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Showing posts from April, 2014

Competitors testing your product, testament for your product strength

Accidentally while investigating a file upload issue from MixPanel saw an email from a user who is a developer at #1 player in consumer cloud storage market and a direct competitor to us. As usual I was curious so I ran canary query for emails ending with #1 player in enterprise cloud storage market and wow I did found that they had registered several trial accounts.

As usual the product team wants to disable the accounts but how can you stop anyone from creating a trial, they can register any fake email account and test the product so its a cat and mouse game.

But good thing is that this is testament to our product strength http://www.quora.com/Startups/My-startups-product-was-just-copied-by-a-larger-competitor-whats-the-best-reaction.

Keeps reminding me of Google trying to invent Buzz to copy Twitter or Google+ to copy Facebook. Even Facebook tried to copy whatsapp before acquiring them.

High Scalability:Denomalizing data for Billions of files for scaling snapshot times

We store metadata about billions of files in Mysql shards and each shard has Folder,File and version table. The schema looked like  this.



Now each file can have n versions and some customers want infinite versions. Problem with scaling snapshot query is that the file system snapshot required information about latest version only. To get latest version you need to join folder, file, version table and discard older rows. I had described the consistent scaling challenge and the improvements we had done to improve snapshot times for our cloud file system in http://neopatel.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-journey-of-scaling-generation-of-file.html.

The latest improvement we did is to denormalize the information about latest entry on to file table itself.

Now to generate a snapshot we just need to join Folder and File table. And the improvements are huge. We use box ananometer to log slow queries over all databases and the second query is normalized query and third query is denormalized query. Acr…

Iphone vs Android switch to new phone experience

I signed up 2 year contact and got new phones today for me and my wife. My wife upgraded her Samsung Infuse to Samsung Galaxy S4 and I upgraded my iphone 3gs to iphone5.  Off course the first thing you want to do is dont have any change in the life and just upgrade the hardware.

Well that is exactly I got from Iphone. Apple really nailed this thing. All I did was went to Icloud and did a backup which was off course incremental so took 2-3 minutes. Then I setup my new iphone as a phone with existing icloud backup. All I needed was to provide my Apple Id 2-3 times during restarts/restore and within 15 min I was up and running and ditched my old phone for good.

Also AT&T activation was a piece of cake never seen someone porting numbers between services within 5 min. Best part is I didn’t needed to interact with any human at all.

Now I needed to repeat it for android and it was mess.  God knows what was wrong but I didn’t found a similar backup/restore on android, there all these 3rd …

GPL for seeds

Heard an interesting story about how some university seed breeders borrowed the idea of opensource from computer industry to seeds.

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

In US and world farming is leading more towards monocultures  and we need more diversity. Not sure how much this open source seeds initiative will work but I wish it becomes as successful as open source software. The good thing is that it works like GPL where if you use any of these seeds to produce a new seed then you cant patent it and you have to open source that also, what a brilliant idea :).  As per wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License

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David A. Wheeler argues that the copyleft provided by the GPL was crucial to the success of Linux-based systems, giving the programmers who contributed to the kernel the assurance that their work would benefit the whole world and remain free, rather than being exploited by software companies that would not have t…