NFL Super Bowl XLVIII Notes

Another year, another Super Bowl. Seattle Seahawks pummelled Denver Broncos 43-8.

Instead of both teams playing like they’re wearing lead shoes, this year the Seahawks actually showed speed and skills, led by Percy Harvin (4 TDs, including a kick-off return!) and 2 other TDs.

The Bronco’s QB, Peyton Manning, threw a bunch of aimless long passes that missed their receivers by 10′. “Not since the OJ Simpson case has America been so disappointed in a slow, white, Bronco.” :)

Besides the lackluster performance of the Broncos, another annoyance was the high number of their helmet-on-helmet hits. It was like watching a Mike Tyson fight, dirty as sin.

Bruno Mars did an energetic half-time show. I didn’t know that he could play drums or dance that well – even a man-splits. Guest performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, still shirtless. Nice fireworks displays.

Favorite commercials were yellow M&M goes to Eastern Europe in ‘Delivery’ (“Count me in!”), and Audi’s ‘Doberhuahua’: don’t compromise. Another M&M commercial was ‘Being a Good Friend’.

The most absurd or unwelcome commercials were the ones for a cult, the one with Ellen, and the Matrix-like one for a Kia luxury car. Blandest ads were of course for Coke and Pepsi. At $4.5 million for 30-second spots, that’s gotta hurt.

The manager headsets had the NFL logo instead of Motorola this year.

Fox had 2 female sports reporters this year, Erin Andrews and Pam Oliver.

Sherman hurt his ankle in the last quarter and had to be golf-carted out.

Temperature ranged from 39F to 43F.

Super Bowl 2014: Percy Harvin’s explosive plays help Seahawks bury Broncos
Super Bowl Wi-Fi password credentials broadcast in pre-game security gaffe
Super Bowl Ads: Incredibly Cheap or an Incredible Waste of Money?
Super Bowl Halftime Show 2014: Grading Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers & More
Red Hot Chili Peppers Did Not Plug in Their Guitars for Super Bowl Halftime Show
Ten-Point Stance: Mike Freeman’s NFL Notebook Post-Super Bowl XLVIII
Why Bruno Mars Didn’t Get Paid for his Super Bowl Halftime Performance

Meetup: Scaling Chef at Facebook

Chef LogoAt the Bay Area Chef User Group tonite in Mountain View, Phil Dibowitz from Facebook Operations reprised a talk he gave at ChefConf 2013, “Scaling Chef at Facebook.”

His team of 4 people write and maintain the Chef systems for hundreds of thousands of servers, divided into several clusters of 10,000 or so nodes.

Facebook used CFEngine v2 before, but migrated to Enterprise Chef (private), and Community Chef (public) on at least one cluster.

The advantage of private Chef is to get features faster, especially related to large clusters.

He does not like CFEngine because it is file-based, whereas Chef is template-based.

Phil likes idempotent behavior. Idempotent originally meant “not changed in value following multiplication by itself,” but in this case means “acting as if used only once, even if used multiple times.” Thus a file only gets downloaded or updated once per client, not over and over.

(A second principle in managing networked systems like HPC is near locality of reference. Blekko is a big proponent of this for performance reasons.)

And in any large cluster, the secret to eventual consistency of all nodes is to have clients pull changes, not have the deploy server push them.

He used sysctl.conf as an example of how Chef makes it easy for each group or engineer to customize their servers.

Also, he talked a little about how Chef can help configure a production test node as a test canary that
automatically reverts to live after an hour of non-testing.

Facebook is big on IPv6, as a significant percentage of mobile and Comcast traffic is using it.
Also, with the large number of devices they have, IPv6 helps when RFC1918 space happens to run out internally.

Phil has previously worked in Operations at TicketMaster and Google, and runs a popular Metallica
web site.

Thanks to Ooyala for the nice meeting space. 800 W. El Camino Real is a fairly historic building. was a Sequoia-funded visual search engine also based here.

Ooyala is a video CDN. They use Ruby, Go, Scala and Chef, and they are hiring.

ChefConf 2013: Scaling systems configuration at Facebook – Phil Dibowitz

keywords: opscode, chef

SVLUG: The Amanda Backup Utility and Zmanda

Zmanda LogoTonite at the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group (SVLUG), Chander Kant and Paddy Sreenivasan from Carbonite/Zmanda gave a talk on Amanda/Zmanda.

Amanda is a popular Open Source Client-Server backup program that is one of the oldest Open Source projects. Zmanda Inc. is a company that was formed in 2005 to sell support and services around Amanda.

  • Zmanda bought by Carbonite in 2012 to move into business services
  • quick to fix Coverity issues
  • stores archives in existing backup formats like tar, zip, bzip, dump
  • 32k archive header contains label and restore instructions
  • Client, Backup Server, Media Server
  • Amanda can compute an optimized schedule by itself based on times or bandwidth
  • Vaulting (multiple tiers of same backup to multiple locations)
  • full set of encryption methods, including hardware
  • compression either on client or server
  • parallelism, even to Cloud
  • Open Source, Open Formats, Open Standards
  • Microsoft Windows client is free but not Open Source, uses VSS. Can backup Exchange and other MS formats.
  • Zmanda Enterprise is Core + Extensions (Oracle Enterprise database plugin, etc.) + web-based Management Console
  • Amanda has file-based catalog, Zmanda is embedded MySQL
  • many clients migrate from Amazon S3 to Glacier to reduce storage costs
  • Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL
  • planning to use libvirt library for Xen support, etc.
  • can specify backup target by by geographic location, like Amazon region
  • backup and DR to Cloud, start instance and then terminate it when backups tasks are done
  • write your own plugin for things like object stores
  • rsync is a tool, Amanda is a lot more.

Thanks again to Symantec for hosting tonite’s meeting.