Showing posts from June, 2006

Disaster Recovery process: Insurance policy for IT disasters

In a bizarre twist of reality, a company which was standing one day, is packing up and folding away three days later. Couchsurfing faced, what they called, a perfect storm which could have happened to anyone. My sympathies with them and especially their IT team who must have gone through a lot before they were all asked to leave. Multiple failures happening at the same time is not so rare as your IT team make you believe. It has happened and will happen for ever. Unfortunately its disasters like these that make people realize the importance of backup procedures and disaster recovery plans. It reminds me of September 11, 2001 and Katarina (New Orleans) which in its own weird ways, contributed a lot towards IT Disaster recovery process improvements. IT's backup and disaster recovery team were some of the unsung heros who never seem to get recogonized for how they help business to get back into action after a disaster on this scale. Investing in backup processes, is like an insuranc

Google checkout and SSO

Google checkout is out , and as expected its so lean and mean that I couldn't figure out if it was actually a new google component. With froogle already in place, Google checkout can cash on the goodwill people have for its froogle service. I think this news is a big one for other business organizations, but probably isn't as significant for end user. Remember Microsoft Passport ? Now think Google Single Sign on . I noticed a story about it being released and pulled yesterday due to some unkown reason. Personally I've always supported Federated authentication system, because it can reduce security problems due to reduced number of passwords one needs to remember. However, using a 3rd party single signon over which we have no control is like the government trying to control/monitor our income. That being said I'm still ready to subject myself to Google's Single sign on if it reduces security risks.

OpenLaszlo Legals: Breaking the flash barrier

In the past, though I loved the idea behind laszlo, it was hard for me to come up with a reason to force my users to use Flash. That was before Ajax gained popularity. With RIA (Rich internet applications) invading the market, I had been, for a few months, pondering about re-investigating laszlo to see where it stands. Today, however, I got a very pleasent surprise when OpenLaszlo announced the availability of " OpenLaszlo Legals " extention which allows OpenLaszlo to generate runtimes for different target browsers using JScript, ActionScript or Javascript instead of just Flash. I can see Laszlo getting a lot of positive feedback over the next few days. This is probably the best move they could have made. I wish them all the best.

Notes: WikiMapia, Digg, IPv6, flock and Google Sync.

WikiMapia This is the first time I happen to stumble upon WikiMapia , which looks like a wiki of maps. Very interesting and creative idea. WikiMapia uses Google Maps API and allows users to mark places and add text to locations around the world. Its like  a large world map with people scribling all over it. Google recently updated its global map database to include some very high resolutions satallite images around the world which makes WikiMapia an even more very interesting new service to look out for. Digg Digg has been around for just over a year and has already surpassed slashdot in traffic volume . The Digg 3.0 release party demoed some really interesting new tools which are set to come out soon after 3.0 release on monday. The one tool which already exists is Digg Spy . IPv6 US Government has plans to enable IPv6 on backbone routers by 2008. Comcast is probably the first large organization who has already started deploying IPv6. Here are some interesting presentation s

Top Ten ways to speed up your website

Over last few years as a web admin, I realized that knowing HTML and javascript alone was not enough to build a fast website. To make the site faster one needs to understand the real world problems like network latency and packet loss which is usually ignored by most web administrators. Here are 10 things you should investigate before you call your website perfect. Some of these are minor configuration changes, others might require time and resource to implement. HTTP Keepalives : If Http Keepalives are not turned on, you can get 30% to 50% improvements just by turning this on. Keepalives allow multiple HTTP requests to go over the same TCP/IP connection. Since there is a performance penalty for setting up new TCP/IP connections, using Keepalives will help most websites. Compression : Enabling compression can dramatically speed up sites which transfer large web objects. Compression doesn't help much on a site with lots of images, but it can do wonders in most text/html based w

Why GoogleTalk is not about Instant Messaging.

The two big names in the messaging industry came out with two major upgrades today. Yahoo announced " Yahoo Messenger 8.0 " for Windows platform and MSN released their Windows Live Messenger . While both MSN and Yahoo are offering some form of VoIP support, the big thing for Yahoo was the opening up of the APIs for its messenger and the discussion happening is around its Yahoo! Messenger On-the-Road offering which seems to be some kind of a paid service which will grant you access to more than 30000 wifi spots around the world. On MSN side the big thing is the announcement that Philips is now making Voip handsets with embedded Windows Live Messenger in it. This trend of moving VoIP software to handheld devices is not new, but with Microsoft jumping into the market, it not very surprising why Skype is giving away free minutes . Which brings this discussion to the third player in this market, Google. While MSN and yahoo are desperately trying attach the kitchen sink to their

Sun AMD V20z hardware problems

Sun Microsystems was one of the first big companies to come up with 64Bit AMD V20Z servers which quickly replaced our ancient Sparc servers. Compared to the old E220s and E420s, AMD servers were about 3 to 5 times faster depending on what we wanted it to do. The first round of V20z's we deployed saved us a lot of rack space, but the heating and power requirements were little higher than expected. Though the v20z's did reduce the footprint on the racks, the heat generated forced us to leave room on the top of the servers where the ventilation holes were placed. For all practical reasons, we couldn't use it as one U system. We ordered a second round of V20Z's a few months back and though we were prepared for the extra rack space, we stumbled upon a whole new problem this time. We noticed that some of these servers were randomly rebooting, especially at times of high activity. We were using a mirror image of the Suse distribution which we installed on the first set of se