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Displaying posts with tag: War stories (reset)

Upcoming for Scalable Startups
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Just back from the Labor Day holiday, and ready to dive back in.

I thought this would be a great time to outline some of our upcoming topics so here goes…

1. Why Oracle usability sucks

- a rant about Oracle’s weak points

In the meantime take a peek at our piece on why we wrote the book on Oracle & Open Source. We ruminate on trends in the datacenter and take a stab at Oracle’s future.

2. Why relational databases don’t scale

- Is there any such thing as automatic scalability?
- What blocks scalability?
- Are NoSQL databases magic?

Also one of our articles that went viral –



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Juggling apples & oranges in the datacenter
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In which a few choice words become one serious accident… The Backstory More than five years ago now, I worked for a shop in the business of news & information around the legal and real estate sectors. It was a fairly large organization with a number of Oracle and MySQL backed applications. The whole place [...]

For more articles like these go to Sean Hull's Scalable Startups

Related posts:
  • Open Insights 02 – Consulting Apples and Oranges
  • Open Insights 16 – Success In Juggling
  • Sometimes… let things break a little
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    Have you ever started a new project, just into it you realize that maybe there aren’t technical problems to solve? It starts to dawn on you the real crux of the problem boils down to people & processes?

    It’s happened to me on a number of occasions, but once in particular really stands out for me.

    I was working for a firm in the education space, in particular around test preparations.

    Asked to automate a publish process

    The environment had a mix of relational databases, from SQL*Server to MySQL for some applications. The web facing database

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    Where’s my 80 million dollars?
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    Way back in the heydays of the dot-com boom, the year is 1999.

    I worked for a medium size internet startup called Method Five. When I came on board they were having a terrible time with their site performance.

    Website crashing

    When I first met the team, I was tasked with performance problems. After all their flagship web property kept crashing, and it didn’t look good to investors. As with most web properties in those days it was a home-grown datacenter in the back of the office, running on Sun Microsystems

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    A CTO Must Never Do This…
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    A couple years back I was contacted to look at a very strange problem.

    The firm ran flash sales. An email goes out at noon, the website traffic explodes for a couple of hours, then settles back down to a trickle.

    Of course you might imagine where this is going. During that peak, the MySQL database was brought to its knees. I was asked to do analysis during this peak load, and identify and fix problems. Make it go faster, please!

    First day on the job I’m working with a team of outsourced DBAs. I was also working

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    The Art of Resistance
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    Sometimes, you have to be the bad guy. Be resistant to change. Here’s a story about how stubbornness pays off. As we’ve written about before A 4 letter word divides Dev & Ops.

    I had one experience working as the primary MySQL DBA for an internet startup. Turns out they had Oracle for some applications too. And another DBA just to handle the Oracle stuff.

    So it came time for Oracle guy to go on vacation. Suddenly these Oracle systems landed on my shoulders. We reviewed

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    MySQL InnoDB and table renaming don’t play well…
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    At Days of Wonder we are huge fans of MySQL (http://www.mysql.com/) (and since about a year of the various Open Query, Percona, Google or other community patches), up to the point we’re using MySQL for about everything in production.

    But since we moved to 5.0, back 3 years ago our production databases which hold our website and online game systems has a unique issue: the mysqld process uses more and more RAM, up to the point where the kernel OOM decide to kill the process.

    You’d certainly think we are complete morons because we didn’t do anything in the last 3 years to fix the issue

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    Showing entries 1 to 7

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