Distributed architecture concepts I learned while building a large payments system

Gergely Orosz, an engineer who worked at Uber on the large scale payments system used by the company, shares some of the distributed architecture concepts he had to learn in the blog post titled “Distributed architecture concepts I learned while building a large payments system“.

The article is very well written and easy to follow. But it’s also a goldmine of links to other resources on the subject.  Here’s a list links and concepts for a quick research and/or click-through later:

Get Started with Blockchain Using the new AWS Blockchain Templates

One of the greatest things about the Amazon AWS services is that they save a tonne of time on the reinventing the wheel.  There are numerous technologies out there and nobody has the time to dive deep, learn, and try all of them.  Amazon AWS often provides ready-made templates and configurations for people who just want to try a technology or a tool, without investing too much time (and money) into figuring out all the options and tweaks.

Get Started with Blockchain Using the new AWS Blockchain Templates” is one example of such predefined and pre-configured setup, for those who want to play around with Blockchain.  Just think of how much time it would have taken somebody who just wants to spin up their own Etherium network with some basic tools and services just to check the technology out.  With the predefined templates you can be up and running in minutes, and, once you are comfortable, you can spend more time rebuilding the whole thing, configuring and tweaking everything.

Handling Amazon SNS messages with PHP, Lumen and CloudWatch

Gonzalo Ayuso throws a few snippets of code in the blog posts title “Handling Amazon SNS messages with PHP, Lumen and CloudWatch“, which shows how to work with Amazon SNS (Simple Notifications Service) and Amazon CloudWatch (cloud and network monitoring solution) from PHP.  The examples are based on the Lumen micro-framework, which is basically a stripped down Laravel.

Red Hat to Acquire CoreOS

Red Hat issued a press release announcing that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CoreOS Inc.

RALEIGH, N.C. —  — Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire CoreOS, Inc., an innovator and leader in Kubernetes and container-native solutions, for a purchase price of $250 million, subject to certain adjustments at closing that are not expected to be material. Red Hat’s acquisition of CoreOS will further its vision of enabling customers to build any application and deploy them in any environment with the flexibility afforded by open source. By combining CoreOS’s complementary capabilities with Red Hat’s already broad Kubernetes and container-based portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat aims to further accelerate adoption and development of the industry’s leading hybrid cloud platform for modern application workloads.
I find it to be very significant.  Have a look at other Red Hat acquisitions, especially lately, as well as their other programs and projects.

How did you significantly reduce your AWS cost?

This Hacker News thread is full of tips, tricks, and references to reducing Amazon AWS costs.  There is plenty of good advice from cleaning up the data and releasing unused resources, to monitoring the reserved instances usage, to moving data from elastic volumes to the Amazon S3 for cheaper storage and smaller traffic bills.

Persisting state between AWS EC2 spot instances

Persisting state between AWS EC2 spot instances” is a handy guide into using Amazon EC2 spot instances instead of on-demand or reserved instances and preserving the state of the instance between terminations.  This is not something that I’ve personally tried yet, but with the ever-growing number of instances I managed on the AWS, this definitely looks like an interesting approach.

The Evolution of a Static Website

Next month I’m giving a talk on the evolution of the deployment tools and processes in the last couple of decades.  This article is going along the same lines but over a much shorter period of time and only covering the static websites, not web applications.  Still quite impressive as to how far and how fast the technology is changing.

MailChimp vs. Amazon SES + Mailwizz

Here’s an interesting story of moving away from MailChimp to a combined setup of Amazon SES and MailWizz, which resulted in overall 92% reduction of the monthly bill.  Given it’s not the same functionality, but if you are technical enough and your requirements are simpler than all the functionality of the MailChimp, this looks like a good alternative.

AWS Application Load Balancer

I found this visual primer to the Application Load Balancing on the Amazon AWS quite interesting.  Application Load Balancing is not something I am using just yet, but it’s getting there.  With more and more services and pricing schemas available from Amazon, explaining things simply is not as easy as it may seem.

Database Popularity Index

Have a look at Red9’s Database Popularity Index, which is updated now on a monthly basis.  Last year I blogged about a similar study.

One thing that is still mind-boggling to me is the total number of different database engines – over 300!  I know there is a constant need for better and more powerful databases, but 300?  Sounds like too much to choose from.

One other thing that I find slightly surprising is the popularity of the Microsoft Access.  Really?  With so much to choose from, people still stay with Access?  What am I not getting here?