Paul O’Rorke

Archive for March, 2009

The Data Architecture of Force.com

by on Mar.25, 2009, under Meeting Notes

Craig Weissman, Chief Software Architect (and just announced new CTO) of Salesforce.com, gave a presentation on “The Magic of Multitenancy:  Under the Covers of the Data Architecture of Force.com” at the SDForum Software Architecture and Modeling Special Interest Group in Palo Alto on March 25th, 2009.  This talk shared a lot of content with an earlier presentation at PARC Forum given by Todd McKinnon, ex SVP for Software Development at Salesforce.  This is because both presentations derive from an earlier presentation given by Craig at Dreamforce 2008.  However, Craig went into a bit more depth and detail in part because he was in a better position to do so, having invented some of the technology, and in part because of the relatively large number of software architects present and because of the interactive nature of SDForum SIG meetings. (continue reading…)

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The Big Switch

by on Mar.16, 2009, under Reviews

Nicholas Carr’s 2008 book “The Big Switch:  Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google” follows up after his earlier book “Does IT Matter?” claimed that information technology is becoming a commodity like electricity and IT doesn’t matter anymore:  it no longer provides a competitive advantage.  ”The Big Switch” claims that computing is turning into a utility and the use of computers is undergoing a transformation similar to what happened when the production of electricity was centralized.  Currently most companies have their own data centers just as factories used to have their own electrical power generators but in the future nearly all computing will be supplied by utilities like the data centers that have emerged at Amazon, Google, and other next-generation internet service providers. (continue reading…)

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Hadoop Boot Camp

by on Mar.06, 2009, under Meeting Notes

Scale Unlimited held its first public “Hadoop Boot Camp” at the Plug and Play Center in Redwood City on March 5th and 6th, 2009.  Hadoop is an Apache open source project used by Yahoo that includes a bundle of related sub-projects supporting distributed computing using MapReduce.  It is becoming a “virtual OS for your data center” for many large distributable problems.  Yahoo is a major contributor and uses Hadoop extensively on large clusters.  Yahoo and Hadoop won the Terabyte sort benchmark contest in 2008 (the first Java and open-source entrant to win) using 910 nodes with two quad core Xeons per node.  Hadoop has been used on a two thousand node cluster and the current design goal is 10,000 nodes.

Scale Unlimited is a new company specializing in Hadoop training and Principals Chris Wensel and Stefan Groschupf serve as friendly “Drill Sergeants.”  Their two day training session includes hands-on labs as well as lectures and it is a great way to learn a lot about Hadoop Core and related technologies in a short period of time.  They strike a nice balance by making everything compact and concentrated while avoiding making things indigestible, opaque, or overwhelming.

(continue reading…)

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