Infraestructura de MercadoLibre

La entrevista de Pelado Neerd a dos administradores de sistemas de MercadoLibre (familiarmente y en adelante ML) aporta el estímulo de conocer qué se hace en otros entornos, sus diferencias con los nuestros, por tamaño o por decisiones para retos de infraestructura. Destaco unos pocos asuntos que me han llamado la atención y porqué:

  • Servidores: 10.000, aparentemente todo máquinas virtuales y no se menciona que haya infraestructura en centro de datos propio.
  • Equipo: 300 personas en mantenimiento de la infraestructura y 7.000 desarrolladores. Dividido en equipos de comunicaciones, creación y mejora de la propia infraestructura, operación de la infraestructura.
  • Nubes empleadas: emplean AWS y GCE para evitar dependencias, realizan movimiento de infraestructura de una a otra aunque determinados servicios está atados a una de ellas.
  • Machine Learning para optimización de la infraestructura: han empleado machine learning para diagnosticos de la infraestructura, si proyectan crecimientos, dónde optimizar, etc. Coinciden con Pelado Nerd que un acercamiento menos ambicioso es más efectivo. Hay herramientas de machine learning en el mercado que ofrecen ahorros como resultados de sus diagnósticos y el coste de la herramienta es superior al ahorro que propone.
  • Infraestructura para pruebas: las pruebas de desarrollo se realizan automatizadamente (CI / CD vía Git, sin necesidad del equipo de infraestructura) en una infraestructura que se despliega a propósito para cada prueba sin afectar al resto de los entornos, cuando finaliza la prueba se destruye.
  • Modelos de despliegue: “blue-green” es empleado mayoritariamente, en ocasiones “rolling

What cloud solution to choose and why

There is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer.
Chris Watterston

The Cloud (PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, …, etc.) is a stablished as solution nowadays.

According to where is the hardware, it’s told that there’re three types of cloud implementation:

  • public: your solution it’s on provider datacenter
  • private: your cloud it’s on your own datacenter(s)
  • hybrid: your solution is on both; at external at provider’s datacenter and in your datacenter. Important, you are able to move apps, services, VM’s from one to another

Note: the same terms are used to describe if your solution is public in the Internet, or closed only for your company (private) or a mixed one (hybrid). So, let me insists, I’m describing where is your solution (hard + software). I’m not refering here to who is able to use it.

Ussually I miss another variable that impacts a lot: are you going to deploy your cloud solution in a vendor lock-in implementation or don’t? Many cloud companies offers their solution in the three environments (I think that Amazon only offers a full non on-site solution).

PROS: A ready to use solution provided by any vendor has advantages: easy and fast deploy, integration with other products (for instance: As an exemple, if we just have a look to Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), there’s a plenty of storage provider with S3 compatible solutions: EMC2, IBM, Veritas, Oracle (it seems that just for backup solution)).

CONS: Your footprint is that concept named vendor lock-in. Once they got you, they may charge you hidden cost and it may be painful to migrate from one cloud solution to another. Plus, on daily work you’re limited about the things you may see, modify, manage, or analyze if anythings fails. Think about this cloud infrastructure with renting a flat: there’s a landlord, you got everything ready for you as soon as you come into the flat, but… you couldn’t change anything in the house ’cause it is not yours home.

I prefer a hybrid solution based on open standards.

CONS: It costs more to get things done, but when you get it you control and decides architechture, services, and many times you may manage your resources, you are not out of the workshop while the vendor manage your solution and you don’t know what’s hoing on or what has happened during a failure. Obviously there’s a footprint too, it is not a ready-to-use solution.

PROS: On the other hand, you’re more free to manage and decide. More; hybrid is going to be the solution because the companies requires an agilty (growing, moving resources, etc.) that only can be satisfied by defining from the scratch a hybrid implementation.

Source: I found the author of the sentence There is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer. in the Command Line Heroes podcast Crack the Cloud_Open and it has makes me share here those ideas that I agree with.

Dropbox on its own datacenter

I wrotte in 2015 about Microsoft will buy Dropbox, was I wrong?

Yes and not. There were a serious threat for Dropbox according its depence from Amazon and, and that time, there were doing things togheter with MS that pointed easily to a possible adquisition.

The changes came from both companies; Microsoft started a strong positioning towards Cloud market and Dropbox started to take off from Amazon its infrastructure. Dropbox goes public and economical argues become more and more important. The truth affects both lines: going public and on the other hand keep themselves independent on its own datacenter. They both go togheter.

Does MS (really) loves Linux?

Microsoft has redefined its targets and keep focus on three main areas:

  • Services
  • Cloud
  • Hardware

Any offer coming from MS may be put it into one of this areas. For instance, what about OS or Office? well, the new Office 365 is a Cloud app and it’s offered as a service.
According to this new approach MS is offering services based on Linux.

Things are so different from a couple of years that they have published a serie named Microsoft Loves Linux.

But don’t get fooled about it, they offer Linux as a service, as an OS built on MS services. So you gonna stay attached to MS.

Microsoft will buy Dropbox

My colleagues knows I’m saying that Microsoft will buy Dropbox, sooner or later. Why?

Well, first of all, let’s remember that Dropbox relays on Amazon EC2 instances (even if it’s only just temporarily) therefore they TCO may be easily modified by Amazon. There’re explanations about why has sense for Dropbox to use Amazon to store Data.

Dropbox has been improving their integration with Microsoft Office 365 and finally a partnership between Microsoft and Dropbox has been announced.

Microsoft is no longer that 80’s company that we knew and its support to services, hardware and -that’s the point- to cloud strategy has revamped and has changed from SkyDrive to OneDrive, Office 365 online or Azure. On the other hand, the core business for Dropbox is no longer storage but integration and services (IMHO). Cheap or affordable storage is at your hand via Google Drive or OneDrive for personal uses, or via the same providers and a few more if you’re looking for professional use.

So that hypothesis has a lot of sense because means a win – win option. If Microsoft does not buy Dropbox a stronger alliance will happen, for sure.