Posts Tagged ‘conference’

SCALE14x trip report

SCALE14x was held at Pasadena, Los Angeles this year from January 21-24 2016. I think its important to note that the venue changed from the Hilton LAX — this is a much bigger space, as the event is much bigger, and you’ll also notice that the expo hall has grown tremendously.

I had a talk in the MySQL track, and that was just one of over 180 talks. There were over 3,600 people attending, and it showed by the number of people coming by the MariaDB Corporation booth. I spent sometime there with Rod Allen, Max Mether, and Kurt Pastore, and the qualified leads we received were pretty high. Of course it didn’t hurt that we were also giving away a Sphero BB-8 Droid.

The MySQL track room was generally always full. We learned some interesting tidbits like Percona Server 5.7 would be GA in February 2016 (true!), the strong crowd at the MariaDB booth and quite a bit more. People are definitely interested in MySQL 5.7’s JSON functionality.

The highlight of my talk, The MySQL Server Ecosystem in 2016 was that it brought along quite a good discussion on Twitter. Its clear people are very interested in this and there is much opportunity for writing about this!

The Mark Shuttleworth keynote

But there were other SCALE14x highlights, like the keynote by Mark Shuttleworth. It was generally a very moving keynote, and here are a few bits that I took as notes:

  • Technology changes lives
  • Society evolves because it becomes possible to live differently
  • New software moves too fast for distributions (6 months is too long). Look at Github. Speed vs. integration/trust/maintenance (the work of a distro)
  • snapcraft 2.0 (learn more about your first snap): reduce the amount of work to package software. Install software together transactionally.

An overview of a next-gen filesystem

Another talk I found interesting was the talk about bitrot, and filesystems like btrfs and ZFS. Best to read the presentation, and the article that was referenced.

Scaling GlusterFS at Facebook

A talk by Facebook is usually quite full, and I was interested in how they were using GlusterFS and if anyone has managed to successfully run a database over it yet (no). This was a talk given by Richard Wareing who’s been at Facebook for over 5 years:

  • GB’s to many PBs, 100’s of millions of files. QPS (FOPs) is 10s of billions per day, namespace (volume), TBs to PBs and Bricks: 1000’s. Version 3.3.x is when they started and now they use 3.6.x (trail mainline closely)
  • Use cases: archival, backing data store for large scale applications, anything that doesn’t fit into other DBs
  • RAID6, controller is enterprise grade, storage is more consumer grade
  • Primarily using XFS, and are starting to use btrfs (about 20% of the fleet run on it)
  • closed source AntFarm, JD, and their IPv6 support (they removed IPv4 support). They have JSON Statistic dumps which they contributed upstream.
  • a good mantra, pragmatism over correctness

Some expo hall chatter

There was plenty to followup post-SCALE14x with many having questions about MariaDB Server, or wanting to buy services around it from MariaDB Corporation. I learned for example that Rackspace maintains their own IUS repository of packages they think their customers will find important to use. The idea behind it is that its Inline with Upstream Stable. Naturally you will find MariaDB Server as well as packages for all the engines like CONNECT.

I also learned that Stacki uses MariaDB Server for provisioning, as was evidenced by their github issue.

Its incredibly rewarding to note that pretty much everyone knew what MariaDB Server was. Its been a long journey (six years!) but it sure feels sweet. Ilan and his team put on a great SCALE so I can’t wait to be back again next year.

SCALE14x – lots of MySQL content there

One of my favourite events run by a grassroots organisation is SCALE, and they are now doing their 14th edition, SCALE14x. If you’re into opensource software as well as all things open, this is the place to be from January 21-24 2016. It is at a new location in Pasadena (so not quite next to LAX as it was previously), but this is due to growth — so kudos to the team.

From MariaDB Corporation you get to see Max Mether (Scaling MySQL & MariaDB – I’m extremely interested in seeing what he has to say and will likely blog the session) and me (The MySQL Server Ecosystem in 2016).

One thing is for sure is that the topic I plan to present on will surely come under contention since I also represent a server maker — however I believe I will be extremely objective and will put up blog posts before/after the event as well as slides, because it is clear that MySQL is now going to be 21 years old and the ecosystem has grown tremendously. Let me reiterate my main thesis: MySQL server development has been at its most vibrant since the Oracle acquisition — the ecosystem is flourishing, and Oracle is doing a great job with MySQL, Percona with Percona Server, MariaDB Corporation/MariaDB Foundation with MariaDB Server, and lets not forget the wonderful work from the WebScaleSQL Consortium, Facebook’s MySQL tree and even Alibaba’s tree (the Twitter tree seems to be sadly not really maintained much these days, but there was innovation coming out of it in the past).

There are also going to be many other great talks at the MySQL track on Friday, from Peter Zaitsev, Dave Stokes (I’m excited about the JSON support in MySQL 5.7), Ovais Tariq/Aleksandr Kuzminsky on indexes, and Janis Griffin on query tuning. There’s also an excellent PostgreSQL track and I think one of the highlights should also be the keynote from Mark Shuttleworth at UbuCon on Thursday.

See you at SCALE14x? Oh, before I forget, MariaDB Corporation also has a booth, so you will get to see Rod Allen manning it and I’m sure there will be giveaways of some sort. 

If you have any feedback about the MySQL Server ecosystem and its developments, please feel free to leave a comment here or send an email to me. Thanks!

MySQLNoSQLCloud 2014 – Edition #3

Good morning buenos airesI’ve enjoyed visiting Buenos Aires once a year for the MySQLNoSQLCloud event, put together by the awesome people at Binlogic (in particular, their proprietor Santiago Lertora). It’s happening again in 2014, which by my count is the third edition, and there’s a twist: Buenos Aires on 13 & 14 November, and Cordoba on 17 November. It’s never been held in Cordoba before (like an annex event), so I think this could be extremely exciting.

If you’re looking to speak, send Santiago a note at events@binlogic.com (or leave a message here). I’ll put you in touch with him. If you’re looking to sponsor, you get attendees from all over Latin America.

Conference business thoughts from @JeffPulver

Some nuggets from a Mixergy interview with Jeff Pulver (wikipedia). 

“The conference business when it works, is one of the most highly profitable businesses that is legal.”

“The more I charged, the more people came.” It’s a credibility thing. In telecom, its corporate money, take as much as you want (its not individual money). With competition, someone always wants to outspend another in sponsorships, etc.

However with a waning economy in 2010, the 140conf charged $140. EBITDA is poor, but you get folk. Inspiration for these lower prices came from Fred Wilson’s post about conferences.

He didn’t start out with a professional conference/event management firm. He built conferences based on the ones that he had attended before.

He never pays for speakers (with one exception: Scott Adams). He gets paid $40,000 per speech. He does occasionally cover travel costs. He has sponsors from hotels so accommodation is usually taken care of.

Very open about his numbers, earnings, business (he had many including a record label), failings, etc. in his interview. Well worth a listen if you have the time.

Parting thought: you have to occasionally reboot your buddy list. I can agree – different friends take you thru different parts of life.

Conferences selling out forget about the rest of the world

2011 seems to be a good year for both Google I/O and Apple’s WWDC. Google I/O sold out in 59 minutes and Apple’s WWDC sold out in under 10 hours. They’re both held at the Moscone Center and I guess the caps for attendance is usually set at about 4,000-5,000 attendees.Flinders Street Station

My only beef with this is that the rest of the world is forgotten. It’s only good for the developer sitting in North America (or a similar timezone). In fact folk that need to get corporate approval are probably also forgotten. Launching at 9 or 10am PST is past midnight in China and Singapore for example. Its even later in Japan. What about developers sitting in Sydney & Melbourne?

Google takes an open approach to this. They will have live streaming available and are organising extended events (which again, think about the timezones — they work if you’re all together in San Francisco but you’d be hard pressed to find a venue that will let in twenty geeks at 2-6am). Apple will provide recorded video later to registered developers.

However developers in the rest of the world miss out on all the interactions, face-to-face sessions, hands-on labs, meeting other developers, and all the parties and late-nights in where partnerships get made, and new ideas get formed. The networking is why people go to these conferences, in addition to learning about the latest and greatest. I remember years back at WWDC that people will install the latest beta of OS X on their laptops at WWDC itself!

Sun Microsystems used to boast that JavaOne had over 15,000 attendees. Oracle OpenWorld claims over 41,000 attendees. Maybe its time to grow out of Moscone West and use the whole Moscone Center?

I urge Google and Apple to think about the rest of the world. Yes, we will take time out of our schedules to fly to San Francisco, put up at a hotel, all for the opportunity at being at one of these conferences. Not only for the content, but all the relationships we will make, with other attendees and of course, your engineers.

FOSSASIA this week!

I’m stoked to be going to FOSSASIA this week. It is in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam from 12-14 November (thats this week on Friday-Sunday). There’s a pretty large amount of activities going on, including a MiniDebConf. There also seem to be a huge amount of topics being covered and some pretty interesting speakers, so I can’t hardly wait.

If you’re into MariaDB or MySQL, come catch me at:

  • Friday, 10.15-10.30am: 15-minute lightning talk on MariaDB
  • Saturday, 3.30-4.30pm: talk on MariaDB
  • Sunday, 9.00-11.00am: a hand’s on workshop introducing you to MariaDB/MySQL

I come into Saigon in the evening on the 11th, and depart in the morning on the 15th, but if you have time and want to catch up, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at colin AT askmonty DOT org.


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