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Ask Slashdot: Best File System For Web Hosting?

spacey Re:XFS for huge mailqueues, otherwise EXT3 or EXT4 (210 comments)

From memory (I've been out of that business for 6 months) CPanel stores mail as maildirs. If you have gazillions of small files (that's a lot of email) then XFS handles it a lot better than ext3 - I've never benchmarked XFS against ext4. Back in the day, it also dealt with quotas more efficiently than ext2/3, but I really doubt that is a problem nowadays.

If you aren't handling gazillions of files, I'd be tempted to stick to ext3 or ext4 - just because it's more common and well known, not because it is necessarily the most efficient. When your server goes down, you'll quickly find advice on how to restore ext3 filesystems because gazillions of people have done it before. You will find less info about xfs (although it may be higher quality), just because it isn't as common.

XFS is probably better for large maildirs, but ext3 in recent kernels has much better performance on large directories starting in the late 2.6 kernels. It doesn't provide for infinite # of files per directory, but it doesn't take a huge hit listing e.g. 4k files in a directory anymore.

about a year ago

Red Hat Developer Demands Competitor's Source Code

spacey Re:is it shipping to customers ? (394 comments)

The comment would be purely theoretical problem.

Unless it can be seen in the binary, RTS will tell anyone involved: 'No, you cannot see our source. You've made a serious public accusation. Do you own your house? Any other assets? What was your net worth prior to today?'

If I understand your comment, you're stating that, if I may paraphrase, "of course they're not going to say they infringe. anyone would say that and since they only ship a binary they can keep the source to themselves while threatening legal action".

Again, if I understood you correctly, then you're also expressing that in your view they are guilty until proven innocent. I'm commenting since that's not the case. If I write some code and then release it under the GPL, then as Nick says in his comments, it is any other user who is responsible for abiding by the GPL. I, however, can chose to release my code in any form I chose under any other license I chose subsequently unless/until I assign the rights to another party (this is what the FSF asks for when you work on their projects - this prevents software that they advocate from being dual-licensed and allows them to unambiguously pursue infringement).

about a year and a half ago

Why Didn't the Internet Take Off In 1983?

spacey Re:Ever heard of CompuServe? (469 comments)

True, that. In '92 compuserve was established, but its greatest value for geeks was that they had a usenet feed and a mail gateway (which was probably a uucp connection to uunet/alternet, but mail flowed!), and so you could communicate with the rest of the world. It's still sad that they kept denying that this was their future until they couldn't stop hemorrhaging users.

more than 2 years ago

Why Didn't the Internet Take Off In 1983?

spacey Re:Why? It sucked. (469 comments)

Yes, the cell carriers will have a disruptive change hit them at some point, though. Their pricing is exorbitant and can't be sustained.

more than 2 years ago

Apache 2.4 Takes Direct Aim At Nginx

spacey Re:Defaults still insane? (209 comments)

My point is that those "bunch of tiny servers" vastly outnumber the "real enterprise applications".

Shouldn't your hosting provider be doing this for you, or shouldn't you be doing this on install? This thread has been going on and on over a handful of config options. So you need configuration management. The apache config is flexible enough and unlike sendmail completely readable and comprehensible.

more than 2 years ago

Solaris 11 Released

spacey Re:ZFS v31+ at last? (224 comments)

> I don't see that Oracle has anything to lose here by staying open with that component, filesystems benefit a lot from widespread use and lots of testing, but, well, it is Oracle.

I believe netapp still believes, somehow, that zfs is wafl, and that they should be paid damages for distribution of their IP.

I know that Daniel Philips has claimed at conferences way back when that he has seen prior art on WAFLs patents, but he still stopped working on Tux2 instead of fighting it. I don't know if Larry and the big O have a patent portfolio that can shut up netapp.

more than 2 years ago

Solaris 11 Released

spacey Re:Nothing to see here (224 comments)

ZFS has been riddled with bugs in practice. Production crashes, re-silvering that fails constantly, magic voodoo incantations to get all pools up and running (I don't mean commands, I mean "well, sometimes the third time we reboot it works"). Uggh. Now that bugs aren't being fixed in opensolaris, I don't know how paying customers can convince solaris support to patch bugs. I used to point out that we wouldn't be paying for a patch that someone had integrated into opensolaris a year prior. I am so happy I don't touch this any more.

more than 2 years ago

Solaris 11 Released

spacey Re:Zones (224 comments)

They're OK... until you try to manage different (commercial) applications on them. When app 1 requires a kernel patch, well there's no real virtualization there - the zones still run the same kernel, so when app 2 requires a different, incompatible patch, you get the throw up your hands and become the IT that says "no".

These are old issues, but trying to sell zones as the end-all be-all, or as even much more interesting than a BSD jail, is bogus.

Let's get to real issues that this doesn't change: patch management is a nightmare on solaris. 11 hasn't changed this. The OS is waaaay overpriced vs. the competition, and very unsophisticated processes monitoring via smf (I honestly think they should have cut their losses and just used runit - most of the benefits, none of the academically-inspired and simply stupid limitations in compiling the graph at boot time vs run time vs build time.... ugh).

more than 2 years ago

Book Review: Scalability Rules

spacey Re:Don't mix the vendor networking gear? (54 comments)

Sorry, but no. I've been in the industry for over 10 years, and it's rare to experience these types of problems. Consumer-grade equipment is notorious for this type of thing, but it's much less common with a major vendor with a reputation to protect. Single vendor rarely means best of breed.

It may be rare, but when you're in a conf. call with Juniper and Cisco and F5 because you're finding that multicast is dropping packets, you can be pretty sure that the one that fixes it is the one who has a proposal to replace all of the others' equipment with their own.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Math Curriculum To Understand General Relativity?

spacey Re:Easier way to learn it (358 comments)

A big part of Feynman's genius was his ability to explain. There are few people who could explain concepts like him, and so it's hard to get the education he gave in his books.

more than 2 years ago

DOE Announces Philips As L Prize Winner

spacey Re:Cost? (48 comments)

That is the hardest part to figure out. Current-generation LEDs have a tendency to flake out because of heat is my understanding.

more than 2 years ago

Unified NoSQL Query Language Launched

spacey Re: The Spec (194 comments)

This is a soft-sell way to get nosql databases into traditional IT situations, where familiarity with SQL will let current support and DBAs say "oh, it's like SQL, but it doesn't have joins. I can do that".

I always did like the sqlite docs, specifically the diagrams of the state machine for each statement.

more than 2 years ago

Studying the Impact of Lost Shipping Containers

spacey Re:Can't they tie them down? (236 comments)

Making the signal public after a week or so lost (to give the owner/shipper a chance to pick it up), and adding in the fact that there are rights to salvage in the open sea, and you'd probably have a great business opportunity.

more than 3 years ago

Firefox 4 Beta 12 Released; Fixes Over 650 Bugs

spacey And you download it from where? (181 comments)

Firefox has always had the most frustrating UI for their info pages. They'll send you to pages and pages of info, but there's never a standard sidebar to actually download the available versions. The page this article links to has a link to the mobile beta of 4, which is exactly not the platform I'm browsing from. Fail.

more than 3 years ago

Ergonomic Mechanical-Switch Keyboard?

spacey Re:Goldtouch (310 comments)

I've used these for a number of years now, and they're more durable that e.g. the M$ keyboards (more than one accidental water spill on my goldtouches, and they work fine after drying out. The M$ ergo keyboards die. I'd rather not admit that this has happened so often, but sometimes it does).

My only complaint is that the hinge/ball-joint mechanism on the goldtouch seems to have gotten less sturdy in the last 3-4 years, and I've had 2 break on me. My older model, at home, has never broken.

They also have a smaller keyboard that may be the next one I buy, hoping that the ball-joint is better.

Here's the manufacturer's site for their keyboards:

more than 3 years ago

Consumer Webcams With High-Quality Sensors?

spacey Re:Great question (218 comments)

From what I remember, the eye-fi doesn't delete content locally, it just uploads. so you'd have to play around with some way of having the modified firmware delete the oldest N photos or something.

Ahh... it seems that the newest cards will auto-delete:


more than 4 years ago

Memory Management Technique Speeds Apps By 20%

spacey Re:Beware the key term there: (252 comments)

One of the goals was to *not* require a rewrite of applications, and they succeeded on that goal.

This is interesting stuff, but if the goal is to not have to change source, isn't this sub-par? Hasn't the Boehm collector been tested as faster than using malloc/free forever? See;jsessionid=IRGXEUGCDWGBJQE1GHOSKH4ATMY32JVN for a trivial example (a paper at is offline, I guess with the server for now).


more than 4 years ago

How many countries have you visited?

spacey My home town (958 comments)

I'm from new york city. Anyone who hasn't heard of my home town hasn't heard of the industrial revolution. They may exist, but I'm not finding them in my 2 weeks off.


more than 4 years ago

Staying In Shape vs. a Busy IT Job Schedule?

spacey Re:Its not rocket surgery... (865 comments)

At my office we've been having some fun by trying to get to 100 pushups using the schedule at the site I haven't gotten to 100, but I've gotten as far as 83, which from 35 6 weeks ago is still huge.

These sorts of programs work out much better with peers so that you can encourage each other. It's something you can do at your desk if you have 2 or 3 co-workers who want to join you and it's really invigorating. You get to see what kind of people you're working with, too.


about 5 years ago

Sun To Include SSDs On Server Motherboards

spacey Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (79 comments)

Sun's using hardware that amounts to pluggable disks on a range of hardware. The same module they're putting into other devices will go into this motherboard, so it's sort of a commodity. A huge benefit of this tech is that if you can put your OS on it, you get faster swap, faster access to data on these devices, and much less electricity per rack. If they wanted to they could probably produce blades that were teeny tiny but still had on-board storage. RLX could have used this.


more than 5 years ago


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