May 10

Jesse Robbins

Jesse Robbins

Structure and Velocity

Several people have asked me about the differences between Om Malik's Structure conference and our Velocity Web Performance & Operations conference.  Velocity is on June 23 & 24th at the SFO Mariott, and Structure follows on June 25th in San Francisco. 

The conferences are complementary: Structure discusses what is changing in internet infrastructure, and Velocity teaches how to make that change happen.

I've been recommending that anyone considering Structure make sure their engineering teams are going to Velocity.  For many technical leaders I think there is value in attending both, and I definitely plan on doing so.

The knowledge and skills learned at Velocity can be put to immediate use and will have significant impact on your business.  The reason for this is simple:

Faster, scalable, and highly available websites serve more pages to more customers in the same amount of time.

That's why we've worked hard to make Velocity the best resource for engineers to learn how to build and operate at web scale.  Here are a few examples:

Adam Jacob will give a step-by-step overview of Building an Automated Infrastructure, and then Luke Kanies will follow up with an in-depth session on Puppet.  This is the exact combination I used to explain how effective operations is a huge competitive advantage:

Luiz Barroso will describe Google's approach to energy-efficient datacenter design and management.  Applying these lessons can ultimately save millions of dollars, increase your operational agility, and decrease your environmental footprint.

Mandi Walls will teach how actionable logging can mean the difference between a 20-minute outage and a 2-hour outage while esoteric error codes are deciphered or developers are contacted to investigate.

Eric Lawrence, Program Manager for Internet Explorer, and Mike Connor, lead developer for Mozilla Firefox will explain how to optimize page performance for their respective browsers.  We'll also have demos of leading performance testing tools: HTTPwatch, Fiddler, AOL PageTest, and Firebug.

John Allspaw from Flickr will be be giving a talk about Capacity Management.  John's way of explaining both the problem and the opportunity is wonderfully straightforward:


You can check out the rest of the program and register on the Velocity site(Hint: You can use the code "vel08js" for a 20% discount.)  I'll be posting frequently as we add speakers and events.  I hope to see you at Velocity!

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Comments: 4

  elkit [05.10.08 06:17 PM]

May I be a nitpicker? I believe you mean the conferences are complEmentary. If they were complImentary, they'd be free.

  Jesse Robbins [05.10.08 07:29 PM]

@elkit: good catch... thank you!

  Geva Perry [05.11.08 12:39 AM]

Jesse -- I think the conferences are more similar than you portray. I am one of the speakers at Structure and I definitely intend to talk about the "how".

The differences are in speakers, organizers, dates -- which is fine.

Geva Perry

  Jesse Robbins [05.19.08 10:25 PM]

@Geva Perry,

It looks like your session is focused on how business should be thinking about cloud computing. That is an important topic, and I'm looking forward to hearing you speak. At velocity, we'll be diving into deep technical detail on how to actually design and implement cloud computing.

For instance:

Building an Automated Infrastructure - Adam Jacob

In this session, we will show one method of building an automated infrastructure by presenting a live demonstration company in EC2. First we will cover all of the components necessary for any automated infrastructure to be successful:

1. Operating System Installation –- having a consistent, repeatable operating system install.
2. DNS –- Having a reliable, up to date, standardized naming scheme.
3. System Inventory and Classification (iClassify) –- Centralized, query-able information about the entire infrastructure.
4. Version Control –- The heart of the infrastructure: you should be able to rebuild from scratch with nothing but a recent checkout.
5. Configuration Management (Puppet) –- No more manual configuration.
6. Identity Management (LDAP) –- Consistent authentication and authorization for every internal service and application.
7. Monitoring –- Fully automated, always up to date, automated monitoring.
8. Trending –- The data you need on how your infrastructure is performing.
9. Application Deployment –- How the automated infrastructure paves the way for an ideal application deployment mechanism.

Then we will present a series of use-cases, walking the audience through how each component interacts to help them solve real-world problems. Sample use cases are adding a new application server and application troubleshooting.

All the tools presented will be open source, and we’ll make sure that attendee’s have a hand out detailing each of them (and a workflow of how they fit together).

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