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Here’s what I read in 2020. Putting it out there as I’m always interested in the recommendations of others — figured doing the same might help others put together their own lists of what to read next.

I wouldn’t say there were any broad themes in terms of my overall reading, despite the fact that 2020 was a year like no other [1]. You will see ‘Pale Rider’ by Laura Spinney in here — the goto history of the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ that many turned to, in order to understand what the world would be like for us, but other…


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Best album you’ve never heard?

Furniture’s ‘The Wrong People’ is so good, it’s hard to know where to start. Its 11 songs are distinctive, brilliantly sung, played and arranged, smart, hooky, quotable and ambitious, veering from undiscovered jazz ballad classic ‘I Miss You’ to instantly memorable pop — ‘Brilliant Mind’ via the ambitious medley/collage of ‘She Gets out the Scrapbook’ to the form breaking ‘Pierre’s Fight’.

It’s also hard to categorise. Furniture were never part of any trend or scene. They just did their own thing. They weren’t trying to copy anyone and had no aspirations towards a particular sound. …


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Aerospike’s Strong Consistency (SC) and rack awareness features allow construction of multi-site database clusters in which each site has a full copy of the data and all sites are perfectly synchronised.

This allows database operation to continue in the event of network partition between sites or site loss without loss of data.

The gold standard configuration is to use three data centres, as represented in the diagram below. In this diagram, each data centre corresponds to a physical rack and a replication factor of three has been chosen. As we have three racks, rack awareness will distribute the records so…


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Introduction

Aerospike is a key value database maximising SSD/Flash technology in order to offer best in class throughput and latency at petabyte scale.

Standard Aerospike usage will have the primary key index in DRAM and the data on SSD. Although Aerospike’s usage of DRAM is very low at 64 bytes per object, for very large numbers of objects (100bn+) users might wish to consider the all-flash mode in which the primary key index is also placed on disk. More detail at all flash usage.

There are a number of non-trivial steps to go through to set up all flash. For that…


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Aerospike is a highly scalable key value database offering best in class performance. It is typically deployed into real-time environments managing terabyte to petabyte data volumes.

Aerospike will typically be run alongside other scalable distributed software such as Kafka, for system coupling or Spark for analytics. The Aerospike Connect product line makes integration as easy as possible.

This article looks at how Aerospike Spark Connect works in practice by offering a comprehensive and easily reproduced end to end example using aerospike-ansible.

Database Cluster Setup

First take a look at Ansible for Aerospike which explains how to use aerospike-ansible.

In this example I set…


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I don’t have quantitative evidence for this, but based on conversations with others at various points, from my school days onwards, the most underdeveloped of all musical skills in those who have taken formal lessons is sight reading.

The reasons this might be so are largely because of the way in which formal music is taught. Typically you will practice three pieces for around six to nine months, offering them for review in an examination. The examiner will mark [1] based on time, tone, shape and performance. This translates into accurately rendered playing with due observation of dynamics and an…


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A lost classic album re-discovered

Furniture are best known for their single ‘Brilliant Mind’ which spent six weeks in the UK Top 40 during the summer of 1986, peaking at number 21. At the time, the band were poised to build on years of work — they had been playing together in various forms since 1979 with a fascinating collection of independent releases to their credit. Unfortunately, to say the least, national exposure and recognition coincided with their record company, Stiff, going into bankruptcy. ‘Brilliant Mind’ should have been even more successful, but problems with distribution meant sufficient copies simply didn’t reach the shops.

As…


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https://unsplash.com/@alexeh99

What you need to know before you can create AWS Kubernetes clusters using the command line

eksctl is the AWS command line utility allowing you to administer (e.g. setup/teardown) your AWS Kubernetes cluster. This article details how you configure the credentials you need to use the service. This article is useful as this is not detailed on the eksctl website and is non-trivial.

IAM Overview

Credentials in AWS are managed using IAM — AWS Identity and Access Management. Broadly speaking, you create policies which are granular aggregations of permissions on AWS objects. You associate these with groups to which you add users. If a user has been created for programmatic access use, the user will have an access…


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https://unsplash.com/@kent_pilcher

Some little things you might like to know

Much like Java, Kubernetes offers the promise of ‘write once, run anywhere’. The wry riposte (a little unfairly) in the early days of Java, was ‘write once, debug everywhere’. To a certain extent this is the position we are in today with the various flavours of Kubernetes out there — getting up and running is different on Google Cloud Platform vs AWS vs Azure vs local (e.g. Minikube), and a handful of well placed pointers can be a great time saver.

This article is about getting Aerospike up and running on Amazon’s Kubernetes Service — EKS. As it happens, it…


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https://github.com/aerospike-examples/atomicMultiRecordTxn

Aerospike is a high performance key-value database. It’s aimed at institutions and use-cases that need high throughput ( 100k tps+), with low latency (95% completion in <1ms), while managing large amounts of data (Tb+) with 100% uptime, scalability and low cost.

Because that’s what we offer, we don’t, at the server level, support multi-record transactions (MRT). If that’s what you need, then you will need two phase locking and two phase commit (assuming a distributed system). This will slow your system down, and will scale non-linearly, in that if you double your transaction volume, your time spent waiting for locks…

Ken Tune

Solution Architect @ Aerospike. Math Grad; Pianist; Music Buff. Work bio @ https://www.aerospike.com/blog/zero-downtime-upgrades-in-aerospike-made-even-simpler

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