A number of people have commented to me over the last few years that when they search for me on Google, it suggests that they might want to search for “Baron Schwartz left Percona.” This is a top suggestion when I search for myself, too.
Since people are searching for it, maybe I should explain it.
Years ago I pursued my interest in InnoDB’s architecture and design, and became impressed with its sophistication. Another way to say it is that InnoDB is complicated, as are all MVCC databases. However, InnoDB manages to hide the bulk of its complexity entirely from most users.
I decided to at least outline a book on InnoDB. After researching it for a while, it became clear that it would need to be a series of books in multiple volumes, with somewhere between 1000 and 2000 pages total.
At one time I actually understood a lot of this material, but I have forgotten most of it now.
I did not begin writing. Although it is incomplete, outdated, and in some cases wrong, I share the outline here in case anyone is interested. It might be of particular interest to someone who thinks it’s an easy task to write a new database.
UPDATE: the book is now available from https://ruxit.com/anomaly-detection/.
Together with Preetam Jinka, I’m writing a book for O’Reilly called Anomaly Detection for Monitoring (working title).
I’d like your help with this. Would you please comment, tweet, or email me examples of anomaly detection used for monitoring; and monitoring problems that frustrate you, which you think anomaly detection might help solve?
Thanks in advance.
I’ve been invited to speak at a joint meeting of the Austin MySQL meetup and the Austin Data Geeks meetup on Monday, July 27, 2015. This is a real treat for me. I have not spent much time in this area but whenever I have I’ve loved it. And the community is large and highly engaged at lots of levels. Here’s the summary of the event:
… your database’s performance is a lot less important to your business than the way you structure your engineering team. The interesting thing is that a lot of the most serious team, communication, and process bottlenecks in your business (the ones that make you miss ship deadlines, crash the site, and lose your best team members after repeated all-nighters) are actually driven by database issues, but not the way you think they are.
The topic may seem like a bit of a departure for me. I’ll be talking about organizational optimization, not mutex contention or query optimization. What gives?
In my last blog post I explained how to reclaim your mornings and make them the most productive time of day. In this one I’ll explain how exercise makes my mornings better, and how I avoid feeling sluggish after overdoing it.
Before I start, though, I am not a doctor, and by reading the following you agree you’re doing it at your own risk.
If you’re like a lot of knowledge workers, you might feel that you spend your time unproductively. You seem to “do stuff” all day long but then feel that you’ve done nothing but “stuff” at the end of the day.
How can you change this? I’ve found three things that work for me to not only stay focused and achieve my objectives, but also help me feel better about myself. You see, although on a less focused day I might not feel very productive, it’s not that I’ve failed to achieve anything (though I might have achieved fewer of my most valuable goals). It’s that I’ve worked with an unclear mind, and later cannot remember exactly what I did during the day. This leads directly to self-doubt and self-criticism.
Solving this problem is fairly simple for me and results in terrific productivity, as well as a great sense of satisfaction and progress at the end of the day.
Many database vendors would like me to take a look at their products and consider adopting them for all sorts of purposes. Often they’re pitching something quite new and unproven as a replacement for mature, boring technology I’m using happily.
I would consider a new and unproven technology, and I often have. As I’ve written previously, though, a real evaluation takes a lot of effort, and that makes most evaluations non-starters.
Perhaps the most important thing I’m considering is whether the product is mature. There are different levels of maturity, naturally, but I want to understand whether it’s mature enough for me to take a look at it. And in that spirit, it’s worth understanding what makes a database mature.
History is repeating again. MongoDB is breaking out of the niche into the mainstream, performance and instrumentation are terrible in specific cases, MongoDB isn’t able to fix all the problems alone, and an ecosystem is growing.
I’ve written a few times before about how to write a good conference proposal. I’ve been on the committee of various conferences many times. It’s surprising how few people actually can write good proposals. Somehow it’s also suprisingly hard to explain what makes a good one, so I’m going to give this another try.
Everyone who’s been successful at creating something remarkable, and scaling it, likely has developed into a repeatable process. If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have scaled it, and you’d never have heard of it. (There are lots of geniuses you’ve never heard of who’ve created remarkable results at an individual level.)
A lot of times they’ll go through several iterations of massive success with this, then write some books, found a consulting company, go on the speaking circuit, and so on. And almost always, they seem to demand rigid adherence to specific sacred-cow principles that must remain inviolate.
You should be really skeptical of anything that smells like this. Sacred cows make the best steaks, and here’s why.
Everyone loves (or mocks) a good standing desk, but most of us don’t love the price. Adjustable sit/stand desks and bolt-on apparatus I’ve seen cost up to $1000 to $5000. I have a feeling if you get something on the cheap end of that scale, you probably will regret it. There are less expensive ones that just sit on your desk, but they seem like abominations I would hate to use.
As an alternative I won’t regret because it’s cheap and minimalistic, I’ve been using a simple but effective adjustable laptop holder for a few years. It’s easy to place on a desktop or counter. At this point there are a few of them at work and one at home. I keep recommending them to friends so I might as well just post it here too.
I used Google Reader since time out of mind, but of course by now you know it was discontinued a while ago. I still live and breathe RSS feeds, and I really don’t pay much attention to social media, news sites, or the like of Hacker News and Slashdot. I like the flexibility and unhurried pace of subscribing to updates from specific individuals and companies.
At first, I didn’t see a reader that offered the experience I was looking for: a GMail-like user interface with feeds clustered together in categories, navigable with keystrokes. Importantly, some subtle features such as marking an item unread are a key part of my usage.
I contributed an article on modern database storage engines to the recent DZone Guide To Database and Persistence Management. I’m cross-posting the article below with DZone’s permission.
I wrote a guest post for High Scalability about how we scale our backend systems at VividCortex. It’s heavy on MySQL, sprinkled with a little bit of Redis’s magic pixie dust, and Kafka is also a key part of the architecture.
If you’re a Mac user like me, maybe you’ll find the following tips helpful for making you better at your job.
In The Ultimate Notebook, I reviewed a large list of notebooks I bought in my quest for the perfect one for me. (I’m happy to say that I’ve been using the Quo Vadis Habana in Raspberry exclusively for a while). But what about the perfect pen? Ah, pens. As much a personal matter as notebooks are. I’ve tried a variety of pens. Here’s my review of some of them.
What will life be like in the age of smart machines? According to a Batten Institute briefing on Innovation in the Age of Smart Machines, up to 66% of the U.S. workforce may lose their jobs to computers in the coming decades. The report points out, however, that humans will always be needed to direct the computers. I’m not so sure.
I recently updated the High Performance MySQL website to modernize it. I am impressed at how easy it is these days to get a great little brochure site hosted. It used to be a lot more work. I used a variety of tools and services to do this and decided to share this for people who are interested. Hopefully you’ll add comments and point me towards more tools and tips to make these things even easier for me in the future!
Why DevOps needs a manifesto after all, but may never get one.
This article originally appeared on O’Reilly Radar.
DevOps is everywhere! The growth and mindshare of the movement is remarkable. But if you care deeply about DevOps, you might agree with me when I say that although its moment has “arrived,” DevOps is in serious trouble. The movement is fragmented and weakly defined, and is being usurped by those who care more about short-term opportunities than the long-term viability of DevOps.