Book Review: Database Reliability Engineering – Designing and Operating Resilient Database Systems

Book Review
Hello and welcome to yet another book review. Databases have been called the “killer application of IT” and it is true that in, almost any, computing environment today, one or more databases are in play. Having said that, in-depth knowledge of these database systems used to reside with the DBAs of an organization. Today, with the roles being in flux, if you are an SRE chances are you have to deal with databases, quite often without the luxury of a dedicated DBA. Databases themselves have proliferated as well, with NoSQL paradigm entering the market and various combinations of the CAP theorem in effect, depending on the use case. So, it was about time that a dedicated volume appeared in the market that deals with how to apply SRE principles within…
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Charity Majors: Ο Χαρτης Δικαιωματων (και ευθυνων) του Μηχανικου

Management, Translations
The following post was originally written by Charity Majors and is being translated into Greek with her permission. For the original post in English, click here. Additionally, I am NOT a professional translator so, while I did my best, feel free to drop me a line or a comment if something is mistranslated. With these out of the way, let's go! Η ισχυς εχει τον δικο της τροπο να ρεει προς τους διευθυντες προσωπικου με τον καιρο, ασχετως ποσες φορες θα επαναλαβεις το "η διευθυνση προσωπικου δεν ειναι προαγωγη αλλα αλλαγη καριερας". Ειναι φυσιολογικο, οπως η ροη του νερου προς τα κατω. Οι διευθυντες προσωπικου εχουν προσβαση στις αξιολογησεις και σε αλλες προσωπικες πληροφοριες, απαιτουμενες για να κανουν τη δουλεια τους, και τεινουν να ειναι πιο εμπειροι στην επικοινωνια. Οι…
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Article Review: Containers will not fix your broken culture (and other hard truths)

Book Review
First things first, if you do not know what is ACM Queue (or even worse, do not know what ACM is), click on the links provided. ACM relatively recently has reformed and now presents articles by industry experts, especially in the Queue magazine (you get an article from Queue with every Communications of the ACM magazine but there is more, much more). (disclaimer - while I am a paying ACM member, I make no profit or have no further affiliation with the organization (i.e. I am not an official Ambassador). With that out of the way, let's focus in the article in question. The author is Bridget Kromhout, currently working for Microsoft. The main idea of the article is that solution to difficult, seemingly technical problems, can be best resolved…
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Book Review: The Practice Of Cloud System Administration Volume 2 – Designing And Operating Large Distributed Systems

Book Review
Hello everyone with another book review. This time, I will be reviewing a book that I consider a classic. As always, let's start with the list of contents: Part I Design: Building it Designing in a distributed world Designing for Operations Selecting a Service Platform Application Architectures Design Patterns for Scaling Design Patterns for Resiliency Part II Operations: Running it Operations in a Distributed World DevOps Culture Service Delivery: The Build Phase Service Delivery: The Deployment Phase Upgrading Live Services Automation Design Documents Oncall Disaster Preparedness Monitoring Fundamentals Monitoring Architecture and Practice Capacity Planning Creating KPIs Operational Excellence Part III Appendices Assessments The Origins and Future of Distributed Computing and Clouds Scaling Terminology and Concepts Templates and Examples Recommended Reading   overall a bit over 500 beautifully printed pages (as…
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So you wanna be a programmer?

Lifestyle
This (almost lost in time by now) article reflects my opinion towards the whole "Become an engineer in 3 months/weeks/whatever" bootcamps and whatnot. While the article has an infosec focus and the list of books is semi-outdated by now, you get the gist ... PS. Obviously I am not ${tenex}
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Book Review: Systems Performance: Enterprise and the cloud

Uncategorized
Welcome back for another book review. This time, I am going to review a book that I have bought when it came out, in late 2013. I have always wanted to do a review of this one but it seems I had two options:  Write a short review that probably does not do the book justice. Postpone the review for a more suitable time, when $IRL and $DAYJOB allow ... I opted for the second option, as I consider this book to be indispensable (yes, this is going to be a positive review). So, here is the table of contents: Introduction Methodology Operating Systems Observability Tools Applications CPUs Memory File Systems Disks Network Cloud Computing Benchmarking Case Study Appendices (which you SHOULD read) Wow, a lot of contect, huh? (something…
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Conference review: Distributed Matters Berlin 2015

Uncategorized
"Kept you waiting, huh?" - to start the post with a pop culture reference. Yesterday, I was privileged enough to attend Distributed Matters Berlin 2015. The focus of the conference is, you guessed it, distributed systems, often within a NoSQL context. It was hosted at the awesome KulturBrauerei, a refurbished brewery. The format of the conference was 45 minute presentations, including Q&A, thankfully followed by a 15 minute break between talks, in two tracks. The overall level of the presentations was above the average and given that you could only attend one at a time, it made for a hard choice. Owing to the greatness of Berlin taxi drivers (you know what I am talking about if you used a taxi in Berlin recently), I managed to attend only half…
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Book Review: DevOps Troubleshooting

Uncategorized
Hello everyone and welcome back for another book review at woktime. Today's edition is a short review of a short book called "DevOps Troubleshooting: Linux Server Best Practices". Without further ado, below is the Table Of Contents Troubleshooting best practices Why is the server so slow? Running out of CPU, RAM and Disk I/O Why won't the system boot? Solving boot problems Why can't write to the disk? Solving full or corrupt disk issues Is the server down? Tracking down the source of network problems Why won't the hostnames resolve? Solving DNS server issues Why didn't my email go through? Tracing email problems Is the website down? Tracking down web server problems Why is the database slow? Tracking down database problems It's the hardware's fault? Diagnosing common hardware problems So…
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Book Review: PostgreSQL Replication

Book Review, Uncategorized
So for my series of System Engineering books, I will proceed with a short review of PostgreSQL Replication by Packt. The reason this book came to be a part of my collection is that while there is a lot of information regarding PostgreSQL replication out there, a lot of it is out of date, given the overhaul of the replication system in PostgreSQL 9.X. Without further ado, here is the list of contents of the book. Understanding Replication Concepts Understanding the PostgreSQL Transaction Log Understanding Point-In-Time Recovery Setting up asynchronous replication Setting up synchronous replication Monitoring your setup Understanding Linux High-Availability Working with pgbouncer Working with PgPool Configuring Slony Using Skytools Working with Postgres-XC Scaling with PL/Proxy The book gets straight into business with an introduction of replication concepts, and…
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