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At TNS, we are constantly on the lookout for lessons in scalability. Take service requests for instance. View in browser »

The New Stack Update

ISSUE 276: The ‘Three Stooges’ Problem of Microservices

Talk Talk Talk

“When a designated FinOps team has yet to be established, no one is formally accountable for seeking solutions to remediate the billing data and/or conduct post-processing in an attempt to meet management’s reporting needs.”

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SADA’s Rich Hoyer, on “4 Reasons Your Cloud Operations Need a FinOps Team
Add It Up
Agreement that companies provide many opportunities for advancement

Beleaguered technology company leaders have reason to smile because 88% of tech industry workers feel appreciated by their employer, according to a 750-person online survey conducted a few weeks ago for Protocol | Workplace. Employees overwhelmingly feel professionally supported — 50% strongly agree with that statement and another 38% somewhat agree.

Even more good news: 87% believe they have a good work-life balance. This doesn’t sound like the burnout that has been widely reported, but these workers also appear to have bosses that are better at setting expectations. Work-life balance may be on the upswing because 89% say at least somewhat agree that their company has figured out how to make remote and hybrid meetings work well.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is another bright spot, with 83% of Black tech industry workers and 81% of Hispanic tech workers at least somewhat agreeing that their company takes DEI seriously. While no one can say for sure what would happen, 77% believe the HR department at their company would safely and effectively address allegations of sexual assault, harassment and/or discrimination. Black employees (63%) and those working at smaller companies (69%) both had less confidence.

All that good news is enough to make the average person at a keyboard feel like they are being gaslighted. Maybe you are. Perhaps up to 40% of the employees at these companies are not technologies but are instead administrators, salespeople, janitors and the like. Yet, 79% of the survey had at least a Bachelor’s degree. That’s more than twice the educational rate in the US. If you are non-binary, you didn’t even exist in this survey — the demographics were 64% male and 36% female. Digging into the data, the females were less likely to see opportunities for career advancement.

In other words, there is still a long way to go. Let’s keep at it.

 
What's Happening

Canonical’s wildly popular Ubuntu Linux distribution (this writer’s hands-down favorite) continues to quietly play a role in the continued widespread adoption of Kubernetes. And that quiet support is as it should be, concluded Kelsey Hightower, Google Cloud Platform principal developer advocate, and Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, in this latest episode of The New Stack Makers podcast. Alex Williams, founder and publisher of TNS, hosted this episode.

 
Kelsey Hightower, Mark Shuttleworth: Kubernetes Relies on Linux


 

What's Happening

Canonical’s wildly popular Ubuntu Linux distribution (this writer’s hands-down favorite) continues to quietly play a role in the continued widespread adoption of Kubernetes. And that quiet support is as it should be, concluded Kelsey Hightower, Google Cloud Platform principal developer advocate, and Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, in this latest episode of The New Stack Makers podcast. Alex Williams, founder and publisher of TNS, hosted this episode.

Kelsey Hightower, Mark Shuttleworth: Kubernetes Relies on Linux

The ‘Three Stooges’ Problem of Microservices

At The New Stack, we are constantly on the lookout for lessons in scalability. Something that works once or twice may still have issues completing successfully 1,000 or million times.  

Take service requests for instance.

Weekend correspondent David Cassel recently found a fascinating recounting about how social news aggregation site Reddit handles sudden spikes in requests, a problem Reddit engineer Rajiv Shah likened to “The Three Stooges,” a famous Hollywood comedy trio of the mid-20th century.

“They often attempted to collaborate on simple daily tasks but invariably ended up getting in each other’s way and injuring each other,” Shah wrote of the funny men. For example, walking through a door, they all collide, “and ultimately, no one could get through.”

This comical constipation can also happen in microservice-driven architectures, Cassel explained. Like other social media service, Reddit can get a tsunami of requests within a very short time frame, which can quickly overwhelm its servers. Sure, the company’s engineers can add caches, but as the “time-to-live” for these caches quickly elapses, the servers are back to being overwhelmed again (“the cache stampede”).

The answer? De-duplicate identical requests, and store the answers on hash tables. Cassel writes:

Reddit’s API gateway collates all the incoming requests from different platforms into a standard form for easier processing (while throwing out any superfluous variables that just aren’t relevant). But when they reach the microservices level, deduplication ends up getting handled using a simple programming construct known as a hash table — where a value gets paired with a unique identifier that can retrieve it later (a key). This creates an easy way to spot the duplicate values, since they’ve already been assigned an identifier.

Concurrent programming requires clever thinking about what truly can be difficult problems. And so we appreciate that Shah took the time to explain his thinking. What clever solutions have you found for difficult problems in scalability? Let us know so we can share with our readers.

Scuttlebutt: Decentralize and Escape the Social Media Rat Race

For years there has been a growing resistance to using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, fueled by worries around privacy and corporate social manipulation. Now, there is an underground project called Scuttlebutt that offers a path to a “decentralized web.” Literally. Unlike previous peer-to-peer efforts such as Diaspora and Mastodon, Scuttlebutt is not a product for end-users — rather, it’s a protocol (like HTTP or RSS). Decentralized social network products, like Manyverse and Planetary, are being built for end-users on top of the Scuttlebutt protocol.

Weave GitOps Core Integrates Git with Kubernetes

Continuous delivery software provider Weaveworks has launched Weave GitOps Core, a software package intended to help DevOps teams streamline the continuous delivery (CD) process of deploying applications and updates from a Git repository on Kubernetes clusters. Weave GitOps Core also pre-configures the monitoring and observability tools for the clusters so that they continue to run uninterrupted during the deployment process.

Hazelcast Boosts Stream Processing with In-Memory Computing

Hazelcast has introduced a real-time intelligent apps platform that unifies transactional, operational and analytical workloads by combining stream processing with in-memory computing. Hazelcast Platform 5.0 brings a real-time stream processing engine together with in-memory computing to provide a simplified architecture that is highly performant, scalable and reliable.

Party On

VMware's Beena More hosts "15 mins with Kerry Schaffer from OneMagnify."

OneMagnify's Kerry Schaffer discussed a mentorship program "aimed at bringing women into cybersecurity."

Ethical Source's Coraline Ada Ehmke on social responsibility for software engineers.

Stacy Kirkland, Liberty Mutual Insurance, on successful migrations.

Cloud Foundry Summit 2021 (clockwise from upper left): Stephan Merker, product expert, SAP; Chip Childers, executive director, Cloud Foundry Foundation; VMware's Amelia Downs, staff software engineer, and Eric Malm, product line manager, discuss community leadership.

On The Road
apply() Community Meetup // AUGUST 11 // VIRTUAL @ 9AM-12PM PDT

AUGUST 11 // VIRTUAL @ 9AM-12PM PDT

apply() Community Meetup

The apply() Community Meetup will be jam-packed with the great content you know and expect from apply() and will be the first of a quarterly series. Join us as we continue to foster these active conversations about great ideas, the latest trends, and new best practices for MLOps as the broader ML community grows! Register now!

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Technologists building and managing new stack architectures join us for short conversations at conferences out on the tech conference circuit. These are the people defining how applications are developed and managed at scale.
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