Linux Conf Au 2009 Hobart – Day 2

January 29, 2009 Technical, General

OK, so I’m a little late on giving the day 2 review (and days 3-5), but in my defence I was just that busy LEARNING.

Quite seriously though, the amount of information available to you at this kind of conference can be almost overwhelming. It is a task in itself just to keep up with the presentations.

“747s on Treadmills: Experiences Scaling Uptime and Management” was a high-level look at large web-serving infrastructure rollouts by Matt Moor of Bulletproof Networks covering a project for an unnamed client that was expecting a very high amount of traffic to their charity website, peaking in November last year (surely you can guess the charity). As with many projects (and certainly with computer related technology) not everything goes 100% smoothly and indeed they did suffer hardware failures, lack of cooperation from developers and not being able to manage as much of the configuration as they would have liked to in the time available – a familiar situation.

While it was interesting hearing the approach to a common problem taken by a competitor in the market, I was left feeling unsatisfied, mostly with the lack of technical detail. I couldn’t help but compare the presentation to my own from last year where I delved head-first into configuration files, daemons and more. Maybe it is competition in the business world, individual pride of the sysadmin or just plain stubbornness. Regardless, I genuinely believe we can do things better than them and I will stick to that. Maybe there’s another LCA presentation in it!

Barney was able to attend the “Enhanced Monitoring of MySQL Servers” presentation by Arjen Lentz (at this stage still in possession of his hair). This mostly focussed on the OurDelta project, which is a collection of enhancements to MySQL created by various 3rd parties and maintained in the central repository on this site. Most of them offer significant benefits to MySQL users so it is a project to keep an eye on (and hopefully make use of) if you are a thriving MySQL DBA.

Two of the (in my humble opinion) most interesting and most important presentations of the day (perhaps even week) were those on IPv6 by AARNET’s Glen Turner and Google’s Angus Lees. Angus presented the results of a study done by his team at Google on IPv6 penetration on the Internet. In short, there is very little existing deployment (around 0.2%) and of those active deployments around half are broken. Glen painted a fairly grim view of the future of the Internet, where ISPs will profit from enterprise NAT deployments and the end user in general will suffer. We will hit the limits of IPv4 addressing within a couple of years and the logical solution is IPv6.

The impact of these presentations was not lost on us, and as a result we are now committing to deploying IPv6. I’ve made a separate summary of those presentations in a separate blog article which details a lot of the reasons for moving to IPv6, and you can read more about our deployment this on our public wiki at

Stick around and read our review of LCA2009 Day 3!