Tech machine

Amazon Route 53 – The AWS Domain Name Service

On 6 Dicembre, 2010, by Nat, 0 Comments

In 1995 I registered my first domain name and put it online. Back then, registration was expensive and complex. Before you could even register a domain you had to convince at least two of your friends to host the Domain Name Service (DNS) records for it. These days, domain registration is inexpensive and simple. DNS hosting has also been simplified, but it is still a human-powered forms-based process.

Today we are introducing Amazon Route 53, a programmable Domain Name Service. You can now create, modify, and delete DNS zone files for any domain that you own. You can do all of this under full program control—you can easily add and modify DNS entries in response to changing circumstances. For example, you could create a new sub-domain for each new customer of a Software as a Service (SaaS) application. DNS queries for information within your domains will be routed to a global network of 16 edge locations tuned for high availability and high performance.

Route 53 introduces a new concept called a Hosted Zone. A Hosted Zone is equivalent to a DNS zone file. It begins with the customary SOA (Start of Authority) record and can contain other records such as A (IPV4 address), AAAA (IPV6 address), CNAME (canonical name), MX (mail exchanger), NS (name server), and SPF (Sender Policy Framework). You have full control over the set of records in each Hosted Zone.

You start out by creating a new Hosted Zone for a domain. The new zone will contain one SOA record and four NS records. Then you can post batches of changes (additions, deletions, and alterations) to the Hosted Zone. You'll get back a change id for each batch. You can poll Route 53 to verify that the changes in the batch (as identified by the change id) have been propagated to all of the name servers (this typically takes place within 60 seconds).

The zone's status will change from PENDING to INSYNC when all of the changes have been propagated. You can update your domain registration with the new nameservers at this point. Our Route 53 Getting Started Guide contains a complete guide to getting started with a new Hosted Zone.

Each record in a Hosted Zone can refer to AWS or non-AWS resources as desired. This means that you can use Route 53 to provide DNS services for any desired combination of traditional and cloud-based resources, and that you can switch back and forth quickly and easily.

You can access Route 53 using a small set of REST APIs. Toolkit and AWS Management Console support is on the drawing board, as is support for the so-called "Zone Apex" issue.

Route 53 will cost you $1 per month per Hosted Zone, $0.50 per million queries for the first billion queries per month, and $0.25 per million queries after that.  Most sites typically see an order of magnitude fewer DNS queries than page views. If your site gets one million page views per month, it would be reasonable to expect about 100,000 DNS queries per month. In other words, one billion queries is a lot of queries and many sites won’t come anywhere near this number. The results of a DNS query are cached by clients. You could set a high TTL (Time to Live) on the records in your Hosted Zone in order to reduce the number of queries and the cost.

Route 53 supports up to 100 Hosted Zones per AWS account. If you need more, simply contact us and we'll be happy to help.

The Route 53 / CloudFront team has openings for several software developers and a senior development manager.

— Jeff;



Simple way to memcache (almost) all database queries

On 8 Gennaio, 2010, by Nat, 0 Comments

Most common way to access data is a database. Most common way to speed this up – Memcached.
As a quite young CakePHP developer I had a bit of headache “how to cache queries effectively?”. Now I know the way, so I share. Feel free to disagree, upgrade and so on.

Man Attends His Own Funeral, Relatives Shocked

On 9 Novembre, 2009, by Nat, 0 Comments

On the holiday known as the Day of the Dead, a Brazilian bricklayer walked into his own funeral. The sight of Ademir Jorge Goncalves alive shocked relatives, some of whom tried to jump out of the windows of the funeral home. “In my 10 years in this business, I have never witnessed a scene like this,” said the funeral home manager Natanael Honorato.

Client Virtualization with NeoSphere’s Neocleus

On 8 Novembre, 2009, by Nat, 0 Comments

Run a Secure Corporate Environment on Any PC At NeoSphere’s core is Neocleus’ second generation pioneering client virtualization technology; a Type 1 hypervisor that runs directly on the bare metal of the client hardware.  Leveraging the hypervisor, virtual machinesare distributed to PCs where they execute locally in isolated VMs.  Isolation of VMs provides a robust and secure client computing environment and ensures problems that surface in one VM (such as a virus attack or an OS failure) cannot bleed into the other VMs on that computer.

Expand VDI to All Desktop and Laptop Users For end users, NeoSphere turns a single laptop or desktop into a multi OS machine. Users can seamlessly move between environments without any degradation in performance or user experience. For instance, if a user has a touch screen monitor on their physical machine, it will operate with native performance within NeoSphere. In addition, NeoSphere delivers the broadest client hardware support in the industry. As a result, IT addresses end user needs with greater ease.

SMS Component

On 7 Novembre, 2009, by Nat, 0 Comments

A simple and free SMS gateway component based on the information provided in This component aims to be as easy as the Email component but for text messages.

Microsoft To Open up Outlook .pst Format

On 26 Ottobre, 2009, by Nat, 0 Comments

Anyone who has ever dealt with Microsoft Outlook will know the .pst file format – it’s the binary, undocumented file in which all data from Outlook is stored – emails, contacts, calendar, you name it, it’s in there. Microsoft has announced that it will release detailed technical documentation on the Outlook .pst data format.

Monday morning present – Rainfinity FMA Virtual Edition

On 26 Ottobre, 2009, by Nat, 0 Comments

Here’s another Storage Virtual Appliance (joining the Celerra, Avamar, Atmos and many many others) – this time, EMC Rainfinity File Management Appliance – Virtual Edition (FMA/VE).  A big thank you to the EMC Rainfinity team for doing the right thing and opening this up, in particular Scott Hall.  Thanks Scott!

What is Rainfinity File Management Appliance?   It’s an appliance that can move files between filesystems transparently, enabling automated policy-driven tiering.  

For example, you can move files on a Celerra between Flash based tiers, FC based tiers, SATA based tiers, and in and out of deduped filesystems.    On the real product (not the current Virtual Edition – this is one difference between the virtual and physical versions…) you can also use it between Celerra and NetApp systems, and to and from NAS devices to Centera (gee – I wonder what could be the next cloudy tier? :-).

Why would you do it?   Most filesystems are mostly old stale data.  They consume all the storage costs as if they were actively used.   They are backed up every time a full filesystem backup is done.   For most customers – this can save a whackload of money, and make backups of any NAS environment work better.

If you’re interested, read on for details, downloads and documentation!

Filesystems studies (whether academic, or the assessments we do for our customers) almost always show that the overwhelming volume of content is VERY stale.   Simply archiving (if it can be done easily and transparently) is one of the easiest ways to drive efficiency both into the production and backup sides of the equation.


How Rainfinity FMA reclaim this stale storage?   Well, you can read here for more on  You can get more detail on Powerlink if you are a customer, partner, or EMCer/VMware employee – follow the breadcrumb trail: Home > Products > Software P-R > Rainfinity Family > Rainfinity File Management Appliance

But – in a  nutshell, as shown in the diagram below it’s an out-of-band device, scans the filesystem for files that meet policies, moves them to the other tier, and leaves a stub in the filesystem.


What does a stub look like to a user?   Like the screenshot below, it’s pretty transparent.   The file metadata (date/size) stay as they were before (though the attributes are marked as offline – which makes most backups skip the file – a side benefit) , the icon has a little offline note. 


What happens if someone deletes the stub?  Rainfinity FMA reports on deleted stubs and can recreate them.

In the words of a customer:


If you want to play, all you need is a VMware environment.  

Download the Rainfinity FMA/VE OVA here.  

Download the document (still draft, but has the core stuff) on how to set it up here.

Remember – THIS IS NOT SUPPORTED IN GENERAL, AND CERTAINLY NOT IN PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTS.  That the quid pro-quo for a tool that we’re making freely and openly available, with no time-out.

You can use it with real Celerras, or just use the virtual Celerra Appliance – which you can download here.  Remember that the Celerra VSA thrives when you are using vSphere 4 with a CPU which supports Intel VT or AMD-V (follow the instructions here)

HOWTO 101: Installing and Basic EMC Rainfinity FMA/VE Configuration:


Download the high-rez video here.

HOWTO 201: Configuring Networks and VLANs with the EMC Rainfinity FMA/VE:

Download the high-rez video here.

HOWTO 301: Configuring the EMC Rainfinity FMA/VE with a Celerra for Fully Automated Storage Tiering on NAS

Download the high-rez video here.

BTW – if you’re reading this far…    Pause and think about this for a second.  Every EMC capability is now based on x86.  Our storage platforms are leveraging the Intel cost/performance curve, and some of them even can scale out horizontally out of those consistent “storage engine” x86 building blocks we use on all the main current platforms.   We’re taking all that stuff that either came on CDs or as physical generic 2U servers into virtual appliances.   Wouldn’t it be great if we used this to do mass-integration of our capabilities? :-)   Don’t get too excited – there’s a long, long way to go, but we’re getting there.

Entire .SE TLD Drops Off the Internet

On 13 Ottobre, 2009, by Nat, 0 Comments

Icemaann writes “Pingdom and Network World are reporting that the SE tld dropped off the internet yesterday due to a bug in the script that generates the SE zone file. The SE tld has close to one million domains that all went down due to missing the trailing dot in the SE zone file. Some caching nameservers may still be returning invalid DNS responses for 24 hours.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.