Friday, March 19, 2010

Memcached Scalability at Velocity 2010

Totally stoked about being selected for the Web Performance track at Velocity 2010.

Velocity 2010 Conference

Here's our abstract:
Hidden Scalability Gotchas in Memcached and Friends

Neil Gunther (Performance Dynamics), Shanti Subramanyam (Oracle Corporation), Stefan Parvu (Sun Microsystems)

Most web deployments have standardized on horizontal scaleout in every tier—web, application, caching and database—using cheap, off-the-shelf, white boxes. In this approach, there are no real expectations for vertical scalability of server apps like memcached or the full LAMP stack. But with the potential for highly concurrent scalability offered by newer multicore processors, it is no longer cost-effective to ignore their underutilization due to poor, thread-level, scalability of the web stack. In this session we show you how to quantify scalability with the Universal Scalability Law (USL) by demonstrating its application to actual performance data collected from a memcached benchmark. As a side effect of our technique, you will see how the USL also identifies the most signficant performance tuning opportunities to improve web app scalability.

Last year, I didn't submit anything to Velocity 2009 because I was supposed to be gigging in Europe during the conference dates. But the GFC unexpectedly wiped out those plans and I was at a loss to fill the time. Then a call for Ignite! Velocity lightning presentations appeared on Twitter so, on a whim, I submitted "Scalability for Quantheads: How to Do It Between Spreadsheets," which was accepted. That pitch led Brady Forrest to offer me a discount to attend the remainder of the Velocity 2009 presentations—one of the best things that happened to me last year. My Ignite presentation meant that I was immediately recognizable to many Velocity attendees and that made networking very easy. I was also able to attend and meet the presenters of two of the best talks: John Adams of and Bobby Johnson of I'm looking forward to more of the same this year!

If you're planning to attend, this year's conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, near Great America.

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