Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

BbWorld 2011 – Scaling Learn for High Performance and Scalable Delivery

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  • Slides posted here.
  • Blackboard has installations that have over 250,000 live users in production.
  • Reference Architecture III focuses on large connected communities, heavy adoption of advanced tools, extended/frequent time in system, richer content and user experience.
  • Need to look at opportunities to consolidate tools and optimize deployments.  You can’t afford to be down, you can do rolling updates.  This is the future.
  • SLAs around performance, scalability, and availability are essential to performance
  • Blackboard automatically provisions VMs using AIM.  Having an automation framework will reduce human error.
  • Monitor, monitor, monitor – trending over time will give you good guidance about what you need to do.
  • In 2011, there are 22 Bb customers on Oracle RAC – this is in decline.  Some people found that RAC actually caused more issues than it solved.
  • Bb uses CA Wily and AppDynamics for application lifecycle management.
  • Exceptions can consume 10-20% of memory and it’s not clearly visible.  To do this, you need to look inside the JVM to piece the puzzle together.
  • Tools for web optimization: strangeloop, mod_pagespeed, aptimize.
  • 9.1.8 will include an upgrade to Apache 2
  • The product has contained an Admin Console for a number of years – it has everything you could want to know about caches.  There’s an early evaluation program.
  • Scott Kodai asked about smaller JVMs vs larger JVMs.  Full garbage collection on a 32GB JVM could be quite a performance hit.  If you crash with a big JVM – the heap dump is going to be huge.  Two years ago, the recommendation was 4GB JVMs.
  • Steve acknowledges that Bb doesn’t do a great job helping clients size their environments.  9.1.8 will have some better guidelines around sizing.

Written by jlongland

July 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Posted in BbWorld 2011, Conferences

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