Thursday Jan 28, 2010

So long!

After incredible eleven years at Sun, I am off to new adventures. I learned a lot from my colleagues, partners and customers during the journey -- thank you all for all the fish!

I will set up my new blog shortly. In the interim, this is my temporary external home. You can get the details of my latest endeavors by following the links posted there.

You can follow me here at Twitter as well.

Friday Jan 22, 2010

Moshi Monsters Running Wild with Sun Technology


Mind Candy, launched in 2004, is a leading developer of multi-player games targeted at the rapidly expanding social online games market. Its main product, Moshi Monsters, is its biggest hit to date and is enjoying exponential growth with over 10 million players worldwide, and more than one million new players subscribing each month. The game relies heavily on an IT platform managed by Mind Candy, and became the focus of the company’s attention in 2009, when the number of players was set to top 4 million.
Sun Customer Mind Candy
(Image courtesy: Mind Candy)
At that point, Mind Candy realized it needed to make changes to its IT infrastructure. The Moshi Monsters infrastructure is based on the Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 running Debian GNU/Linux. It includes Apache Tomcat Web application servers, memcached and PostgreSQL databases as well as open source frameworks such as Spring and Hibernate. Prior to the upgrade, Mind Candy already had Sun Fire X2100 servers acting as load balancers, and chose to make the use of Intel’s new “Nehalem” Xeon processors a key criterion for the update.

Working with Sun as a member of the Sun Startup Essentials program, Mind Candy finalized the infrastructure expansion design based on two of Sun’s newest Xeon-processor based servers, the Sun Fire X4170 servers for applications working alongside a Sun Fire X4270 server for one of the platform’s main databases. The new Sun solutions were installed in just a couple of days, and deployed alongside the existing equipment. The Sun Fire X4170 servers gave Mind Candy significantly higher I/O speeds, along with multithreading technology for greater performance and power management. The Sun Fire X4270 server provided more than four times the processing performance and memory, and doubled the number of disk drive bays to 16.

Since the full solution went live in July 2009, Toby Moore, Chief Technology Officer at Mind Candy said the performance and scalability of the new platform has fully justified the company’s investment. He stated: “The platform is incredibly fast. Before, the CPU utilization rate for our database servers was about 70%, but now it’s dropped to 15%. The speed of our Tomcat Web application servers has doubled, and the amount of RAM on our servers has quadrupled.” In addition to the increased speed, the Sun platform consumes relatively low amounts of energy, and still has plenty of headroom for expansion. The company is now looking to focus on storage and has plans to deploy a Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System in the near future.

Check out the complete details and a podcast here.

Thursday Jan 07, 2010

InfoWorld on VirtualBox: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."


VirtualBox 3.1 wins 2010 Technology of the Year Award from InfoWorld. The Test Center reviewers at InfoWorld credited VirtualBox as a "disruptive product" that sneaked up on an established category and shook up the apple cart. The judges were impressed with VirtualBox's unrivaled features like 32-way virtual SMP support and "teleport" -- capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. Check out the original review here for details.

InfoWorld concluded, "[VirtualBox] is a huge development for Sun Microsystems, one that places it on a collision course with heavyweights VMware and Microsoft in the virtualized datacenter. But the most remarkable aspect of this story is how quickly the company has brought this virtualization platform along. In a little over a year, Sun has turned this relatively unknown fledgling from an obscure German software developer (Innotek) into a potent threat."
Sun VirtualBox -- InfoWorld's 2010 Technology of the Year
InfoWorld's final take: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."

Congratulations to the Sun VirtualBox team!

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