Inside Amazon’s Cloud Computing Infrastructure

aws regions

Here’s a little insight into the Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure:

Amazon operates at least 30 data centers in its global network, with another 10 to 15 on the drawing board.

How big is a data center?

A key decision in planning and deploying cloud capacity is how large a data center to build. Amazon’s huge scale offers advantages in both cost and operations. Hamilton said most Amazon data centers house between 50,000 and 80,000 servers, with a power capacity of between 25 and 30 megawatts.

So, how many servers does the Amazon AWS run?

So how many servers does Amazon Web Services run? The descriptions by Hamilton and Vogels suggest the number is at least 1.5 million. Figuring out the upper end of the range is more difficult, but could range as high as 5.6 million, according to calculations by Timothy Prickett Morgan at the Platform.

Flexible Feature Control at Instagram


Flexible Feature Control at Instagram” article describes how Instagram controls the release of new features to groups of users.

I’ve implemented a very simple feature control mechanism before, but nothing to the sounds of this one.  Rolling out to groups of users, conditional control, geo-tagging, and more.  On top of it, non-technical users seem to be able to use for tuning the groups.  This sounds quite impressive, especially when you think of the Instagram’s user base (400,000,000+ users).

Transpose – structured notes alternative to Evernote

Evernote is an excellent note-taking service.  But it lacks any kind of templating, which is a pretty much required feature once you have more than a few hundred notes.  It’s nice to see that some people realize this enough to create alternative services.  Transpose is one such attempt.

I haven’t tried it yet, but judging by the video, the interface is not the friendliest ever.  Flexibility is a hard problem to solve when it comes to the UI.  And at $15/month it’s a bit pricey.  But it’s still nice to see that someone is trying.

Upcoming Android devices

The touch screen on my Nexus 4 is dying.  There’s a strip right across the center, which doesn’t work anymore.  The device is still alive, but it won’t last long.  In fact, I’ve already borrowed an old Sony Xperia from my brother, for the day when the angels will take my phone to the Android heaven.

With that in mind, I started looking for what’s going to be my next device.  I’m planning to get one closer to Christmas maybe, so not exactly in a rush.  The official Google blog’s post “S’more to love across all your screens” from a couple of days ago came just in time.

Android devices

The line-up covers upcoming tablets, phones, and Chromecast devices.  On the smartphone front, there are two devices – 5.7 inch Nexus 6P built by Huawei, and a 5.2 inch Nexus 5X built by LG.  Nexus 6P starts at $499, which I’m not yet prepared to pay for a smartphone (even though I use it heavily on a daily basis).  Nexus 5X starts at $379, which is much more reasonable.  Both phones feature a fingerprint scanner (finally, away with all those passwords and patterns), and a 12.3 MP camera for better pictures.  Nexus 6P comes in an aluminum body, which sounds nice.

Nexus 5X seems like an excellent option for me.  Of course, I’ll have to wait and see when it gets released, real-priced, and reviewed.

Conference : Freedom and Technology

announcement (english)

There is going to be a Free Software / Open Source conference “Freedom and Technology” this Saturday, October 3rd (18:00-21:00) in Cyprus University of Technology, in Limassol, Cyprus.  Organizers are the same people you know from the Ubuntu CY community.  I’m going to do a talk titled “The practical guide to Open Source participation”.  Slides will be linked here after the talk.

See you there.

Packaging third-party plugins with your WordPress theme

wordpress theme plugins

Many a time I’ve been involved in building a custom WordPress theme, which relied or benefited from some plugins being installed and activated.  I’ve always had an ad hoc solution to the problem, with my own installation scripts, WP-CLI mockery, etc. “Packaging third-party plugins with your WordPress theme using TGM Plugin Activation library” covers a much more elegant solution.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it does look very promising for my next WordPress project.