Monthly Archive for January, 2013

WANdisco’s January Roundup

Happy new year from WANdisco!

This month we have plenty of news related to our move into the exciting world of Apache Hadoop. Not only did another veteran Hadoop developer join our ever-expanding team of experts, but we announced a partnership with Cloudera, and WANdisco CEO David Richards and Vice President of Big Data Jagane Sundar met with Wikibon’s lead analyst for an in-depth discussion on active-active big data deployments.

WANdisco big data

You may have heard that AltoStor founders and core Apache Hadoop creators, Dr. Konstantin Shvachko and Jagane Sundar joined WANdisco last year. Now we’re excited to announce that another veteran Hadoop developer has joined our Big Data team. Dr Konstantin Boudnik is the founder of Apache BigTop and was a member of the original Hadoop development team. Dr. Boudnik will act as WANdisco’s Director of Big Data Distribution, leading WANdisco’s Big Data team in the rollout of certified Hadoop binaries and graphical user interface. Dr. Boudnik will ensure quality control and stability of the Hadoop open source code.

In building our Big Data team, we’ve been seeking Hadoop visionaries and authorities who demonstrate leadership and originality,” said David Richards, CEO of WANdisco. “Konstantin Boudnik clearly fits that description, and we’re honored that he’s chosen to join our team. He brings great professionalism and distribution expertise to WANdisco.”

Also on the Big Data-front, CEO David Richards, and Vice President of Big Data Jagane Sundar, spoke to Wikibon’s lead analyst about our upcoming solution for active-active big data deployments.

We can take our secret sauce, which is this patented active-active replication algorithm, and apply it to Hadoop to make it bullet-proof for enterprise deployments,” said David Richards. “We have something coming out called the Non-Stop NameNode … that will ensure that Hadoop stays up 100% of the time, guaranteed.”

Watch the ‘WANdisco Hardening Hadoop for the Enterprise’ video in full, or read Wikibon’s Lead Big Data Analyst Jeff Kelly’s post about the upcoming Non-Stop NameNode.

Capping off our Big Data announcements, WANdisco is now an authorized member of the Cloudera Connect Partner Program. This program focuses on accelerating the innovative use of Apache Hadoop for a range of business applications.

We are pleased to welcome WANdisco into the Cloudera Connect network of valued service and solution providers for Apache Hadoop and look forward to working together to bring the power of Big Data to more enterprises,” said Tim Stevens, Vice President of Business and Corporate Development at Cloudera. “As a trusted partner, we will equip WANdisco with the tools and resources necessary to support, manage and innovate with Apache Hadoop-based solutions.”

As a member of Cloudera Connect, we are proud to add Cloudera’s extensive tools, use case insight and resources to the expertise of our core Hadoop committers.

You can learn more about this program at Cloudera’s website and by reading the official announcement in full.

apache subversion logo

On the Subversion side of things, the SVN community announced their first release of 2013, with an update to the Subversion 1.6 series.

Apache Subversion 1.6.20 includes some useful fixes for 1.6.x users:

  • Vary: header added to GET responses
  • Fix fs_fs to cleanup after failed rep transmission.
  • A fix for an assert with SVNAutoVersioning in mod_dav_svn

Full details on Apache Subversion 1.6.20 can be found in the Changes file. As always, the latest, certified binaries can be downloaded for free from our website, along with the latest release of the Subversion 1.7 series.

How many developers can a single Apache Subversion server support? In his recent blog post, James Creasy discussed how DConE replication technology can support Subversion deployments of 20,000 or more developers.

“While impressive, DConE is not magic,” writes James. “What DConE delivers is a completely fault tolerant, mathematically ideal coordination engine for performing WAN connected replication.”

In another new DConeE post, James explains where DConE fits into the ‘software engineering vs. computer science’ debate, and warns “in the world of distributed computing, you’d better come armed with deep knowledge of the science.”

Finally, WANdisco China, a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise was announced this month, following WANdisco’s first deal in China with major telecommunications equipment company Huawei. From this new office we’ll be providing sales, training, consulting and 24/7 customer support for WANdisco software solutions sold in China, and are excited to be expanding our activities within this region.

We view China as an emerging and high growth market for WANdisco,” said David Richards. “It was a natural progression to establish our Chengdu office as a WFOE and ramp up staff there as so many companies have operations in the country. We are excited about this announcement and look forward to the growth opportunities this brings.”

To keep up with all the latest WANdisco news, be sure to follow us on Twitter.


Subversion and Git (git-svn): A New SVNForum

You’ll soon notice a new discussion area on SVNforum for using Git and Subversion together. Subversion has been the defacto face of SCM for a number of years, and now many open source and other projects are migrating to Git, a DVCS (Distributed Version Control System.)

Often a step in that migration is to use a hybrid Subversion/Git environment with features like git-svn that allow exporting codes to Git, and pushing content back to the central Subversion server.  Just as we are Supporting Git to Support You, we hope to further support you by hosting conversation on important trends affecting the Subversion community such as the rising popularity of Git.

Do you use Git and Subversion together? Are there any challenges you’re facing working with both? Which toolsets do you use? How has this changed your development environment?

Whether you’ve gone over the curve and are now seeing the benefits, or just beginning to work in a Git/SVN environment and have a bunch of questions, head on over to the forum and let us know.

This blog was co-authored with James Creasy, our Senior Director of Product Management.

WANdisco Joins Hortonworks’ Technology Partner Program

We’re pleased to announce that WANdisco has joined the Hortonworks Technology Partner Program. This program aims to support and accelerate the growth of the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. As a part of the Hortonworks Technology Partner Program we will offer our Big Data products on the Hortonworks Data Platform which is powered by Apache Hadoop.

The Hortonworks Data Platform delivers an enterprise-class distribution of Apache Hadoop that is endorsed and adopted by some of the largest vendors in the IT ecosystem.

“We are pleased to welcome WANdisco into the Hortonworks Technology Partner Program,” said Mitch Ferguson, vice president of business development, Hortonworks. “We look forward to working with WANdisco to deliver innovative Apache Hadoop-based solutions for the enterprise.”

Our upcoming Big Data products will remove the single point of failure inherent in Hadoop, providing enterprises with non-stop availability and allowing servers to be taken offline for planned maintenance without interrupting user access.

“WANdisco is bringing active-active replication technology to enterprises for high-availability global Hadoop deployments,” said David Richards, WANdisco CEO. “Hortonworks Data Platform customers will greatly benefit from WANdisco non-stop Big Data solutions through this partnership.”

You can learn more at the official press release, or get more information on the Technology Partner Program at HortonWorks’ website.

Subversion Tip of the Week

Intro to Automatic Properties 

Properties are a powerful and useful feature of Apache Subversion, but they can be easily overlooked. If you’re regularly using properties in your project, it’s a good idea to configure Subversion to add properties to new files automatically.

Subversion already sets some properties automatically: whenever you add a new file, it sets a value for the MIME type and decides whether the file is executable. You can extend this by leveraging Subversion’s automatic property setting feature “svn:auto-props.” With auto-props enabled, you can perform tasks such as automatically inserting keywords into text files and ensuring every file has EOLs that are consistent with the OS.

To enable auto-props:

1) Locate and open the config file on your local machine.

2) Scroll down to the [miscellany] section and uncomment the following line:

# enable-auto-props = yes

auto props

3) Just below this line, edit the ‘Section for configuring automatic properties’ text according to the properties you want to apply to your files.

Apache Bloodhound 0.4 (Incubating) Released

The Apache Bloodhound team has just announced their first release of 2013. Bloodhound (Incubating) is a software collaboration tool that builds on the proven project management and issue tracking system of Trac.

The just-released Bloodhound 0.4 (Incubating) includes the following highlights:

  • White-labeling for error messages and basic branding
  • Improvements to the quick ticket creation form including the ability to specify the select fields and their order
  • A new ‘in-place’ edit and workflow control replacing the ticket edit form
  • Various bug fixes

Congratulations to the Apache Bloodhound team on their 0.4 release!

Although WANdisco are sponsoring some of the initial committers, one of the Apache Bloodhound project’s core goals is to create a strong developer community around the Trac code base in a vendor-neutral location. If you’re interested in participating in the Apache Bloodhound project, we invite you to review the information available at the ‘Getting Involved With Apache Bloodhound’ page.

Apache Bloodhound 0.4 can be downloaded from the Bloodhound website.

Intro to Tagging in Subversion

What are Tags?

In Apache Subversion, branches and tags are essentially the same thing: a copy of an existing folder and its contents, in a new location within the same repository. The key difference is the way the user handles these folders.

Tags should be used as “cold milestones” that provide a snapshot of your project at a specific point in time. Although a revision already acts as a snapshot, tags allow you to give them a more human-readable name (“Release 7.0” rather than “Revision 24973.”) Tagging also allows you to take snapshots of specific sections of the repository.

Why Should I Create a Tag?

Creating a tag uses the ‘svn copy’ command, followed by the section of the repository that’s being tagged, and the location where the new tag will reside. As ever, don’t forget to leave a log message:

svn copy -m “useful log message”(URL) (location of new tag)

In this example, we are creating a new tag called ‘Release1,’ by copying all the files currently in the trunk.


Tip. Whether you are creating a branch or a tag, it’s worth putting some thought into your naming strategy. A coherent naming strategy allows others to get an insight into what development work is happening in which branch/tag, at a glance.


Looking for an easy-to-use cross platform Subversion client? Claim your free 30 day trial of SmartSVN Professional by visiting:

WANdisco Announces New Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise

We are excited to announce WANdisco China, a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise located in Chengdu, China. From this new base in Chengdu, we’ll provide the full suite of WANdisco services: sales, training, consulting and 24/7 customer support for software solutions sold in the country. Chengdu will also serve as our Chinese headquarters, supporting our existing office in Beijing.

“We view China as an emerging and high growth market for WANdisco,” said David Richards, CEO of WANdisco. “It was a natural progression to establish our Chengdu office as a WFOE and ramp up staff there as so many companies have operations in the country. We are excited about this announcement and look forward to the growth opportunities this brings.”

This announcement follows our first sale in China with major telecommunications equipment company Huawei.

You can find out more about WANdisco China at the official press release.

WANdisco Announces Free Subversion Webinars for 2013

After getting a fantastic response to our free Subversion webinars in 2012, we’re pleased to announce the first webinars of 2013.

Getting Started With Subversion

A one-hour course to kickstart newcomers to both Subversion and version control in general, covering everything you need to get up and running with this popular open source version control system.

The webinar will cover:

  • Repository basics
  • Performing commits
  • Performing checkouts
  • Simple merging
  • The working copy
  • Simple branching

Getting Started With Subversion’ will take place on January 24th, 2013 10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST, so be quick to avoid missing out.

Branching Options for Development

Branching can cause confusion for many Subversion users, but once mastered it can be one of Subversion’s greatest strengths. In this one hour webinar our Subversion expert will cover the different types of branches and deep dive into their particular uses. Topics covered will include:

  • What is concurrent development?
  • What is a branch?
  • Different development models
  • What triggers a branch?
  • Communication for branching and merging

‘Branching Options for Development’ will take place on February 14th, 2013. Registration will open soon, so keep checking back for all the latest information or follow us on Twitter.

Getting Info out of Subversion

Need to build a report based on your Subversion project? This free-to-attend online training will share techniques for extracting information out of Subversion, for reporting purposes.

Topics will include:

  • Log information
  • Property information
  • Difference information
  • Using Project and User information
  • Using Hook scripts to log information

Getting Info out of Subversion’ will take place on February 28th, 2013.

Have an idea for a future webinar, or feedback on our current schedule of free Subversion training? Please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on this blog, or Contact Us directly.


Subversion Tip of the Week

Deleting a Branch

When something is deleted from Apache Subversion, it only disappears from the revision where it was deleted and all subsequent revisions. Deleting branches in Subversion has no effect on repository size, as it still exists in all previous revisions and can be viewed or recovered at any time. So, the question is why would you ever delete a branch?

1) House-keeping – regularly deleting branches reduces the clutter in the branches directory, and makes browsing the repository less confusing. When all abandoned branches are routinely deleted, a quick glance at the branches directory can tell you which branches are still active.

2) Following a merge – in some situations where you’ve finished working on a branch and merged the changes into the trunk, the branch may become completely redundant and you should consider deleting the branch to reduce clutter in the repository.

3) Following reintegration – the ‘–reintegrate’ command allows merging from a branch to the trunk, by replicating only the changes that are unique to that branch. A ‘–reintegrate’ merge uses Subversion’s merge-tracking features to calculate the correct revision ranges to use, and checks to ensure the branch is truly up-to-date with the latest changes in the trunk. These checks ensure the reintegration will not override work other team members have committed to the trunk.

Once a ‘–reintegration’ merge has been performed, the branch shouldn’t be used for development as any future reintegration will be interpreted as a trunk change by Subversion’s merge tracking. This will trigger an attempt to merge the branch-to-trunk merge back into the branch. To avoid this, the reintegrated branch should be deleted.

How to Delete a Branch

To delete a branch, run the ‘svn delete’ command alongside the URL of the branch and an appropriate log message. In this example, we are deleting the ‘bug fix branch.’

delete branch

“Shared” is Code for “Single Point of Failure”

You’ll encounter the word “shared” often in the computing world, and I’ve begun to think that that word is sometimes a clue to finding SPOFs (Single Points of Failure).  As you likely know, a SPOF is one thing that, if it breaks, brings down a whole system.

For Want of a Nail

“For Want of a Nail…” is a proverb with a rich history, which describes how the loss of a seemingly unlikely and unimportant thing can snowball into monumental consequences. I’d call the nail in the proverb a SPOF for losing the Kingdom. But as Jez Humble points out in his article “On Antifragility in Systems and Organizational Architecture“ commenting on Nassim Taleb’s book AntiFragile, it’s not always easy to recognize the SPOF, or how multiple redundant components together might collectively form a SPOF. Incidentally, a good example of that might be Netflix’s 2012 Christmas Eve outage. In this case, the whole of Amazon EC2 was and remains a Netflix single point of failure.

Smoke that leads to fire

Since WANdisco’s DConE technology operates without a single point of failure, bringing cloud-like capabilities to existing applications, I’m interested in where this capability can be put to good use.  When hunting product opportunities, it’s always nice to have help knowing where to look.  In this case, I think the word “shared” is a red flag for SPOFs, and is the smoke that helps lead to the fire of SPOF fragility.


I didn’t have to go far for an example, as the Hadoop NameNode, subject of WANdisco’s recent AltoStor acquisition, resides in a shared edits directory which is a single point of failure for a Hadoop deploy.

What examples can you find of “shared” unmasking a SPOF that needs to be addressed?