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Mainframes and Containers

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Server
  • Why Mainframes Aren't Going Away Any Time Soon

    IBM's former systems and technology CTO explains when it makes sense to buy a mainframe and what the advantages are.

  • Starling Bank cashes in on open source Kubernetes for flexibility and agility

    UK fintech Starling Bank is building on the evolution of its architecture with plans to move to a cross-cloud approach supported by open source container orchestration platform Kubernetes.

  • Kubernetes for dev infrastructure

    I was initially assigned to solve an easy-sounding problem: make integration tests faster. There were a few hundreds of Selenium-based workflows, which were running sequentially and taking up to 10 hours to complete. The obvious solution was to parallelize them. The problem was that they were not designed to run concurrently and hence we had to either refactor all tests or provide an isolated copy of the ThoughtSpot system (a test backend) for every thread to run on. Redesigning tests might look like a cleaner solution, but it would require a tremendous effort from the whole engineering team and a lot of test-related changes in the product, so it was not feasible. We’ve decided to take the second approach, and that left me with the task, I’ve ended up solving with the help of Docker and Kubernetes: make it possible to quickly (in 2–3 minutes) spin up dozens of test backends with pre-loaded test data, run tests, tear them down, repeat.

  • Kubernetes vs Docker Swarm: A comparison of cloud container tools

    Containers are rising like a hot air balloon in the cloud market. These days, the CIO can hardly move for suggestions of one-shot-wonder tools to lighten the burden of IT infrastructure management. But when it comes to the battle of Kubernetes vs Docker, which programme comes out on top?

    Touted as silver bullet simplifiers of software update administration, both tools are great for transporting applications from one system to another without risking compatibility problems, missing files or unexpected errors. In the first instance, using a container to transport applications is much faster and better value than using a virtual machine, so either product is a good place to start for boosting cloud architecture efficiency.

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Android Leftovers

The Spectre/Meltdown Performance Impact On Linux 4.20, Decimating Benchmarks With New STIBP Overhead

As outlined yesterday, significant slowdowns with the Linux 4.20 kernel turned out to be due to the addition of the kernel-side bits for STIBP (Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors) for cross-HyperThread Spectre Variant Two mitigation. This has incurred significant performance penalties with the STIBP support in its current state with Linux 4.20 Git and is enabled by default at least for Intel systems with up-to-date microcode. Here are some follow-up benchmarks looking at the performance hit with the Linux 4.20 development kernel as well as the overall Spectre and Meltdown mitigation impact on this latest version of the Linux kernel. Some users have said AMD also needs STIBP, but at least with Linux 4.20 Git and the AMD systems I have tested with their up-to-date BIOS/microcode, that hasn't appeared to be the case. Most of the AMD STIBP references date back to January when Spectre/Meltdown first came to light. We'll see in the week ahead if there is any comment from AMD but at this time seems to be affecting up-to-date Intel systems with the Linux 4.20 kernel. Read more

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