Apr 30, 2010

Issuu: Erlang, Hadoop and AWS Become Mainstream

There is a buzz in the industry regarding how the Erlang, Hadoop and AWS stack enables sites scalability and how it lets them handling the demand when you hit the buzz (TechCrunch, Dig...).
An example for that is Issuu.com, a content publishing platform that is using this stack to enable millions of publications in the web and the mobiles (Android and iPhone). Tania Anderson describes this case study in a Danish article (use Google Translate for it).

In that article Issuu's CEO Michael Hansen reveal several key issues in their strategy:
  1. How they managed to recruit Erlang programmers (hired talented programmers and learned them from scratch)
  2. Why they favored Amazon Web Services (Microsoft Azure hardly fits the internet mainstream stacks and Google App Engine is focused on the front end while Issue needs back end processing as well), 
  3. How could they avoid AWS down times (They did not. However, most of the industry was effected, so it was a non issue).

Keep Performing,
Moshe Kaplan 

Apr 7, 2010

Amazon Pushed the Bar. Again!

Everybody is talking these days about iPad, Windows Phone 7, iPhone OS4 and Nexus One and how they gonna change the world. Well if everybody is going to change the world, they need reliable servers and more important traffic efficient communications that will enable mobile application keep updated while consuming as few as possible battery and network resources. If you look for the right buzz Google for COMET, Push and Long Polling.
Current State
Well to be honest, the COMET Servers market state is not so good. Most of the products in the market are either young or luck important features such as high availability. However, I'll keep the full details of the market state to survey that will be exposed in the next few days.
The Amazon Move
Amazon detected this new hot market and exposed today SNS: Simple Notification Service. This service provides you the ability to push data to your clients without taking care of establishing the server infrastructure and taking care of HA.
As a first impression I can say the pricing is very attractive (100K first messages are free) and even the beta limit of 100 topics (channels) is valid for many application (yes I know, there are many of us who needs XXXK :-)
UPDATE: at a second impression this product (SNS) still do not support the need for a push.
The bottom line
If you are a mobile developer, take a look at this new service. It can save you a lot of TTM.

The Amazon SNS API includes the following API:
  1. Topics: Create, Delete and List channels and Set and Get their attributes.
  2. Topics Permissions: Add and Remove permissions on the channel to AWS accounts
  3. Subscription: Subscribe and Unsubscribe to a channel and subscription confirmation. Subscription is done to URL (http and https), Email account and SQS. Subscription cannot be done using COMET method or other methods that are feasible for mobile subscriber (unless you gonna poll your email account)
  4. Publish: Publish a new info item into the channel.
What is missing? the push mechanism that can support mobile and web clients and notify them regarding new info items.

The Real Bottom Line
Read the full Spec and the API before posting to your blog :-)

Keep Performing,
Moshe Kaplan


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