Help Me, I'm Melting

Like a lot of folks, I use my Sun blog for work- and technology-related things, and keep my personal rants, raves, faves and professional sports bordering on mythology thinking over on a personal blog. In addition to having a never-ending notepad for writing ideas, it's a playground for tweaking PHP code, WordPress themes, and mySQL databases. That's the good news -- the bad news is that I've been using iPowerWeb to host it, and they are suffering scalability issues.

I believe there's a common misperception that deploying open source software is somehow easier or less difficult than putting commercial databases and web servers into production. The acquisition cost is less, but the deployment engineering is the same. This is hard work -- network engineering, scalability design, reliability engineering, recovery design, user self-help and ticketing systems, and instrumentation so you detect problems before your customers come calling. Or try to.

I spent 47 minutes on hold tonight with the iPowerWeb support line, only to get an "expediter" rather than a technical specialist. And the only reason I called is that the trouble ticket that I opened online hadn't received a response in over 72 hours. And what prompted the whole "I need support" blog existential crisis is that since iPowerWeb moved my snowman over to their new hosting architecture, performance has cratered. I use "crater" with such derision that the Moon and/or parts of Arizona might take offense; upwards of 30 seconds to load the WordPress index page and 90 seconds to insert a new entry in a single category, with only 2-3 tags and a modified timestamp seem excessive to me. It's nota WordPress, mySQL or underlying OS problem, because two other sites hosted by the same company on their down-rev infrastructure are still snappy and happy.

This is, I believe, a case of virtualization gone south, in a big way. Whatever they did in separating out the mySQL servers in an attempt to build a more efficient, multi-tenant database engine has resulted in something that's bad for everyone. It can only end in an ABEND (in particular an S522 for those of you who spent undergraduate Saturday nights waiting for jobs to complete).

Comments:

Hal, glad to know you’re surviving winters’ usual antics.

ABEND?! Gad, blast from the past. You’re reminding me that I was an undergrad before Sun existed.

>“I believe there's a common misperception that deploying open source software is somehow easier or less difficult than putting commercial databases and web servers into production. The acquisition cost is less, but the deployment engineering is the same. This is hard work”

Echo: It is hard work.

Posted by Carolyn on February 23, 2008 at 07:31 PM EST #

Amen.

Posted by David Wiser on February 28, 2008 at 03:06 PM EST #

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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