Multiple search

I think it was a post by Robert Scoble that put me onto this, but site goes away and searches a number of other search engines to give you some top responses. Quite interesting…try running these and check the results:

It’s unfortunate that there’s the disparity between the Martin C Brown and Martin MC Brown; that change was one I made last year when I started blogging more regularly because most people know me as simply MC. At least though there’s a link.

Comparing traditional grids with high-performance computing

Traditionally, high performance computing was carried out by specialized hardware and software working together to produce a highly optimized environment. Grids are beginning to change that, by removing the need for the specialized elements while enabling the spreading of the work across a wider range of hardware, software, and networks. A new article takes a closer look at the two solutions, and how they are converging.From the article introduction:

Parallel computing is a methodology for designing applications designed to work within large parallel computing environments. In a grid system, the execution of an operation or equation is geared toward providing a structure for executing tasks in parallel, where the order in which the work units are executed and received is not sequential and not reliant on previous code iterations. While, overall, the models of these two systems — parallel computing and grids — are converging, the traditional programming models of these two systems remain different. In this article, we will look at parallel computing, grids, and their convergence.

Read Comparing traditional grids with high-performance computing.

System Administrators Toolkit: Monitoring disk space and usage

The next article in the System Administrators Toolkit series, this time on monitoring disk space and disk usage by users, is available at IBM developerWorks. This one focuses on finding out your disk storage, where it is being used, finding out who is using it, and, when necessary, controlling the usage through the quota system. From the developerWorks preview:

Look at methods for determining disk usage across multiple UNIX systems and how to create a simple warning system to alert you of potential problems. Keeping an eye on your file systems and ensuring they don’t fill up is a trivial, but vital process in the day-to-day management of your UNIX systems. In this article, you’ll look at methods for keeping an eye on disk space, discovering which files, users, or applications are using up the most space, and how to make use of quotas and other solutions to find the information you need.

Read System Administrators Toolkit: Monitoring disk space and usage.

Major rewrite of C/ODBC completed

One of my first major tasks at MySQL has just been completed – a major rewrite of the Connector/ODBC (C/ODBC) documentation. There were three major focuses for the rewrite:

  1. Bring the documentation up to date. We had a mix of information on the latest release (currently 3.51, but 5.0 is currently in development), but many of the sections didn’t reflect that new version. There is also new information on how to install the driver on Mac OS X.
  2. Restructure the information. This is something I’m doing across the board on the Connectors docs, as I try to re-organize them all into a more coherent, and compatible, structure. For example, I’ve collated all of the tips about using C/ODBC with different applications into their own section, organized by application. I’ve also extended the information; for example we now have a step by step guide to importing data from MySQL into Microsoft Word and Excel through Microsoft Query.
  3. Setting up the document so that I can more easily add and extend the information in there with tips from the community, bug fixes, and of course new releases.

I’ll now be continuing the work with the other Connectors, like Connector/J and Connector/NET.

System Administrators Toolkit: Monitoring a slow system

When your Unix/Linux system starts going slowly, you need to find out why, and quickly, what is going on. That’s the focus of my new SAT piece: Monitoring a slow system.From the intro:

When your UNIX system runs slow, it is vital that you discover what the problem is as quickly as possible so you can get your system back into the normal operating mode. There are many causes for a slow system, but actually identifying the problem can be exceedingly difficult. In this article, study examples of how to identify and diagnose the cause of your slow running UNIX system to get your machine running properly again.

Read the full article.

Dell: Solaris not a standard

Judy Chavis has stated that Dell won’t look at supporting, or providing, Solaris on their equipment until Solaris becomes the next industry standard OS – I quote from here:

“Is it the next industry standard around operating systems? That’s what it would take for us to do that,” she said. So far, the answer is a definitive no. “Since the year started, I haven’t had a Solaris x86 customer come into the briefing center,” Chavis said.

Solaris may not be the next industry standard around operating systems, but it’s hardly a small player in the market. I’d very surprised if Dell don’t have to compete head on with Solaris in the datacenter, whether you are comparing Linux on both platforms (and I include Sun’s AMD platforms in that comparison).Ironically, the article goes on to say:

Dell evaluated Unix years ago, including Solaris, but eventually chose to stick with Linux.

Dell, however, have hardly made their love of Linux hugely public. For months, possibly years, after their decision getting Linux for your Dell was hard. Getting Linux on your desktop on Dell can be even harder.Still, the real issue is how seriously companies are willing to take Solaris. It’s still popular in the datacenter, albeit on SPARC or dedicated Sun x86/AMD hardware. Although Solaris x86 – almost dumped by Sun – is proving to be very popular, especially with the release of OpenSolaris.Solaris is obviously not a standard, but as I’ve argued before, Solaris has a lot more standardization, and for a lot longer, than Linux.Standardization or not, it seems odd that Dell do not wish to support an OS that would enable them to compete on at least similar terms with Sun’s own hardware, although Dell don’t yet like AMD.

One worker in one country

A recent article at CNN talks about how MySQL operates. As one of the MySQL team, I can attest that works, but it requires a significant amount of coordination, and lots of online communication through email, IRC, Skype and other methods to keep everbody talking and all the projects working together. The flip side to that process is that we all get involved in different areas, and you tend to be much more aware of what is going on company wide. There is also better cooperation – because we can all get involved we can all provide our experience and expertise to a wide range of problems and projects. Also, because we come from such a wide range of backgrounds and environments, we have a much wider perspective.So not only does remote, and earth-wide staffing work, but it provides us with a level of cooperation that might be more difficult if we all worked in group offices in the same building.