Building Scalable Systems

After getting very, very frustrated with MySQL replication (and seeing the hoops people have to hop through to get replication to scale), I’ve decided I’m not that interested in pursuing designs that put a database at the center of the universe. Reading through Tim O’Reilly’s database war stories helped cement this idea for me. Especially interesting was the bloglines and memorandum interview and the facinating topix.net architecture (found from a comment). Another datapoint is LiveJournal. LiveJournal uses MySQL for storing posts, but they’ve a lot of work to minimize the use of MySQL as they’ve grown. We hear a lot about Google’s BigTable and GoogleFS all the time. But we can’t use them because the source isn’t available. LiveJournal has written similar systems in MogileFS and memcached and, unlike Google’s work, these are available to everyone. I’m going to start looking at how I can build systems around these two utilities and to minimize or eliminate my dependence on a SQL server.

Mennonite Man

Today’s ride started on the rail trail when I deposited and the kids at the top of the hill and then drove to the bottom to leave the car for them there. I met them on the way up. From there, I rode 30 miles back home. I had to stretch it some by zig-zagging across the turnpike a few times. On the last couple of miles, a mennonite man overtook me on his bike. I kept up with him and when we hit a light, I said “Thanks! I need someone to keep pace!” “Men can’t let go of a challenge, eh?” “See, I have an excuse. I just rode 30 miles. That, and I’m old and fat.” “Keep up the riding and you’ll be thin!” Thanks, random mennonite man.