Monday Feb 01, 2010

Moving my blog

All, after blogging for close to 5 years at, the time has come to move my blogs to a different site. With the help of my buddy, Rajesh, I have moved to a new blogging website See you all there ..

Tuesday Jul 28, 2009

TOGAF 8 Certified Enterprise Architect

Just got the news, that I have cleared the requirements to become "The Open group - TOGAF (The Open group Architecture Framework) Certified Architect".

While, I am also a Sun Certified Enterprise Architect SCEA for Java EE 5, there were some significant differences between SCEA and TOGAF, in my view. SCEA is more focussed around technology and is Java and Java EE focussed, is certainly more intensive and multi step (you need to do a online quiz, assignment and an essay). TOGAF is more centred around Enterprise architecture, not just technology architecture and is also technology agnostic. I would say, there is a significant amount of learning and unlearning, to become a TOGAF practiioner. But, I am very happy today to be a part of the large family of TOGAF certified people. We can all talk in the same vocabulary and lingo ;-)

Friday Jul 24, 2009

Enterprise Architecture (EA) frameworks

A recent email invite to an "enterprise architecture summit" in Bangalore, kind of triggered a stream of thoughts on EA frameworks, and my experience with a few of them. I have used or am aware of a few EA frameworks, and having been at Sun, we also follow(ed) a framework. Well, I have listed the EA frameworks that I know about and my comments are (these are my personal comments, not Sun's. obviously, these are "tainted/biased" by the kind of work I do):

  1. Zachman's framework - This is very popular, keep seeing plenty of training's and workshops being organized in India. I have looked at this, and it definitely is useful. But, I have a couple of points on this. First, its proprietary and second, it seems very laborious and very painful to document every single of the boxes in the Zachman's chart. Beyond, documenting "current state" of an EA, I am not too sure, it will help in the complete IT lifecycle. Of course, plenty of people are using it, and obviously see value in it.
  2. TOGAF - The open group architecture framework - I am very impressed by TOGAF, and I love the way we can use TOGAF for its step by step approach, being an open standard, being mature and for its usefulness in the complete IT life-cycle. BTW, Sun is a platinum member of the TOGAF foundation.
  3. DODAF and Federal Enterprise framework - Both very US government specific framework for US federal projects.

Ultimately, in my view, the effectiveness of any EA framework, lies in practicing it and incorporating it in the corporate DNA of any company. There should be a buyin from the top management, they should be convinced about the effectiveness of using EA frameworks. All right then, Happy weekend.

Friday May 01, 2009

Phenomenal growth of twitter ...

I have been a user of twitter for around a year now, and I love it. I am not yet a big follower of people, but I hope to gradually follow more people soon. I came across this interesting chart from, posted by Sarah on the phenomenal, exponential growth of twitter traffic in the US and around the world. You need to see it, to believe it .

Image linked from from:

These kinds of growth, are very interesting to me, both from my day job as an Enterprise Architect, as well as an observer of the technological trends. The next question, was how is twitter bulit, what kind of technology does it use. gives some idea about the technology stack -- MySQL (MySQL handled 2,400 requests per second, Only one master and one slave), Rails, Memcached .., all running on Sun servers ;-)

There is also an article at with Bill Venners, where its mentioned that they have switched on to using Scala for some of the back-end stuff and why they did it . Scala ?? I did not know, anything about Scala until now. But as per, "Scala is a general purpose programming language designed to express common programming patterns in a concise, elegant, and type-safe way" . Yet another language, but I guess, the motto is to use what makes sense and works !!

Monday Apr 27, 2009

"We will be back shortly","We are undergoing maintenance" !!

As with a lot of people, I am a user of the web2.0 sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, gmail, Yahoo etc. Infact sites like LinkedIn have become really addictive, and I do check the website atleast a couple of times a day, if I have time and am not on the road. So, on a Sunday morning, I opened at around 10:15 am Indian standard time and I got this message :

I was a little annoyed, that my favorite website is undergoing maintenance, and more so during day time in India !! Of course, it got me thinking, about the larger aspects of this issue. In this day and age, when your business is used by people across geographies, do things like having a maintenance window during offpeak hours in your local region (in this case the US), really work? Is it acceptable, and any ideas to overcome this?

A google search on "Linkedin architecture" came across this piece of information about LinkedIn's architecture. A couple of points catch my eye, "The Cloud is a server that caches the entire LinkedIn network graph in memory", "Rebuilding an instance of The Cloud from disk takes 8 hours" .. The components used in the architecture like Tomcat, Jetty, MySQL, Oracle etc are certainly capable of 99.999% availability, if architected that way. The Linkedin architecture, is great stuff to learn and understand, how high volume websites are built. There are plenty of details on how caching is done, LinkedIn also uses a push based architecture for generating content (could this be the reason???). I cannot really draw conclusions, on how to avoid this.

But, I have a couple of points, on how downtime can be avoided, and at the same time, allocate time for upgrades (hardware and software) and maintenance:
1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Akamai, to deliver Content. This way, you have websites which deliver content to different regions across the globe, without downtime in one region affecting others. Of course the cost, could be factor. The other thing to consider would be, if the contents are very dynamic, how will this work?
2. Use a Rolling Upgrade kind of strategy. That is, if you have several servers in a cluster, high availability setup, remove one server from the cluster, upgrade and push it backup to the cluster, and then take the next one. Of course, there may be a few minutes/hours, when the versions of the applications. will be different. But, you can avoid downtime.
My thoughts, on a Monday afternoon ;-) Hope this makes sense !!!

Wednesday Jun 18, 2008

Download Firefox 3, its fantastic !!

Firefox 3 is here. I just downloaded Firefox 3 for Mac OS X, its fast, looks great and has a bunch of fantastic features. Go for it !!!

Monday Dec 31, 2007

Getting upto speed on a Macbook (in India) !!

Credit: Image linked from the CNet website.

I finally, took the plunge and bought a black Macbook with Intel Core 2 duo processor in Bangalore, as my official office/personal laptop. I did some background research, to find if it was gonna be a good fit for a techie like me, before I bought it. Here are some of my tips, to become productive with a Macbook quickly (in Bangalore/India):
1. Get a Macbook either from retailers like Reliance iStore on MG Road, the Ample iStore at Forum or any Apple reseller in Bangalore. Call the Apple helpdesk to get the details. The sad part, the Sun employee discount which you get in US/UK and elsewhere is not available in India :-( I also got Leopard loaded on my Macbook.
2. Be prepared, if you are a Solaris and Windows user, everything is different in a Mac !! But, its ok, you can find your way around. Arun Gupta, who is also a Mac newbie, is documenting his discoveries
3. Cisco VPN client works, NeoOffice for Openoffice stuff, Adium for IM, Firefox and Thunderbird for browser and email. I also use Lightning for calendar with Sun Calendar server.
4. I use Samba to connect to Solaris NFS stuff. The printing stuff works easily.
5. I got Tata Indicom wireless internet while travelling. There is no installation CD, but shoot me an message, if you need to get Tata indicom working. I believe, the Reliance thing also works. For road warriors like me, this is very critical. The speed can be patchy.
6. I got an extended two year warranty, 2GB RAM, a wireless mouse and Mini-DVI to VGA adapter for doing presentations.
7. Finally, I bought VMware Fusion to get a MS Windows XP and Solaris SXDE running on top of Mac OS. There are a couple of gotchas to get Solaris SXDE running:
  • You will need > 800 MB RAM for a VMWare to run Solaris GUI install. So, dont insert the SXDE DVD and start the installation. Just enter an name, and select Solaris 10 as the OS. Uncheck, the install now option. Now, set the RAM settings to > 800 MB. Now, you can start the installation.
  • There is some issue, with Fusion thinking, SXDE is 64 bit OS etc. Follow, the tips linked here, and you will be ok. Now, dont ask me where is the .vmx file ;-) Its inside some freakin package, I would say RTFM. You will need to unzip, add the new line and close the package.
There are other options, like using Parallels etc, but I dont have the time to do R&D.

Hope the tips were useful. Thanks also to thambi Rajesh for sharing some Mac tips.

Tuesday Nov 27, 2007

Passed CISSP

I have been wanting to take the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSPĀ®) certification for a long time. I finally took the exam in November 1st week, and I got the information today, that I have PASSED !!! This is a pretty expensive exam (around 500 USD) and is a painful 5 hr exam !! If you live in Bangalore, you will need to travel to Chennai to take the exam. The following are some tips, if you need to pass the exam:
1. Read at least two books. I studied the red colored book (the cram guide series) and a wiley publications book.
2. Read the prerequisites carefully, you need to have at least 5 yrs of security experience
3. Google for CISSP mock exams, I bought a couple of mock exam simulators. The Wiley book also has some simulator.
4. You also need to have a CISSP to endorse you, after you have completed the exam. I am in the process of doing this, and only then your certificate will be mailed to you.
5. The exam starts around 9am in Chennai, and they give you all the pencil. erasers, coffee/tea etc. Just make sure, you have had a good nights sleep before you appear for the exam
6. I feel the Security, Telecom sections have more questions. Prepare well for all the various security algorithms, symmetric, asymmetric, digital signatures etc.
Best of luck, if you are taking this exam

Update: (Nov 28th 2007)
Somebody asked me some specific resource pointers:
a. CISSP Training Guide by Roberta Bragg - CISSP
b. CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional Study Guide, 3rd Edition James Michael Stewart, Ed Tittel, Mike Chapple
c. Simulators for CISSP, just google them, you will find several.

There is no alternative for actual security experience in the CBKs mentioned. You need to provide a detailed resume/CV with contact details of your supervisors for possible verification.

Thursday Nov 15, 2007

from my trip to Kuala Lumpur

I am in KL this week, to attend some training. some photos from this trip:

more later ....

Wednesday Oct 17, 2007

a funny dilbert cartoon :-)


Hint: I have two flat screen monitor's at work too ;-)

Thursday Aug 09, 2007

Indian comic characters !!

I used to be a voracious reader of comics, when I was young. Archies, Tin Tin, Asterix and Indian comics like Champak, Indrajal comics, Twinkle etc. I was happy, with the increasingly large Indian community in the US, an person of Indian origin is making into Archies. Raj Patel, makes it to Riverdale High !!! Here are a few of my favorite comic characters:

Raj Patel in Archies:
Linked from the Archies website

Asok in Dilbert:
Linked from the Dilbert website

My favorite, Bahadur from Indrajal comics:
Linked from the Bahadur's wiki page

Thursday May 31, 2007

I'm back

Folks, I re-joined Sun India on 14th May 2007, after a brief 7 month separation :-) I have joined a new team, called the OEM team. I worked as a Solutions Architect at a Global Financial company, at their Bangalore development center for about 6 months since September 2006. Even though, it was great working there, I found it hard to resist the lure of working at Sun. I will start blogging more actively, as I begin learning the OEM product and hope to share my knowledge with you. I will also blog more actively about my other interests in JES, Open source, SOA, Identity, Bangalore and other things.

Friday Sep 22, 2006

Moving on

Folks, after a wonderful 5+ years at Sun (and iPlanet), I have decided to pursue opportunities outside of Sun. Its been great working at Sun, the learning and friends I have made at Sun will be something that I will cherish forever. Please keep in touch,

I joined iPlanet as a Netscape badged person in May 2001, after messing around with iPlanet app server 6.0 at a dotcom. The app server was brand new and I was irritated at the app server sometimes, and posted a my review at and got a 100$ cheque as a reward for the review ;-). In Dec 2001, Netscape/AOL, decided to pull out of the alliance and after a few anxious weeks, I became a Sun employee on a wintry-snow flake-filled Dec morning in 2001.

I did several back breaking gigs at several Fortune 100 companies, as a Java/Sun One architect. Each one was unique, and scary. Imagine, being called to a situation where the app server is throwing core's in production and a "red alert" has been raised. I dont think, I can do these weekly trips now, I am getting old !! I learned a lot in the process, about the customer point of view, their requirements, how to handle these scary situations, broadened my technical horizons. I still remember, for a gig in New York, one the biggest snow storm hit New york. I still made it to New York from Boston. I took a Amtrak to NY, and then walked in the snow with two suitcases to the hotel, as there were no cabs and the streets were filled with 4-5 feet of snow. I was passionate about the products, company and the work. I also made a lot of friends, who taught me a lot of stuff technically. I am also grateful to Sun, for sponsoring my MS at RPI. I could not have afford to do the masters on my own. I loved Boston, and would love to go to Boston any day. I am also grateful for my wife, Gayathry, for keeping her sanity intact when I would disappear for 5 days every week.

I decided to come back to India, join the MDE/Partner engineering group at Sun India, and have spent a nice two years working with ISVs and SIs in Asia south and ANZ. I learnt more Sun middleware products (Identity,Portal and SOA), did a lot of evangelism, integration/porting and tuning work. I feel the time has come for me to move on, focus my skills, pick up some domain knowledge and contribute to real projects/applications. It has been fantastic working at Sun, I will be a fan of Sun, Solaris and Java forever. I am joining a big US based Financial services company next week, and will be based in Bangalore. I hope to keep blogging at Bye for now.

PS: My wife, Gayathry, sent me a link today to generate some "fake" photos online. I love this photograph, and I hope somebody is listening to these folks and make their wish come true ;-)

Tuesday Jul 25, 2006

Jonathan's interview with the "Economic Times"

An interesting interview with Jonathan in today's Economic Times" Jonathan, when can we expect to see you here in India ;-) Lots on insights on how Jonathan thinks, about Sun India becoming a GEM, a few personal details (read the article!!). Very good article.

Bangalore techies put OpenSolaris on CD

A nice article on OpenSolaris in the "Times of India - Bangalore Edition".

Ramblings of a Sun engineer based in Bangalore, India. Strictly my own views and not my employer's.


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