Erlang on Solaris x86

ke han ke.han@REDACTED
Wed Aug 30 12:12:42 CEST 2006

On Aug 30, 2006, at 4:46 PM, Joel Reymont wrote:

> On Aug 30, 2006, at 7:00 AM, ke han wrote:
>> BTW, I TextDrive might sell you containers on their Niagra servers  
>> as well as what they currently advertise for their Opteron ones.   
>> I sent a few rounds of email with one of their sales people on this.
> Is there a particular advantage to the Niagara servers with Erlang?  
> Is this tried and true or just hypothetical?

Others have posted their testing results with the Niagra chip and  
erlang R11.  The results I've seen so far look _very_ good.  I don't  
rank high enough to get a demo machine from Sun ;-)

Although I haven't used it and haven't heard of anyone using it with  
erlang, the Niagra has an on core encryption accelerator.   See this  
blog post on how it works  (under  
heading: Two Cryptographic Solution).  You can't get this with an  

>> My only problem was I can get more horsepower from my own  
>> dedicated server than with the current pricing on the TextDrive  
>> containers
> How did you figure this out? I looked at and for  
> 250/mo you get a bare server. Do you mean that it starts to become  
> expensive as you scale up?

I am using a hosting provider  They leverage a 5-start  
facility in San Diego and provide excellent support and good pricing.  
Although large hosting companied like serverbeach or aplus have good  
support technicians, they also have more lesser knowledgeable support  
folk.  You usually have to go through the first tier before you get  
to a person that can help you fix a real problem.  m5hosting is small  
and _only_ has top support techs, so you cut through a layer when you  
have a problem.
FWIW, another (Linux only) hosting company I like for quality and  
knowledge is rimuhosting.  Yeah, I've tried lots of hosting options  
over the last few years!!

I rent a server from m5hosting I'm using for development which costs  
$105/month.  Its only for dev as it doesn't have RAID 1 or redundant  
power.  But I think you can get these added and still be less than  
$250/month.  Get in touch with sales@REDACTED and tell them Jon  
Hancock referred you ;-)

> I'm also trying to find a contact at Amazon to get on the EC2 beta.  
> For 70/mo per virtual server that would be ideal! Anyone with  
> contacts?

WOW!!!..I'd like to hear more on this.

>> (there are obviously other benefits to their container solution  
>> than raw horsepower of your own dedicated server
> What are the advantages that you see?

Solaris Containers (or Zones) are very useful for what you may  
otherwise use virtual machines or change root jails to manage.  If  
you can do everything on Solaris, Zones are powerful.
That being said, I still have slightly negative feelings about tying  
myself to Sun.  They are not a good company to have as your partner  
unless you are consistently paying top dollar.  Even then they don't  
quite drop the arrogance...nowhere near as bad as Oracle though ;-) ,  
but I shy away from companies with these histories.  I spent some  
time these last few months trying to see if I wanted to use Solaris  
on Niagra.  I ended up deciding that if the Niagra scales to what I  
may eventually need, then when I have that large a user base, I can  
switch to it and not have to worry about asking for any favors from  
my regional Sun sales rep ;-).
As for scaling "up" or "out", the latest info I have is that using  
power hunger servers is going to start costing you much more.  Data  
Centers have to pass this cost along to the customer and the  
amortized cost of buying wattage efficient servers will pay off well  
over the next year as energy prices go up.  This means paying more up  
front costs for the next gen processors and the more power efficient  
SAS drives.

>> but I was worried about their cost structure as my app needed more  
>> resource).
> You mean 250 + 250 + 250? They do seem to take care of load- 
> balancing for you, I think, if you have multiple containers.

The very nice thing about what TextDrive is offering for their  
Opteron Solaris Containers is that you get the entire fault-tolerant  
infrastructure with it.  Your renting a container, not a virtual  
machine on a particular server.  Its a powerful approach whose time  
has come and I think we're going to see lots more of this from  
TextDrive and others.
I didn't push their sales rep to see what kind of discounts would be  
available as I scaled up.

Please keep me posted on these I still haven't  
finalized my production decisions.

ke han

> 	Thanks, Joel
> --

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