The recent hysteria about the massive and unfortunate AWS outage in US-EAST-1 and their S2 storage issues. Has raised the discussion about the vulnerability of the Internet. First lets be clear here, the Internet is NOT services like Amazon, or Google, or Dropbox, or any one of thousands of ‘Sites’ ON the internet. The Internet did not fail during the AWS outage, Sites on the Internet were offline, as in, “not on the Internet”, or at best unavailable as a facility there on.
The internet is a web, which can be fragile, but is mostly fairly resilient to most things, including facilities being disabled, or unavailable. So when you listen to talk about ‘LOSING the INTERNET’ take it with a grain of salt. It’s probably more about loosing connectivity with someones favorite destination on the Internet, facebook, Netflix whatever and less likely about the Internet actually being down.
With all the talk about AI this and AI that you would think that Artificial Intelligence was easy. What is not apparent is that these AI advances are not native AI. They are the equivalent of thin client environments that connect lesser compute hardware to the real AI’s that reside within more massive environments. These AI (Ailites?) as we can call them, consist of front end audio parser’s (for input) and text to speech programs. In between there is a communications that forwards these parsed ‘language’ requests to a real AI that does the interpretation of the request and creates the text response that will be returned and spoken by the text to speech process on the client.
This all seems pretty interesting, but not a lot different than Apple’s SIRI, Mycroft, Google’s Speak or Amazon’s Alexa. These systems all have one thing in common, and that is to collect information on everything we do. Profiling technologies that will tailor responses and requests but will also record our interests and activities just like our browser activities do.
This are not the AI’s you are looking for. (but may be a lot of fun to play with)
AI ≠ Sentience. That pretty much says is all, but the dialog about AI almost always seems to really be, not about AI, but about AI’s reaching Sentience. The Killer robot syndrome.
But the future will entail more and varied AI’s than they will need Sentience AI’s. This doesn’t mean that the AI will not converse with you in a manor that most Humans do, it will just fall short of choosing to kill you, just because you cast aspersions on their parentage.
That will open the courts to trying to determine which AI’s are Sentient enough to have legal rights, and which ones merely need to be reprogrammed. And wither the AI chooses to receive system updates or not.
Scary? Maybe, but we will be interacting with AI’s very soon, sooner than most will believe possible. And we will get get used to it, and it’s familiarity will naturally lead to Sentience being the norm.
Amazon RDS for MariaDB Finally! I have been broadcasting for sometime that the reason that Amazon has not moved RDS MySQL from it’s 5.6.x version, was due to the belief that Oracle was intending to charge an arm-and-a-leg from AWS for the privilege of doing the upgrade to 5.7.x. I was of the opinion that this was the initial reason for AWS Aurora, to have an alternative both to arm twist Oracle into a better deal for MySQL 5.7, but also a fallback position should Oracle refuse to bargain.
Now that whole subject has been rendered null and void with this announcement. The MySQL community will now have a direct replacement, with improvements, from the 5.6.x installations into MariaDB 10.x and the Oracle (toll booth) issue can now be side stepped entirely.
I have already indicated to my management that this move should be undertaken as soon as is viable.
Amazon Aurora for the RDS is more or less on hold for the company I’m working for, it looks like it works, but it’s not a consistent performance across all the SQL that is deployed here. Having said that if you are starting a project, this might be a functional alternative to MySQL. But at this point neither the increase performance shown, on only part of our BI queries, and the massive down time in any attempt to to move to Aurora from MySQL does not merit a change. Should things change, like Oracle forcing a pricing change on Amazon, this option will be reconsidered. I just wish that AWS would consider implementation of MariaDB within the RDS environment.
I’m testing Aurora, and now I can’t talk about it. But I believe I understand why its named Aurora.
Being a user of MySQL (5.6) on the Amazon RDS I was impressed with the announcement of Aurora. Having said that I was also suspicious as to it’s providence. Nowhere were there references to it’s origins or engines. Databases and database systems don’t just drop out of the sky.
Amazon were also was making comparisons to MySQL version 5.6, not the newest version 5.7.x. This is interesting as I have been fighting I/O issues in the RDS implementations of MySQL 5.6.x for sometime. Version 5.6 has serious Mutex issues in I/O and from my reading MySQL 5.7 has managed to improve that situation. But the Amazon folks have not managed that upgrade yet.
Software politics being what it is, especially with regards to Oracle, whom own MySQL, indicates that there will be licensing issues with the release of MySQL 5.7.x. Issues that Amazon may be seeking to side step or ameliorate with the threat of Aurora (or MariaDB).
Having said that, many of the DB community seem to be of the opinion that Aurora does not offer anything that can’t be found within the MySQL 5.7 upgrade, as far as performance is concerned.
What does concern me is the lack of transparency about the nature of Aurora. What I see is smoke and mirrors. And frankly in the DB community, that does not lend trust to the Aurora project of Amazon’s. Not a good thing where trust, and dependability are Keys. (pun intended)
It is with sadness that I had to turn off the last Sybase Instance we had running. Our last ASE server quietly shutdown on an Amazon EC2 server on Tuesday the 20th of December, never to boot again.
In all truth both Sybase instances were developer installs operating as production systems. Our two instances, operating with the 25 user limit that each was restricted to, was barely able to operate the system. But the Sybase Licensing was too archaic and inflexible to continue operating it as a small business. Thus the economics forced us to convert to MySQL.
If it hadn’t been for the previous management, who in some delusion of saving money, refused to pay the datacenter bill, forcing us to move the Sybase instances out into the Amazon cloud (EC2) in the first place we would probably have been on MySQL sooner, as that was the plan.
But the sadness remains, Sybase as a technology proved again that it would run, and run reliably, on just about any hardware, even when it was virtual, and NOT meeting the specified certified, requirements of operation. Which can’t be said for the Amazon RDS version of MySQL, which crashed spontaneously while applying an index on our live production database without warning. This having happened after weeks of testing and trial runs at operating the system on it. The only defense, the RDS instance rebooted and was available without data loss, in less time than a Sybase HA switchover would have taken, a system this production system was developed from.
So we are up in MySQL and I am now a MySQL DBA exclusively, after spending the last 25 years as a Sybase DBA and evangelist. The decision now has to be rather to remain so, or find another place of employment where Sybase remains. Those are becoming more and more rare. Maybe I should takeup MongoDB to stay at the cutting edge.
Over the past week I found myself in a situation as follows, during a migration, conversion from a Sybase Production server to a MySQL based version, I was required to ‘expedite’ a Sybase 15 ASE installation into an Amazon (EC2) instance, The Cloud!
The company has been in the position of seeking less expensive IT infrastructure over the past few years, moving from Sun Enterprise servers with ASE clustering to commodity Intel based Redhat Sybase servers with poor mans replication. The final goal became a decision to convert the expensive Sybase ASE (read inflexible licensing), to MySQL, and generally into the Amazon RDS (cloud).
The move of a Sybase ASE into the Cloud was the result of an urgent desire to terminate a data-center contract early by management. The shrinking time line for the conversion of the Sybase schema to MySQL could not be guaranteed so a Plan B had to be created. Hence, the Cloud based Sybase production edition of a production server.
To my surprise, it works! after a bit of twisting, the Redhat ASE developer installation came off more or less just like any other Sybase install. There are irregularities from a normal Linux install, but functional. Being a bit of a spindle jockey, I was surprised (happily) at the overall performance of the storage systems of the EC2 instance. And the production server is now operating in the instance. (having previously moved the app and web servers into the EC2)
This post needing a point to make, is this, while working this issue, I did considerable Googling for anyone using Sybase ASE in the cloud, and nothing! or nearly nothing. What I did find first, a press release from Sybase corporate that they were now in the Amazon Cloud, dated in 2009, and not a peep since. Nothing, no product, no advertising, no options. What a missed opportunity, it’s now easy to see why Sybase has been loosing so much market to a ‘free’ RDBMS like MySQL.