Building a grid using Web services standards

The sixth and final part of the “Building a grid with Web services standards”, title “Monitoring and execution” is finally available. The final tutorial in the series wraps up the system by looking at the role of WS-Notification in the management and monitoring of your grid. WS-Notification uses a familiar subscription model, similar to RSS, to notify ‘watchers’ of events. These can be read and handled according to your needs, with the entire subscription and notification process taking place through the use of web services. Here’s the description from the piece:

You’re going to look at the key role that notification and monitoring have in the execution and management of a grid. You’ll learn how to create a basic notification system and how the combination of topics and push technology (as defined by the WS-Notification standard) provides an open, flexible, and customizable environment for distributing events and information to grid services.

Please read the other parts first if you have not done so already:

And finally, read the final part Building a grid using Web services standards, Part 6: Monitoring and execution. Once again, I’d like to thank Tyler Anderson who did the coding work based on my design and architecture, and did a fantastic job in the process!

Apache Session Management Within Dynamic Sites

As a follow on to an earlier piece about session management natively in Apache, I’ve written a follow up that looks more closely at the issue of developing sites that use cookies for ID and session management. In this article, I cover the mechanics, internals and security of the cookie system, and look at how to use cookies within Perl CGI scripts. Here’s the intro from the piece:

As Web sites get more complicated and more dynamic, developers want to give users a more cohesive environment. This cohesion can provide all sorts of functionality, from a simple method of tracking a shopping basket to providing full-blown customization of stories, templates, and information shown to users as they use the Web site. The key to this system is the session – a unique identifier that enables developers to identify users, either for relatively short periods (e.g., in shopping baskets) or longer (full customization).In a previous article “Session Tracking with Apache,” we described how to use cookies and the sessions system within Apache to track user access for the purposes of monitoring site usage in the logs and recording which pages were viewed. We can adapt the same basic principles – primarily cookies – through programmable components, such as Perl and PHP to provide customized Web sites.This article will look at how Apache can help with session management and how that information can be used with Perl and PHP scripts.

Read on for the full article.

Building a grid with web Services, Part 5

Part 5 of the Building a grid with Web services series is now available on the IBM developerWorks site. In this part we cover the management and flow of information and work through the grid. This is the part where movies submitted to the grid are routed through to a suitable storage node according to their size and available storage capacity. Here’s the official blurb:

Storing movies across a grid is more than just a case of handling the security and effective transfer of the information between system components. For the system to be an effective grid, you need to be able to manage the individual components and processes that make up the grid solution.For example, when submitting a movie into the grid, there is more to the process than just transferring the movie. The grid manager must make a decision about which grid node stores the movie, then record the information so the movie can be located again when it is requested. You may also want to control individual nodes — for example, when upgrading the node or storage, you may want to disable it while you update the available storage locations. All of these items will be tackled in this tutorial.

And you may want to take a look at the previous parts before leaping into part 5:

You can then feel free to read Building a grid with web services, Part 5.

StarOffice 8 Review – Office Killer?

LinuxPlanet have just recently published my very detailed StarOffice 8 review. To summarize, I like it, and with a few caveats, it gives Microsoft Office a run for its money. The article is spread over a number pages, with screenshots, a brief TOC is below:

  1. Alternatives to Microsoft Office
  2. Availability
  3. Installation
  4. StarOffice Writer
  5. StarOffice Calc
  6. StarOffice Impress
  7. StarOffice Draw
  8. StarOffice Base
  9. Office Killer?

You can read the full article at LinuxPlanet.

System Administrators Toolkit: Process administration tricks

I’ve just started a new series at IBM developerWorks looking at UNIX related system administration tricks. The aim is to cover some generic tips and help on a particular area (for example, process administration), and not only handle the tricks on different platforms, but look at ways of getting the same information through a script or alias if you manage UNIX machines in a heterogeneous network. In the first, Process Adminsistration, I look at the basics of using ps, how to get the same information out of different ps tools in different Unix variants, and how to kill, manage, and organize multiple processes within a shell.

Write software for multiple UNIX platforms

I have a new tutorial on writing software for multiple UNIX platforms at IBM developerWorks. The focus is on the technical aspects, such as header and library availability, build environments and understanding what some of the key elements are. I also take the opportunity to go over a basic configure script system, using the GNU autotools/autoconf toolkit to generate the necessary scripts. You can read the full tutorial Write software for multiple UNIX platforms.This tutorial is part of a new series on UNIX (rather than Linux, or Open Source) technology at developerWorks, and some of the tutorials are already in the system, with others in process of being written and developed. I’ve got help in this area in the form of Chris Herborth, long time writing associate and friend, and David Dougall, a system administrator at Brigham Young University (BYU). David’s latest piece, Use free software within commercial UNIX it also available.