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Joe Williams
Developer at Cloudant and creator of Erlang Memcached client

Formerly a lead engineer at linux managed hosting provider Contegix. Today, Joe attempts to automate everything while maintaining Cloudant’s infrastructure and deployment systems. He enjoys bridging the gap between operations and development as well as working with Ruby and functional languages such as Erlang. Additionally he is a contributor to Opscode Chef and a maintainer of an Erlang Memcached client called merle.

Joe Williams is Giving the Following Talks
High Availability in the Cloud

The talk will focus on how I (with the help of the entire Cloudant team) built our database service based on CouchDB on top of EC2. Specifically how we use Erlang, Chef, EC2 and other tools to build highly available and performant database clusters. This includes using Chef and Erlang's hot code upgrades to automate cluster-wide upgrades without restarting any services.

The main topics will include:

1. Getting high availability in the cloud
  • How to think about and work with the cloud (and infrastructure you don't control)
  • Expect and prepare for failure
  • When EBS devices and EC2 instances go bad
  • Cooking high availability into your system
  • Removing single points of failure
2  Pitfalls we faced and how to work around them
  • Performance
  • Reliability
3.  Automation and configuration management
  • Including how we use Erlang and Chef to automate hot upgrades