Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Every architect needs a sugar daddy

As proven by Mac vs PC, Betamax vs VHS, it's never the technology. If you want to be an architect on a successful project, you cannot be successful on the merits of your technological skills alone. You need a a sugar daddy. Basically someone powerful in the organization that trusts you and believes that you are beneficial to them in some way. Otherwise, your efforts will be undermined by a multitude of different rivals, ill wishers, nay sayers. To convince an organization that your technical solution is the one they should go with is almost an impossible task if you do it from the ground up. That is just signing yourself up for misery. You need to come in from the top with the backing of some important people, and then do a good job.

Technical update. After the fiasco with the faulty DASD, we got a successful run with a bunch of parallel streams. Encouraged by this we decided to scale up. Bang! The servers go into a spin loop and crash. On the screen I notice that top is reporting all maxed out on memory and zero swap is available. Calling down to the systems guys, it turns out there was a problem with configurations. All the servers have been set up with no swap. Had them fix it, bring the servers up, and try again. Success. Got almost 100 streams running on the four servers. The system is humming. Need to do a lot of tuning to bring down the memory usage per stream. Also, still spending 85% percent of the time in I/O wait. New DASD would make this scream. Next, we analyze the data, and move on to the test on the online system. After that, will run the mixed load.


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