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Phil Toland
Erlang Developer at Rackspace Hosting
Rackspace Hosting

Phil Toland is a senior developer at Rackspace Hosting where he automates network devices against their will and often his own better judgement. He has worked with Erlang professionally since 2008 and Ruby since 2006. Before that he worked on a number of interesting problems ranging from wavelet image compression in C++ to oilfield instrumentation systems using Java.

Phil Toland is Giving the Following Talks
Polyglot Paralellism: A Case Study in Using Erlang at Rackspace

Two years ago Rackspace had a problem: how do we backup 20K network devices, in 8 datacenters, across 3 continents, with less than a 1% failure rate -- every single day? Many solutions were tried and found wanting: a pure Perl solution, a vendor solution and one in Ruby, but none worked well enough. They were not fast enough, not reliable enough or they were not transparent enough when things went wrong. After re-examining the problem we decided to rewrite critical portions of the Ruby application in Erlang. This solution was a huge success. In this talk we'll get down and dirty with the details: why the solution was so successful as well as the problems we faced and how we solved them. We'll cover how we overcame the typical objections, the application architecture, where Erlang was a good fit and where it was not and how Ruby and Erlang work together. 

Talk objectives: Describe the challenges of using Erlang in a corporate environment. Show the pros and cons of using Erlang to build an automation tool. Discuss the architecture of an Erlang-based automation tool .

Target audience: Developers who are interested in using Erlang to solve automation problems. Developers who need to use Erlang with other programming languages. Anyone who wants to introduce Erlang into a corporate development shop.