Open Credo

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[Past event] Webinar: How to bring a Design Thinking mindset to Platform Engineering

You might have heard the term ‘Design Thinking’ bouncing around a lot these days. But from the conversations I’m having, people still aren’t clear on what it means and who should be using it. Customer-centric design is the future and Design Thinking holds the key to understanding your users. To find out more, join our webinar in which our CTO, Nicki Watt and subject-matter expert, Julie Bork Nellegaard will discuss the importance of Design Thinking and “How to bring a Design Thinking Mindset to Platform Engineering”

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Terraform Infrastructure Design Patterns

September 14, 2015 | Cloud, DevOps

Terraform Infrastructure Design Patterns

If you are operating in the programmable infrastructure space, you will hopefully have come across Terraform, a tool from HashiCorp which is primarily used to manage infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, DNS names and firewall settings across a number of public and private providers (AWS, GCP, Azure, …).

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Designing a REST API with fine-grained resources, HATEOAS and HAL

August 12, 2015 | Microservices

Designing a REST API with fine-grained resources, HATEOAS and HAL

Over the last few months one of my main projects at OpenCredo has involved creating various microservices which are interacted with via REST. We’ve been working with a relatively rich domain model, which in turn has presented a lot of challenges in how to design our various resources. This blog post aims to summarise various techniques and practices which I’ve found helpful in overcoming these challenges.

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Tareq Abedrabbo will talk at NoSQL Roadshow London 2013 on Designing Applications for the Data World
When Your Product Teams Should Aim to be Inefficient – Part 1

June 14, 2022 | Blog, Culture, White Paper

When Your Product Teams Should Aim to be Inefficient – Part 1

Many businesses advocate for efficiency, but this is not always the right goal. Part one of this article explores how product teams can balance two important considerations – efficiency and effectiveness. Part two builds on this idea, uncovering the non-obvious implications of using technology to bring about efficiency and wider change.

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DZone Repost: Testing Serverless Functions

February 11, 2022 | AWS, Cloud, GCP, Kubernetes, Microservices, Open Source, Software Consultancy

DZone Repost: Testing Serverless Functions

Serverless functions are easy to install and upload, but we can’t ignore the basics. This article looks at different strategies related to testing serverless functions.

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Making Sense of Data with RDF* vs. LPG

January 31, 2022 | Blog, Data Engineering

Making Sense of Data with RDF* vs. LPG

There are two camps of Graph database, one side is RDF, where they are strict with their format, and somewhat limited for their extensibility. The other side is LPG, where they can define labels to the relationships. With its recent extension, RDF now allows users to add properties, thus becoming RDF*. In this blog, Ebru explores the structural and performance differences between LPG and RDF*.

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Kafka vs RabbitMQ: The Consumer-Driven Choice

July 20, 2021 | Blog, Data Engineering, Kafka

Kafka vs RabbitMQ: The Consumer-Driven Choice

Message and event-driven systems provide an array of benefits to organisations of all shapes and sizes. At their core, they help decouple producers and consumers so that each can work at their own pace without having to wait for the other – asynchronous processing at its best.

In fact, such systems enable a whole range of messaging patterns, offering varying levels of guarantees surrounding the processing and consumption options for clients. Take for example the publish/subscribe pattern, which enables one message to be broadcast and consumed by multiple consumers; or the competing consumer pattern, which enables a message to be processed once but with multiple concurrent consumers vying for the honour—essentially providing a way to distribute the load. The manner in which these patterns are actually realised however, depends a lot on the technology used, as each has its own approach and unique tradeoffs. 

In this article we will explore how this all applies to RabbitMQ and Apache Kafka, and how these two technologies differ, specifically from a message consumer’s perspective.

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Machine Learning at scale: first impressions of Kubeflow

April 20, 2021 | Data Engineering, Machine Learning, Software Consultancy

Machine Learning at scale: first impressions of Kubeflow

Our recent client was a Fintech who had ambitions to build a Machine Learning platform for real-time decision making. The client had significant Kubernetes proficiency, ran on the cloud, and had a strong preference for using free, open-source software over cloud-native offerings that come with lock-in. Several components were spiked with success (feature preparation with Apache Beam and Seldon for model serving performed particularly strongly). Kubeflow was one of the next technologies on our list of spikes, showing significant promise at the research stage and seemingly a good match for our client’s priorities and skills.

That platform slipped down the client’s priority list before completing the research for Kubeflow, so I wanted to see how that project might have turned out. Would Kubeflow have made the cut?

 

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Anthos – A Holistic Approach to your Hybrid Cloud initiative

February 17, 2021 | Blog, Cloud, Cloud Native, GCP, Open Source

Anthos – A Holistic Approach to your Hybrid Cloud initiative

Multi-cloud is rapidly becoming the cloud strategy of choice for enterprises looking to modernise their applications.

And the reason is simple – it gives them much more flexibility to host their workloads and data where it suits them best.

In this post, we focus on Google’s application modernisation solution Google Anthos and the role it can play in your cloud transformation strategy.

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WebAssembly – Where is it going?

December 11, 2020 | Cloud, Cloud Native, Kubernetes, Microservices

WebAssembly – Where is it going?

“WebAssembly is a safe, portable, low-level code format designed for efficient execution and compact representation.” – W3C

In this blog, I’ll cover the different applications of Wasm and WASI, some of the projects that are making headway, and the implications for modern architectures and distributed systems.

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Decision time with AWS Keyspaces

September 22, 2020 | AWS, Blog, Cassandra, Cloud, DevOps, Open Source

Decision time with AWS Keyspaces

With the upcoming Cassandra 4.0 release, there is a lot to look forward to. Most excitingly, and following a refreshing realignment of the Open Source community around Cassandra, the next release promises to focus on fundamentals: stability, repair, observability, performance and scaling.

We must set this against the fact that Cassandra ranks pretty highly in the Stack Overflow most dreaded databases list and the reality that Cassandra is expensive to configure, operate and maintain. Finding people who have the prerequisite skills to do so is challenging.

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Automation of complex IT systems

May 14, 2020 | Blog, DevOps

Automation of complex IT systems

At the time of this post, the UK is making steps to exit from an unprecedented lockdown measures for the Coronavirus. Much of the UK workforce are still making efforts to work-from-home with mainly key workers operating – at risk – in public. Many industries have shut down completely. Consequently, many businesses are reflecting on what happens next and how do we better mitigate future pandemic events?

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It’s 2020, can I have my ML models now?

April 2, 2020 | Machine Learning

It’s 2020, can I have my ML models now?

Recent years have seen many companies consolidate all their data into a data lake/warehouse of some sort. Once it’s all consolidated, what next?

Many companies consolidate data with a field of dreams mindset – “build it and they will come”, however a comprehensive data strategy is needed if the ultimate goals of an organisation are to be realised: monetisation through Machine Learning and AI is an oft-cited goal. Unfortunately, before one rushes into the enticing world of machine learning, one should lay more mundane foundations. Indeed, in data science, estimates vary between 50% to 80% of the time taken is devoted to so-called data-wrangling. Further, Google estimates ML projects produce 5% ML code and 95% “glue code”. If this is the reality we face, what foundations are required before one can dive headlong into ML?

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Security, Usability & Cloud Data Services in Finance

March 20, 2020

Security, Usability & Cloud Data Services in Finance

Traditionally, Usability and Security have been set in opposition to each other: with tight security, we end up with painful user experience. In this blog, Guy focuses on financial services as an exemplar of how we can introduce usability into a vertical with challenging security and compliance requirements.

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Evolutionary challenges faced by VC funded organisations

November 13, 2019 | Software Consultancy

Evolutionary challenges faced by VC funded organisations

Pioneering and pushing technology boundaries – pretty much a given nowadays for the software-driven startup. Here are some insights we’ve observed working with a number of venture capital (VC) companies who have managed to navigate the choppy waters and successfully grow their business including winning further investment along the way.

With our deep hands-on technical expertise and pragmatic focus, OpenCredo has become a natural software acceleration partner for VC funded organisations who are looking to deliver tangible value as effectively as possible. We’ve been brought in to work alongside these innovators at various stages of their journey. As such we’ve gained an appreciation for and acquired, first-hand insight into some of the pressures and challenges faced. From getting and securing that next round of funding, to grappling with the technical decisions and challenges inherent in sensibly evolving offerings to accommodate future growth and scaling.

 

This blog is written exclusively by the OpenCredo team. We do not accept external contributions.

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Evolving Your Architecture Whilst Still Keeping The Lights On

September 12, 2019 | Cloud Native, Microservices, Software Consultancy

Evolving Your Architecture Whilst Still Keeping The Lights On

As a technology leader, you’ll be aware that competitive pressures and shifting business requirements are driving changes in the technical architectures of many organisations. This means you need a new strategic approach based on the ability to continually evolve elements of your systems and architectures.

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Securing Kafka using Vault PKI

February 20, 2019 | DevOps, Hashicorp, Kafka, Open Source

Securing Kafka using Vault PKI

Creating and managing a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) could be a very straightforward task if you use appropriate tools. In this blog post, I’ll cover the steps to easily set up a PKI with Vault from HashiCorp, and use it to secure a Kafka Cluster.

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HA Prometheus – The Thanos Evolution

February 5, 2019 | Cloud Native, DevOps, Kubernetes, Microservices, Open Source

HA Prometheus – The Thanos Evolution

While Prometheus has fast become the standard for monitoring in the cloud, making Prometheus highly available can be tricky. This blog post will walk you through how to do this using the open source tool Thanos.

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[Past event] O’Reilly Software Architecture 2018

We are excited to announce our Senior Consultant, Fahran Wallace is speaking this year at O’Reilly Software Architecture 2018.

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10 Pieces of Borrowed Wisdom for Effective Tech Consultancy

August 29, 2018 | Software Consultancy

10 Pieces of Borrowed Wisdom for Effective Tech Consultancy

My last year or so here at OpenCredo has involved a very well-supported first foray into tech consultancy. Different engagements pose both unique, as well as familiar challenges for me as a consultant, all of which played a part in shaping and moulding the way I understand and approach problems. This blog is a brief collation of wisdom that’s helped me the most during this adventure; gained by learning the hard way, as well as that acquired from mentoring and colleagues who have gone before. The shared wisdom has made me a much more effective consultant, and kept me sane in the process, for which I’m very thankful.

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The Power of the Architecture-driven Organisation

July 13, 2018 | Software Consultancy

The Power of the Architecture-driven Organisation

As a consultant I often find myself in situations that require tricky problem solving, typically of a technical nature. Yet although it is common to approach a consultancy engagement in terms of its technical context, not all problems have a purely technical solution.

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Self-testing infrastructure-as-code

May 31, 2018 | DevOps

Self-testing infrastructure-as-code

As traditional operations has embraced the concept of code, it has benefited from ideas already prevalent in developer circles such as version control. Version control brings the benefit that not only can you see what the infrastructure was, but you can also get reviews of changes by your peers before the change is made live; known to most developers as Pull Request (PR) reviews.

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Heuristics for Identifying Service Boundaries

May 16, 2018 | Microservices

Heuristics for Identifying Service Boundaries

To identify service boundaries, it is not enough to consider (business) domains only. Other forces like organisational communication structures, and – very important – time, strongly suggest that we should include several other criteria in our considerations.

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[Past event] Applied Data Engineering Meet Up #6

Join us for the Applied Data Engineering Meet Up #6 on the 18th of April! For our first meet up of the year we have CTO of Humio, Kresten Thorup joining us and speaking about Data Processing and SecOps at Scale.

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Microservices Anti-patterns: It’s All About the People

April 18, 2018 | Microservices

Microservices Anti-patterns: It’s All About the People

Quite a few of the anti-patterns we observe today on microservices projects are strongly related to how people approach the problem. Given their nature, these anti-patterns tend to be deeply ingrained and self-sustaining. Addressing them starts with increased awareness and by changing ways of approaching the problem, rather than by the introduction of yet another technical tool or framework.

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[Past event] Goto Nights London Meet Up

We are excited to announce that our Senior DevOps consultant, Maartens Lourens will be speaking at Goto Nights London monthly meet up in April! To join us or find out more information, click here.

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Events and Commands: Two Faces of the Same Coin?

March 14, 2018 | Data Engineering, Microservices

Events and Commands: Two Faces of the Same Coin?

Events are obviously the fundamental building block of event-sourced systems. Commands are equally a common concept in such systems although the distinction between events and commands, if any, is not always clear. There are certainly varying views on what role each one should play.

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Writing a custom JupyterHub Spawner

January 11, 2018 | Data Engineering

Writing a custom JupyterHub Spawner

The last few years have seen Python emerge as a lingua franca for data scientists. Alongside Python we have also witnessed the rise of Jupyter Notebooks, which are now considered a de facto data science productivity tool, especially in the Python community. Jupyter Notebooks started as a university side-project known as iPython in circa 2001 at UC Berkeley.

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muCon 2017 (Video): A Not SO(A) Trivial Question!

[Past event] µCon London 2017: The Microservices Conference

We are excited to announce that Tareq Abedrabbo, Matt Long and Fahran Wallace are speaking at µCon London 2017! Join µCon 2017 to learn how other teams have adopted microservices and what they learned along the way.

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[Past event] Applied Data Engineering Meetup #4

Join us on the 25th of October for our Applied Data Engineering Meetup with Cockroach Labs who will be talking to us about ‘The Hows & Whys of a Distributed SQL Database.’

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[Past event] O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference 2017

Join our CTO, Nicki Watt at O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference 2017.

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[Past event] Applied Data Engineering Meetup #3

We’re back with our next event, this time reflecting on recent political events and how Data and Machine Learning can influence it.

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[Past event] Applied Data Engineering Meetup #2

We’re back with our second meetup with lightning talks from Tareq Abedrabbo, CTO of OpenCredo, David Dawson, Software Engineer and Systems Architect and Allison Wells, Data Engineer of Kobalt Music followed by discussion over beer and pizza!

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Terraform Provider Development

August 9, 2017 | Cloud, DevOps, Terraform Provider

Terraform Provider Development

The recent 0.10.0 release of HashiCorp Terraform, saw a significant change to the way Providers are managed. Specifically, the single open source code repository for Terraform has been divided into core and multiple provider repositories.

 

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Riak, the Dynamo paper and life beyond Basho

August 8, 2017 | Cassandra

Riak, the Dynamo paper and life beyond Basho

Recently, the sad news has emerged that Basho, which developed the Riak distributed database, has gone into receivership. This would appear to present a problem for those who have adopted the commercial version of the Riak database (Riak KV) supported by Basho.

 

This blog is written exclusively by the OpenCredo team. We do not accept external contributions.

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[Past event] Programmable Infrastructure and Cloud Architecture Training

Join us for the second installment of OpenCredo’s Summer training schedule. On the 21st and 22nd of June we will be running our “Programmable Infrastructure and Cloud Architecture Training” course in Manchester.

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CockroachDB: First Impressions

June 15, 2017 | Data Engineering

CockroachDB: First Impressions

CockroachDB is a distributed SQL (“NewSQL”) database developed by Cockroach Labs and has recently reached a major milestone: the first production-ready, 1.0 release. We at OpenCredo have been following the progress of CockroachDB for a while, and we think it’s a technology of great potential to become the go-to solution for a having a general-purpose database in the cloud.

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[Past event] Webinar: Detecting stolen AWS credential usage with Apache Spark

Join us as we conclude our recent Apache Spark series with a webinar that will explore the use case of “Detecting stolen AWS credential usage with Spark”

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Deploy Spark with an Apache Cassandra cluster

May 2, 2017 | Cassandra, Data Engineering

Deploy Spark with an Apache Cassandra cluster

My recent blogpost I explored a few cases where using Cassandra and Spark together can be useful. My focus was on the functional behaviour of such a stack and what you need to do as a developer to interact with it. However, it did not describe any details about the infrastructure setup that is capable of running such Spark code or any deployment considerations. In this post, I will explore this in more detail and show some practical advice in how to deploy Spark and Apache Cassandra.

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Just Cloud It: leading digital business innovation companies team up in cloud consulting joint venture
Data Analytics using Cassandra and Spark

March 23, 2017 | Cassandra, Data Analysis, Data Engineering

Data Analytics using Cassandra and Spark

In recent years, Cassandra has become one of the most widely used NoSQL databases: many of our clients use Cassandra for a variety of different purposes. This is no accident as it is a great datastore with nice scalability and performance characteristics.

However, adopting Cassandra as a single, one size fits all database has several downsides. The partitioned/distributed data storage model makes it difficult (and often very inefficient) to do certain types of queries or data analytics that are much more straightforward in a relational database.

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Programmable Infrastructure Needs Testing Too

March 20, 2017 | DevOps

Programmable Infrastructure Needs Testing Too

DevOps has swept the tech landscape. Now, many are discovering the benefits of programmable infrastructure. I have been lucky to work on many projects where we’ve taken advantage of tools such as Terraform, Ansible, or Chef.

 

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Google Cloud Spanner: our first impressions

March 7, 2017 | Data Analysis, GCP

Google Cloud Spanner: our first impressions

Google has recently made its internal Spanner database available to the wider public, as a hosted solution on Google Cloud. This is a distributed relational/transactional database used inside for various Google projects (including F1, the advertising backend), promising high throughput, low latency and 99.999% availability. As such it is an interesting alternative to many open source or other hosted solutions. This whitepaper gives a good theoretical introduction into Spanner.

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[Past event] Voxxed Days Bristol 2017

Join Lorenzo Nicora at Voxxed Days Bristol 2017 for his talk on Event Sourcing and CQRS! Voxxed Days is a series of tech events organised by local community groups where local and international speakers converge at a wide range of locations around the world. This means each event retains a unique regional flavour, whilst being part of the overall Voxxed movement. Topics covered at Voxxed Days fall under the same radar as Voxxed.com, including: Server Side Java, Java Language, Cloud and Big Data, Web & HTML, Mobile, Programming Languages, Architecture & Security, Methodology, Culture and Future Technologies.

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[Past event] Workshop: Introduction to Agile Testing

Drawing on over 6 years of practical experience from the OpenCredo team, you will explore worked examples and learn clear lessons in test automation and agile development. The workshop is ideal for members of development teams working to integrate testing, as well as product owners and business analysts who need a better way of communicating their business objectives. The results will be clearer requirements, faster test feedback, and increased confidence in software quality.

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The Three ‘R’s of Distributed Event Processing

January 25, 2017 | Cassandra

The Three ‘R’s of Distributed Event Processing

One of the simplest and best-understood models of computation is the Finite State Machine (FSM). An FSM has fixed range of states it can be in, and is always in one of these states. When an input arrives, this triggers a transition in the FSM from its current state to the next state. There may be several possible transitions to several different states, and which transition is chosen depends on the input.

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What I Don’t Like About Error Handling in Go, and How to Work Around It

January 23, 2017 | Data Analysis

What I Don’t Like About Error Handling in Go, and How to Work Around It

More often than not, people who write Go have some sort of opinion on its error handling model. Depending on your experience with other languages, you may be used to different approaches. That’s why I’ve decided to write this article, as despite being relatively opinionated, I think drawing on my experiences can be useful in the debate. The main issues I wanted to cover are that it is difficult to force good error handling practice, that errors don’t have stack traces, and that error handling itself is too verbose.

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[Past event] Public Sector Show Manchester 2016

Join Us at the Public Sector Show Manchester 2016! We are proud to announce that we are sponsoring and exhibiting at the Public Sector Show Manchester 2016, which will be held on the 22nd of November. The conference is targeted at senior decision makers and managers within central government and the public sector. The Public Sector Show is […]

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[Past event] µCon 2016: The Microservices Conference

Join Daniel Bryant and David Borsos at µCon 2016 on Monday the 7th and Tuesday the 8th of November at CodeNode in London. µCon 2016 is an opportunity to learn about emerging technologies and approaches, share challenges and evolve practices and ideas. Share the challenges you are facing, the technologies you are exploring and the skills […]

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[Past event] O’Reilly Software Architecture Conference 2016

Join Daniel at O’RIELLY’s Software Architecture Conference 2016 for his talk ” A Practical Guide for Continuous Delivery with Containers.”

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From Java to Go, and Back Again

October 13, 2016 | Data Analysis

From Java to Go, and Back Again

In Lisp, you don’t just write your program down toward the language, you also build the language up toward your program. As you’re writing a program you may think “I wish Lisp had such-and-such an operator.” So you go and write it. Afterward you realize that using the new operator would simplify the design of another part of the program, and so on. Language and program evolve together…In the end your program will look as if the language had been designed for it. And when language and program fit one another well, you end up with code which is clear, small, and efficient – Paul Graham, Programming Bottom-Up

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[Past event] HashiCorp Meetup #6

Join Brett Mack for October’s installment of the London Hashicorp Meetup! The London Hashicorp meetup is back on the 13th of October and will be held at the Holburn Sainsbury office with the usual beers and pizza on offer! Agenda: 6.30pm – Arrive, beers socialising 7pm – Talk 1 – Brett Mack, Consultant @ OpenCredo […]

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[Past event] Jax London 2016

Join Daniel Bryant and Andrew Morgan at Jax London 2016 this year on the 11th of October!

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[Past event] Webinar: Cassandra – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hear from OpenCredo’s experts in this live Webinar working through best practise and common sense approaches to building out a successful Cassandra cluster, gained through experience working with clients in designing and deploying Cassandra across a wide range of business domains. Learn from them how you can make the very best of your cluster in a real world setting. […]

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[Past event] JavaOne 2016

Join Daniel at JavaOne 2016 on the 18th of September!   Java, the Cloud, Containers: Migrating Without the Tiers (or Tears) [CON3601]   Everyone is talking about building “cloud native” Java applications—and taking advantage of microservice architecture, containers, and orchestration/PaaS platforms—but there is, surprisingly little discussion of migrating existing legacy (moneymaking) applications. This session aims to […]

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How Not To Use Cassandra Like An RDBMS (and what will happen if you do)

September 15, 2016 | Cassandra

How Not To Use Cassandra Like An RDBMS (and what will happen if you do)

Cassandra isn’t a relational database management system, but it has some features that make it look a bit like one. Chief among these is CQL, a query language with an SQL-like syntax. CQL isn’t a bad thing in itself – in fact it’s very convenient – but it can be misleading since it gives developers the illusion that they are working with a familiar data model, when things are really very different under the hood.

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[Past event] ThingMonk 2016

Running from the 12th-14th of September, ThingMonk brings together technologists and designers building core infrastructure for IoT for 2 days of great talks by industry practitioners. Join Tareq and Dominic Fox at ThingMonk 2016 and hear them talk about the event sourcing framework, Concursus!

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Patterns of Successful Cassandra Data Modelling

September 6, 2016 | Cassandra

Patterns of Successful Cassandra Data Modelling

A growing number of clients are asking OpenCredo for help with using Apache Cassandra and solving specific problems they encounter. Clients have different use cases, requirements, implementation and teams but experience similar issues. We have noticed that Cassandra data modelling problems are the most consistent cause of Cassandra failing to meet their expectations. Data modelling is one of the most complex areas of using Cassandra and has many considerations.

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Kubernetes from scratch to AWS with Terraform and Ansible (part 1)

August 26, 2016 | Kubernetes

Kubernetes from scratch to AWS with Terraform and Ansible (part 1)

This post is the first of a series of three tutorial articles introducing a sample, tutorial project, demonstrating how to provision Kubernetes on AWS from scratch, using Terraform and Ansible.

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[Past event] The London Web Meetup

Join Daniel at the London Web Meetup on the 18th of August!   The London Web meetup will be hosted at the Ticketmaster office on Pentonville road N1 9HF, on the 18th of August, kicking off at 6:30pm. This time around, the meetup will be focusing on empathy and its cruciality when designing, building and […]

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[Past event] Microservices Manchester

OpenCredo is going North with Microservices Manchester! We are super excited to announce ourselves as Event Partners and organisers of Microservices Manchester. It will be held on the 5th of July 2016 and is a free single day two-track conference. Microservices Manchester is specifically designed for technical implementers and decision makers who wish to better understand […]

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You Are Ignoring Non-­functional Testing

June 15, 2016 | Software Consultancy

You Are Ignoring Non-­functional Testing

It’s as simple as that – and as a consultant, it’s a problem I see all the time. Testing is always focused on functional testing. Non-functional testing, by comparison, is treated like a second class citizen. This means that functional requirements get refined, and non-functional requirements are ignored until the very end.

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OpenCredo is Heading North; New Office Opening in Manchester!
The Concursus Programming Model: Kotlin

April 29, 2016 | Software Consultancy

The Concursus Programming Model: Kotlin

In this post, I’ll demonstrate an alternative API which uses some of the advanced language features of the new Kotlin language from Jetbrains. As Kotlin is a JVM-based language, it interoperates seamlessly with Concursus’s Java 8 classes; however, it also offers powerful ways to extend their functionality.

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Securing Terraform state with Vault

April 2, 2016 | Terraform Provider

Securing Terraform state with Vault

When it comes to automating the creation of infrastructure in cloud providers, Terraform (version at time of writing 0.6.14) has become one of my core go to tools in this space. It provides a fantastic declarative approach to describing the resources you want, and then takes care of making it so for you, keeping track of the state in either a local file or a remote store of some sort. Various bits of sensitive data is often provided as input to terraform.

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Easy API Simulation with Hoverfly JUnit Rule

March 17, 2016 | Software Consultancy

Easy API Simulation with Hoverfly JUnit Rule

In order to be able to regularly release an application, your automated tests must be set up to give you fast and reliable feedback loop. If bugs are only found during a long and expensive multi-service or end-to-end test run, it can be a hinderance to fast delivery. Unfortunately I have often seen this problem in development environments: a huge suite of clunky, flaky and slow end-to-end tests which test the full functionality of the application as opposed to being more lightweight and reflecting basic user journeys. This produces the “ice cream cone” anti-pattern of test coverage, where unit tests aren’t providing the kind of coverage and feedback they need to.

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Product Development Is Science

March 7, 2016 | DevOps

Product Development Is Science

Businesses exist to make money; their purpose isn’t just to generate revenue, but to create profits, now and in the future. Generating profits means delivering products or services that people want to buy. The creation of what people want is the entire purpose of delivery pipelines. (NB: The rest of this article will use ‘product’ to refer to both products and services.)

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React/Redux boilerplate

March 3, 2016 | Software Consultancy

React/Redux boilerplate

In this post, I’ll be sharing some React/Redux boilerplate code that Vince Martinez and I have been developing recently. It’s primarily aimed at developers who are familiar with the React ecosystem, so if you are new to React and/or Redux, you might like to have a look at Getting Started with React and Getting Started with Redux.

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Kotlin: a new JVM language you should try

March 3, 2016 | Software Consultancy

Kotlin: a new JVM language you should try

JetBrains (the people behind IntelliJ IDEA) have recently announced  the first RC for version 1.0 of Kotlin, a new programming language for the JVM. I say ‘new’, but Kotlin has been in the making for a few years now, and has been used by JetBrains to develop several of their products, including Intellij IDEA. The company open-sourced Kotlin in 2011, and have worked with the community since then to make the language what it is today.

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Is it Time for Your ‘Microservices Checkup’?

March 2, 2016 | DevOps, Microservices

Is it Time for Your ‘Microservices Checkup’?

Many of our clients are currently implementing applications using a ‘microservice’-based architecture. Increasingly we are hearing from organisations that are part way through a migration to microservices, and they want our help with validating and improving their current solution. These ‘microservices checkup’ projects have revealed some interesting patterns, and because we have experience of working in a wide-range of industries (and also have ‘fresh eyes’ when looking at a project), we are often able to work alongside teams to make significant improvements and create a strategic roadmap for future improvements.

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Hazelcast and Spring-managed Transactions: A Sample Integration

January 26, 2016 | Data Engineering

Hazelcast and Spring-managed Transactions: A Sample Integration

In this second post about Hazelcast and Spring, I’m integrating Hazelcast and Spring-managed transaction for a specific use case: A transactional Queue. More specifically, I want to make the message polling, of my sample chat application, transactional.

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[Past event] GOTO Conference Amsterdam

For Team Leaders, Architects and Project Managers Working Within Software GOTO Conference Amsterdam is a practitioner-driven enterprise software development conference designed for team leads, architects, and project management and is organised “for developers by developers”. As software developers and architects ourselves, we wanted to craft the ultimate conference. With a 360 degree perspective, GOTO conferences always present new […]

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Akka Typed brings type safety to Akka framework

January 18, 2016 | Software Consultancy

Akka Typed brings type safety to Akka framework

Last time in this series I summarised all the Akka Persistence related improvements in Akka 2.4. Since then Akka 2.4.1 has been released with some additional bug fixes and improvements so perhaps now is a perfect time to pick up this mini-series and introduce some other new features included in Akka 2.4.x.

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Facebook’s React, and the Signal:Noise Ratio

January 15, 2016 | Software Consultancy

Facebook’s React, and the Signal:Noise Ratio

So, you’ve started to hear a lot about React, the Javascript library developed by Facebook, but is it something you need to investigate? It’s time to distil the signal from the noise, position React amongst its rivals, and provide an indication of where it currently would – and would not – be a suitable fit.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Microservices (Redux)

January 8, 2016 | Microservices

The Seven Deadly Sins of Microservices (Redux)

Many of our clients are in the process of investigating or implementing ‘microservices’, and a popular question we often get asked is “what’s the most common mistake you see when moving towards a microservice architecture?”. We’ve seen plenty of good things with this architectural pattern, but we have also seen a few recurring issues and anti-patterns, which I’m keen to share here.

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[Past event] Microservices for the Enterprise: A webinar by ZeroTurnaround

Join our Chief Scientist, Daniel Bryant who will be Co-presenting on the ‘Microservices for the Enterprise’ webinar by ZeroTurnaround!

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[Past event] GOTO Nights London

GOTO Nights London is a free evening community event driven by involvement from both speakers and participants, designed for people who want to stay up to date with the latest tools, technologies, processes and practices in the software industry.

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[Past event] µCon 2015

Join us at µCon 2015, the conference on Microservices, REST, dddesign & SOA. Network, share and learn with world leading architects and microservices experts.

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(Spring) Booting Hazelcast

December 1, 2015 | Software Consultancy

(Spring) Booting Hazelcast

This post introduce some of the basic features of Hazelcast, some of its limitations, how to embed it in a Spring Boot application and write integration testings. This post is intended to be the first of a series about Hazelcast and its integration with Spring (Boot). Let’s start from the basics.

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RAML 1.0 promotes reusability and standardisation

November 25, 2015 | Microservices

RAML 1.0 promotes reusability and standardisation

In May a 1.0 release of RAML (RESTful API Markup Language) has been announced delivering a few much welcome additions in the RAML 1.0 specification. This major release marks an important milestone in the evolution of RAML and indicates the team behind the specification is confident this release delivers the comprehensive set of tools for developing RESTful APIs. I’ve been using RAML 0.8 for several months now and have enjoyed the simplicity and productivity it offers for designing and documenting APIs. I must say I’m quite pleased with the changes introduced in the new release and would like to review those I consider particularly useful.

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Implementing HAL hypermedia REST API using Spring HATEOAS

November 1, 2015 | Microservices

Implementing HAL hypermedia REST API using Spring HATEOAS

To use or not to use hypermedia (HATEOAS) in a REST API, to attain the Level 3 of the famous Richardson Maturity Model. This is one of the most discussed subjects about API design.
The many objections make sense (“Why I hate HATEOAS“, “More objections to HATEOAS“…)
. The goal of having fully dynamic, auto-discovering clients is still unrealistic (…waiting for AI client libraries).

However, there are good examples of successful HATEOAS API. Among them, PayPal.

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JavaOne: Building a Microservice Development Ecosystem (Video)

October 31, 2015 | Microservices

JavaOne: Building a Microservice Development Ecosystem (Video)

Microservices: Some Assembly Required

Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing an OpenCredo blog series on the topic of “Building a Microservice Development Ecosystem”, but my JavaOne talk of the same title crept up on me before I managed to finish the remaining posts. I’m still planning to finish the full blog series, but in the meantime I thought it would be beneficial to share the video and slides associated with the talk, alongside some of my related thinking. I’ve been fortunate to work on several interesting microservice projects at OpenCredo, and we’re always keen to share our knowledge or offer advice, and so please do get in touch if we can help you or your organisation.

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Our Thoughts on DevOps and Cloud at JAX London

October 18, 2015 | Cloud, DevOps

Our Thoughts on DevOps and Cloud at JAX London

DevOps, Cloud and Microservices: “All Hail the Developer King/Queen”

Last week Steve Poole and I were once again back at the always informative JAX London conference talking about DevOps and the Cloud. This presentation built upon our previous DevOps talk that was presented last year, and focused on the experiences that Steve and I had encountered over the last year (the slides for our 2014 “Moving to a DevOps” mode talk can be found on SlideShare, and the video on Parleys).

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The Business Behind Microservices Webinar (Video and Slides)

September 24, 2015 | Microservices

The Business Behind Microservices Webinar (Video and Slides)

Unless you’ve been living under a (COBOL-based) rock for the last few years, you will have no doubt heard of the emerging trend of microservices. This approach to developing ‘loosely coupled service-oriented architecture with bounded contexts’ has captured the hearts and minds of many developers. The promise of easier enforcement of good architectural and design principles, such as encapsulation and interface segregation, combined with the availability to experiment with different languages and platforms for each service, is a (developer) match made in heaven.

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Change is coming to IT

September 21, 2015 | DevOps

Change is coming to IT

The drive for change comes from, everywhere. Within IT departments, developers are asking for more control, and want faster response times than can be provided by traditional gatekeeper IT services. Management hears about new technologies allowing more rapid deployments, better ROI, reduction in costs, increased efficiency, and increased scalability, and they want it for their customers. On top of that, systems age, technologies lose their lustre, and technical debt builds up, while it simultaneously gets harder to recruit people from a shrinking talent pool, all of which creates a case for change from within the technology itself.

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OpenCredo’s Agile Transformation

August 11, 2015 | DevOps

OpenCredo’s Agile Transformation

For years, OpenCredo has been working with organisations to help them introduce new technologies, and more effective development practices, to their IT teams. This has met with a great deal of success, and we have worked with a variety of companies of various sizes. During these projects, we have consistently noticed that the changes we make reach beyond IT in their impact and effects.

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Boot my (secure)->(gov) cloud

August 10, 2015 | Cloud, Software Consultancy

Boot my (secure)->(gov) cloud

As a company, we at OpenCredo are heavily involved in automation and devOps based work, with a keen focus on making this a seamless experience, especially in cloud based environments. We are currently working within HMRC, a UK government department to help make this a reality as part of a broader cloud broker ecosystem project. In this blog post, I look to provide some initial insight into some of the tools and techniques employed to achieve this for one particular use case namely:
With pretty much zero human intervention, bar initiating a process and providing some inputs, a development team from any location, should be able to run “something”, which, in the end, results in an isolated, secure set of fully configured VM’s being provisioned within a cloud provider (or providers) of choice.

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Embracing Disruptive Innovation: OpenCredo Partners with Google

August 5, 2015 | Cloud, GCP, Kubernetes

Embracing Disruptive Innovation: OpenCredo Partners with Google

Why OpenCredo partnered with Google

Recently OpenCredo chose to partner with Google in order to share knowledge and resources around the Google Cloud Platform offerings. Our clients come in many shapes and sizes, but typically all of them realise three disruptive truths of the modern IT industry: the (economic) value of cloud; the competitive advantage of continuous delivery; and the potential of hypothesis and data-driven product development to increase innovation (as popularised by the Lean Startup / Lean Enterprise motto of ‘build, measure, learn’).

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July 28, 2015 | Microservices

Documenting REST APIs – a tooling review

Recently I co-presented a talk at Goto Amsterdam on lessons learnt whilst developing with a Microservices architecture; one being the importance of defining and documenting your API contracts as early as possible in the development cycle. During the talk I mentioned a few API documentation tools that I’d used and, based on feedback and questions from attendees, I realised that this topic merited a blog post. So, the purpose of this is to introduce 5 tools which help with designing, testing and documenting APIs.

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Speaker Deck: Things I wish I’d known before I started with Microservices
OpenCredo and Container Solutions Partner to Deliver Emerging Technologies
Supporting the G-Cloud 6 framework …
Traits with Java 8 Default Methods

January 30, 2015 | Software Consultancy

Traits with Java 8 Default Methods

When I first started programming in Scala a few years ago, Traits was the language feature I was most excited about. Indeed, Traits give you the ability to compose and share behaviour in a clean and reusable way. In Java, we tend deal with the same concerns by grouping crosscutting behaviour in abstract base classes that are subsequently extended every time we need to access shared behaviour in part or in total.

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Visit us at QCon London 2015

November 19, 2014 | Microservices

The 7 Deadly Sins of Microservices

Undeniably, there is a growing interest in microservices as we see more organisations, big and small, evaluating and implementing this emerging approach. Despite its apparent novelty, most concepts and principles underpinning microservices are not exactly new – they are simply proven and commonsense software development practices that now need to be applied holistically and at a wider scale, rather than at the scale of a single program or machine. These principles include separation of concerns, loose coupling, scalability and fault-tolerance.

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October 23, 2014 | Cassandra

Spring Data Cassandra Overview

Spring Data Cassandra (SDC) is a community project under the Spring Data (SD) umbrella that provides convenient and familiar APIs to work with Apache Cassandra.

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Cucumber Android vs Appium with cucumber jvm

January 28, 2014 | Software Consultancy

Cucumber Android vs Appium with cucumber jvm

A while ago I published this blog post about writing tests for mobile applications using Appium and cucumber-jvm.

In this post, I will look at an alternative approach to testing an Android native application using Cucumber-Android.

Throughout the post I will draw comparisons between Appium and Cucumber-Android, the goal being to determine the best approach for testing an android application using Cucumber. I will focus on the ease of configuration and use, speed of test runs and quality of reporting.

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GOTO Conferences. NoSQL Roadshow on surviving data in large doses
Configuration Management with Flexible Contexts

August 2, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Configuration Management with Flexible Contexts

Configuration management was born in the pre-cloud era. Remember the days when acquiring a super powerful multi core server felt like winning the jackpot? Infrastructure was a slightly different place back then. Yet for all the recent developments in DevOps, its legacy is still with us.

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Model Matters: Graphs, Neo4j and the Future

February 25, 2013 | Neo4j

Model Matters: Graphs, Neo4j and the Future

As part of our work, we often help our customers choose the right datastore for a project. There are usually a number of considerations involved in that process, such as performance, scalability, the expected size of the data set, and the suitability of the data model to the problem at hand.

This blog post is about my experience with graph database technologies, specifically Neo4j. I would like to share some thoughts on when Neo4j is a good fit but also what challenges Neo4j faces now and in the near future.

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Withstanding the test of time – Part 2

February 19, 2013 | Software Consultancy

Withstanding the test of time – Part 2

How to create robust tests for Spring based applications

This blog post continues on from Part 1 which discussed types of tests and how to create robust tests. Part 2 will examine techniques to help whip a test suite in to shape and resolve common issues that slow everything down. The approaches in this post will focus on spring based applications, but the concepts can be applied to other frameworks too.

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OpenCredo welcomes our new Digital Architecture Director, Pete Sheffield.
CloudCredo is pleased to announce Cassandra as a Service support for CloudFoundry.
API Testing with Cucumber

February 4, 2013 | Software Consultancy

API Testing with Cucumber

This API will in future be used by a mobile client and by third parties, making it important to verify that it is functionally correct as well as clearly documented.

An additional requirement in our case is for the tests to form a specification for the API to allow front and back end developers agree on the format in advance. This is something that BDD excels at, making it natural to continue to use Cucumber. This post will focus on the difficulties of attaining the appropriate level of abstraction with Cucumber while retaining the technical detail required for specification.

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Withstanding the test of time

December 18, 2012 | Software Consultancy

Withstanding the test of time

The first thing most people think of when they start a project with the good intentions of test driven development is: write a test first. That’s great, and something I would fully encourage. However, diving in to writing tests without forethought, especially on large projects with a lot of developers can lead to new problems that TDD is not going to solve. With some upfront thinking (but not big upfront design!) a large team can avoid problems later down the line by considering some important and desirable traits of a large and rapidly changing test suite.

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OpenCredo expands into new London HQ
OpenCredo brings the Spring User Group to QCon London
Neo4j Super Nodes and Indexed Relationships, Part II

November 4, 2011 | Neo4j

Neo4j Super Nodes and Indexed Relationships, Part II

 Neo4j Super Nodes

In the previous post we compared the performance of fetching relationships from densely populated nodes using Neo4j native store and using lucene index.

We’ve seen that we can fetch the small subset of relationships from a super-node (containing ~1M relationships in total) directly from the Lucene index, the performance of the first run (cold-caches) is better then using the Neo store directly. The subsequent runs with caches warmed up show comparable performance, slightly in favor of direct Neo store fetching, sue to low level cache optimizations.

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OpenCredo Partners with EsperTech to Offer Solutions for High Performance, Event-Driven Systems