized by an outside body when it’s an infrastructure effort, which companies like AOL don’t discuss that openly. The combination of these two are why I’m especially pleased to share that the AOL Cloud project, which I’d been working to make a reality since 2007, was recognized by the Uptime Institute at their 2011 Green Enterprise IT awards. We were recognized in the “IT Innovation” category on May 11th at the Uptime Symposium. Aaron Lake and I provided a presentation of our effort – Will Stevens couldn’t join us, as he had left AOL.
No effort of this nature happens as an individual effort, and this was no exception. Given the challenging circumstances at AOL in 2010, it was especially exciting to see people band together to work on such an exciting project. I’m glad we were able to embrace some of the best of current technology at AOL, and make it ours. I’m looking forward to seeing our participation in World IPv6 Day as well.
I’ll be speaking on Tuesday at the CDN World Summit in London. If you’re attending, feel free to look me up while I’m there – the event is somewhat more vendor-focused than content-provider focused.
Full details: http://bit.ly/19Ea7I
Contact: Carl.Coppadge at corp.aol.com or AIM: carlcoppadge11
Location: Dulles, VA
MySQL Database Administrator
AOL’s People Networks Operations, which operates AIM and ICQ, has an opening for a Sr. MySQL Database Administrator. This position would be responsible for managing large, highly scaled production MySQL databases as well as pre-production (QA/Dev/Staging) environments.
- All aspects of MySQL deployment, operation,and design to ensure high reliability and performance
- Collaborate with developers and architects to create high-performance, cost-effective designs
- Participate in an on-call rotation as part of a 24×7 operations team to resolve urgent production issues
- Ensuring data integrity with good process and a keen eye for detecting errors and misuses of data
Desired Skills for this Position:
- Knowledge of database architecture concepts as well as MySQL-specific implementations
- Significant experience with MySQL in a high-volume production environment
- Experience with open source ETL packages and methods for large scale data migration
- Diverse technical background with awareness of concepts in networking, Linux, and storage
- Bachelor-level degree in Engineering, Computing, or Sciences orequivalent experience
- Replication: managing replication delay, scaling replication throughput, and designing resilient systems
- Configuration: tuning InnoDB, managing memory usage, and tuning file systems for maximum throughput
- Reliability: backups under load, failover strategies, and recovery from replication issues
- MySQL: familiarity with Percona and Google patches
Our perfect candidate can manage many rapidly changing projects while maintaining professionalism and poise. Our environment is both highly exciting and highly demanding — those who thrive here adopt a “work smarter, not harder” attitude.
There are a number of different ways to inform your customers of an outage. I’ve previously discussed how 365main and Amazon Web Services did this fairly well in the past. Unfortunately, Limelight Networks customers are hearing about issues with their CDN via GigaOM.
With most technology, it’s a given that there’s almost always More Than One Way To Do It (unless you worship Python). There are always those situations where choices must be made, and different people use different yardsticks to decide. Some try to minimize “cost,” either up-front development cost or long-term engineering cost. The smarter ones have recognized the concept of “Technology Debt” as addressed by several observers. As a leader in Operations, however, I tend to subscribe to my own rule: the 4 a.m. rule.
I’ve mentioned in the past that the failure of complex systems is an inevitable fact of nature. The corresponding act of human inquisition into the reasons for that failure are equally inevitable. Where I work — and almost every other large installation I’ve seen or been part of — the learnings from these inquisitions are shared for educational reasons. The name for this differs from company to company: some call it a RFO (reason for outage) or an After-Action Report, but for whatever reasons the name for this at AOL is a Post-Mortem.
A whole lot of conferences are happening this week, and I’ll be attending two of them. On Monday and Tuesday of this week I’ll be attending O’Reilly’s Velocity conference, where I’ll be moderating a panel entitled “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about CDNs (but were afraid to ask).” I’m hoping that seems to be fun, but there ought to be a lot of other interesting people I’d like to see while there as well, including two other very smart folks from AOL (Mandi Walls and Eric Goldsmith). I’ve been thinking about this as “Web 2.0 Expo without all that boring UI and Business Stuff”.
The second event I’ll be at will be GigaOM’s Structure 08. Cloud computing is really leveling the playing field, giving small start-ups access to world-class operational assets… which to me only underscore the importance of having brilliant Ops folks to run those systems. I’m eager to see what sort of discussions emerge.
If you happen to be at either, give me a buzz in the comments, and I’ll try and catch up with you.
This past Friday, DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT) raised $640 million in an IPO. DFT is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) which specializes in large-scale commercial data centers. More to the point, they specialize in the sort of facilities which are desired by the largest technology companies. I’ve mentioned before that building and operating facilities is often desirable for larger players, but when it isn’t, they increasingly turn to DFT.