Monday, October 12, 2009

Mixing cookies, sales records, and DB2 pureScale

This is one of the many stories where personal life and IT life intermix - or is it even always the case? Today my post is about cookies (real ones, nothing about visitor tracking or search engine optimization, SEO), it is about the upcoming holiday season (or are we in it already?), and about database technology, namely DB2 pureScale. But let's get started with the cookies first...

In Germany and some other countries, we have some types of cookies which are only available in the Christmas/holiday season. One of them, and my favorite, are Speculaas (or in German Spekulatien). It's a spiced shortcrust biscuit and they taste very well on their own or when soaked in milk. As mentioned, they are only available throughout the "Season" which these days seems to be from September to December. My wife has been trying to keep the "Christmas is not in September" tradition. And so I have been arguing, pleading, begging for a couple weeks that Speculaas are just some regular cookies. I tried it by pointing out that there is nothing special about these cookies, they could have been sold out this year so far and that we are lucky to have them back. I tried it with arguing that if we don't buy them, they could be sold out by Christmas. Anyway, after much back and forth we now are close to opening the second box. I emptied most of the first box one morning last week in my home office when everybody else was out. My kids also seem to like Speculaas which makes it easier for me in the afternoons...

With Speculaas in the house and the shops full of holiday articles, it dawned on me that we are approaching the Christmas season (and in some countries, like the US, Thanksgiving or other big festivities coming up even earlier). This is the season where additional store clerks are needed and when additional processing power needs to be available for web shops, in the database systems, and all back infrastructure that enables the upcoming peak sales/revenue period. It's the time where sales records are reached and everybody is busy in doing their part to help the economy.

Last week, DB2 pureScale was announced. It helps to horizontally scale up database processing power and achieve high availability of the database system. The key is that new machines can be seamlessly added to a database cluster to increase the system throughput. While there may not be much performance needed in, e.g., Summer, peak performance is needed throughout the season. Using pureScale it is simple to added that needed additional capacity. While it may be possible to move to a bigger machine (vertical scaling), it is not practical in terms of effort or benefits. Having a DB2 cluster also helps with even higher system availability. With DB2 pureScale it is possible to quiesce one member (machine) and service it. Or if parts of your cluster fails, the others are still available and let your business continue. All this is transparent to the database application. It doesn't know whether it is running on a regular or clustered DB2.

Many new computers (desktops, laptops, nettops) are sold during the season, often replacing older, less powerful systems. If there would be something like DB2 pureScale, you would just add another module to your existing computer and add processing power. If one module is broken, your photos, videos, audio streaming, etc. would still be accessible and you could continue with parts of your processing power and repair the failing components. What a thought!

Now it is time for the morning coffee and some cookies (guess which!)...

4 comments:

Frederik said...

I don't know where you live in Germany, but simply crossing the border to Belgium should satisfy all your speculaas needs, all year long :-)

Henrik Loeser said...

Thanks for the hint, but it would be a longer journey. I am living in the South (Lake of Constance area/Bodensee).

Do you eat them all year long or was that just for me?

Frederik said...

We eat them all year long, but there's also a peak around the end of the year for a festivity called Sinterklaas (google if you don't know it...)

raf mathijs said...

damn, another belgian has beaten me to the punch,
in belgium we even have a speculaas paste to put on sandwiches like chocolate spread.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails