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At TNS, we are constantly on the lookout for lessons in scalability. Take service requests for instance. View in browser »

The New Stack Update

ISSUE 276: The ‘Three Stooges’ Problem of Microservices

Talk Talk Talk

“When a designated FinOps team has yet to be established, no one is formally accountable for seeking solutions to remediate the billing data and/or conduct post-processing in an attempt to meet management’s reporting needs.”

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SADA’s Rich Hoyer, on “4 Reasons Your Cloud Operations Need a FinOps Team”
Add It Up
Agreement that companies provide many opportunities for advancement

Beleaguered technology company leaders have reason to smile because 88% of tech industry workers feel appreciated by their employer, according to a 750-person online survey conducted a few weeks ago for Protocol | Workplace. Employees overwhelmingly feel professionally supported — 50% strongly agree with that statement and another 38% somewhat agree.

Even more good news: 87% believe they have a good work-life balance. This doesn’t sound like the burnout that has been widely reported, but these workers also appear to have bosses that are better at setting expectations. Work-life balance may be on the upswing because 89% say at least somewhat agree that their company has figured out how to make remote and hybrid meetings work well.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is another bright spot, with 83% of Black tech industry workers and 81% of Hispanic tech workers at least somewhat agreeing that their company takes DEI seriously. While no one can say for sure what would happen, 77% believe the HR department at their company would safely and effectively address allegations of sexual assault, harassment and/or discrimination. Black employees (63%) and those working at smaller companies (69%) both had less confidence.

All that good news is enough to make the average person at a keyboard feel like they are being gaslighted. Maybe you are. Perhaps up to 40% of the employees at these companies are not technologies but are instead administrators, salespeople, janitors and the like. Yet, 79% of the survey had at least a Bachelor’s degree. That’s more than twice the educational rate in the US. If you are non-binary, you didn’t even exist in this survey — the demographics were 64% male and 36% female. Digging into the data, the females were less likely to see opportunities for career advancement.

In other words, there is still a long way to go. Let’s keep at it.

 
What's Happening

Canonical’s wildly popular Ubuntu Linux distribution (this writer’s hands-down favorite) continues to quietly play a role in the continued widespread adoption of Kubernetes. And that quiet support is as it should be, concluded Kelsey Hightower, Google Cloud Platform principal developer advocate, and Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, in this latest episode of The New Stack Makers podcast. Alex Williams, founder and publisher of TNS, hosted this episode.

 
Kelsey Hightower, Mark Shuttleworth: Kubernetes Relies on Linux


 

What's Happening

Canonical’s wildly popular Ubuntu Linux distribution (this writer’s hands-down favorite) continues to quietly play a role in the continued widespread adoption of Kubernetes. And that quiet support is as it should be, concluded Kelsey Hightower, Google Cloud Platform principal developer advocate, and Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, in this latest episode of The New Stack Makers podcast. Alex Williams, founder and publisher of TNS, hosted this episode.

Kelsey Hightower, Mark Shuttleworth: Kubernetes Relies on Linux

The ‘Three Stooges’ Problem of Microservices

At The New Stack, we are constantly on the lookout for lessons in scalability. Something that works once or twice may still have issues completing successfully 1,000 or million times.  

Take service requests for instance.

Weekend correspondent David Cassel recently found a fascinating recounting about how social news aggregation site Reddit handles sudden spikes in requests, a problem Reddit engineer Rajiv Shah likened to “The Three Stooges,” a famous Hollywood comedy trio of the mid-20th century.

“They often attempted to collaborate on simple daily tasks but invariably ended up getting in each other’s way and injuring each other,” Shah wrote of the funny men. For example, walking through a door, they all collide, “and ultimately, no one could get through.”

This comical constipation can also happen in microservice-driven architectures, Cassel explained. Like other social media service, Reddit can get a tsunami of requests within a very short time frame, which can quickly overwhelm its servers. Sure, the company’s engineers can add caches, but as the “time-to-live” for these caches quickly elapses, the servers are back to being overwhelmed again (“the cache stampede”).

The answer? De-duplicate identical requests, and store the answers on hash tables. Cassel writes:

Reddit’s API gateway collates all the incoming requests from different platforms into a standard form for easier processing (while throwing out any superfluous variables that just aren’t relevant). But when they reach the microservices level, deduplication ends up getting handled using a simple programming construct known as a hash...

10:53 AM, 23 Jul 2021 by Iuri Sampaio Permalink

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