Friday, September 11, 2009

Grand Central Dispatch now Open For Business

I recently gushed about Apple's new Grand Central Dispatch code at the heart of the recent Snow Leopard Mac OS X release. Good news. Apple has decided to Open Source the code under an Apache license.

Drew McCormack over at MacResearch speculates as to why in Grand Central Now Open to All | MacResearch:
There could be one last reason why Apple has taken this step: they want to use Grand Central to push the adoption of other technologies, in particular, blocks. Blocks are an extension to C which form the basis of Grand Central Dispatch. Having your operating system based on a non-standard language is not a good position to be in, and Apple would surely like to see blocks incorporated into the C language. By offering Grand Central to the broader programming community, they may be hoping it will catch on, and make the argument for incorporating blocks in the C standard that much stronger.

I agree.

The next step is for this code to be picked up in a Linux Distribution. Having simple concurrent programming, integrated tightly with C code (and C code derivatives) would be a boon to many industries looking to exploit multicore.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Petabytes on a budget: Cheap Storage

The folks at Backblaze provided a very nice, and detailed look into how they create cheap, reliable storage to host their customer's data. Via Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage | Backblaze Blog:
At Backblaze, we provide unlimited storage to our customers for only $5 per month, so we had to figure out how to store hundreds of petabytes of customer data in a reliable, scalable way—and keep our costs low. After looking at several overpriced commercial solutions, we decided to build our own custom Backblaze Storage Pods: 67 terabyte 4U servers for $7,867.

Nicely architected 4U storage pods. It's very unusual for a company to explain, in such detail, how they built a core layer of their system. I love that they included the 3D design of the enclosure, as well as a detailed Bill Of Materials list. All of which was really only possible because of the tremendous amount of work tha went into Linux and the Linux storage subsystems.

Let's hear it for Open Source software (and Open Source design)!

2009 OpenSourceWorld: Presentation Picks

Didn't make it to the 2009 OpenSource World, Next Generation Data Center and CloudWorld conference? No worries. Enjoy the presentations right here, from your recliner: OpenSourceWorld: Presentations .

Be sure to check out the following (in no particular order):

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Islands of serialization in a sea of concurrency

John Siracusa does an awesome job writing his review of mac OS X Snow Leopard for As Technica: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: the Ars Technica review - Ars Technica.

Grand Central Dispatch is far and away the coolest technology that I've seen created in a long time for super-simple concurrent programming that fits your existing programming style/model.

If they were handing out Oscars for programming, the developers of GCD and the "blocks" extension to the language would get one. Heck, if they were handing out Nobel Prizes for programming, this would get one!

Seriously.

Awesome.

Makes me happy I'm an AAPL shareholder.