Traffic Server week 1

Traffic Server has been out for a full week now. And it's been great, the interest is huge (almost overwhelming), and surprsingly, lots of people want to participate and contribute. So far, we've already achieved:

  • 64-bit port on Linux!
  • Port to Solaris (and OpenSolaris I believe)
  • Port to Ubuntu (it required a lot of changes due to glibc changes)
  • MacOSX port is partially done.

Not bad for week. If you are interested, check out our Wiki:


TS in the media

Traffic Server is finally here

Finally! We pushed the Traffic Server code to Apache SVN today! This is definitely a momentous occasion, this has been in the works for ages, and it took a lot of work and patience to happen. You wonder, why did we bother? Well, you are right, there's plenty of proxy server alternatives out there, Squid, Varnish, NginX and so on. But, we think we have a platform we can build something on that will be better than anything out there (that is free at least). Why? Well, we have

  • A scalable threaded + asynchronous state machine model. On a typical setup, 2 or 3 threads per core is enough to drive a large amount of traffic.
  • Feature-rich HTTP/1.0 and HTTP/1.1 support. We fair well in various tests like CoAdvisor.
  • Plugin architecture, making it easy (well, easier) to extend and customize your server.
  • Well documented.

I'm not saying it's perfect (far from it), but the hope is that Open Sourcing this will attract an active developer and user community around the software. So, you want more information? Well, besides visiting us on #traffic-server on, here's a bunch of links with some useful information:

Please join the mailing lists (see the Incubator page), talk to us on IRC, or just take a look at the code.

Update: Mark Nottingham (on our team now!) has a blog post with some interesting history and thoughts on TS.


Haiku on VirtualBox and networking

I was playing around with Haiku (BeOS revival) under VirtualBox, and was trying to get networking going. To make a short story long, the "trick" is to pick a device to emulate other than the default in the VirtualBox setting. For me, the Intel Pro/1000T server works great, in the "bridged" mode at least. Cool!


Happy Leif Erikson Day!

Today is the first Leif Erikson day, woot! Attached is the official proclamation, way to go mr President!



On this day in 1825, the ship Restauration landed in New York City after sailing for 3 months from Stavanger, Norway. The 52 passengers aboard represented the first organized emigration of Norwegians to America. These brave individuals set to the seas, following in the grand footsteps of the famous Scandinavian explorer Leif Erikson. Over a millennium ago, Leif Erikson -- son of Iceland and grandson of Norway -- arrived in North America and founded the settlement Vinland, located in modern-day Canada. Today, we celebrate his historic voyage and remember those who journeyed to America from far-away lands.

Our Nation's founding history is marked by millions of individuals who faced great hardship and difficulty as they pursued a brighter future abroad. As explorers, they did not know what they would find, but they were determined not to turn back, in order to learn what lay beyond the setting sun. This same spirit lived within Leif Erikson, and it has inspired countless others who venture from their homes in search of opportunity, uncertain of the possibilities and challenges that await them.

Today, our Nation continues to welcome those descendents of Leif Erickson to our shores. Nordic Americans have contributed immeasurably to the success of America. Their cultural accomplishments have enriched the diversity of our country. And their pioneering spirit continues to embody our Nation's unbounded enthusiasm for discovery and learning.

To honor Leif Erikson and celebrate our Nordic-American heritage, the Congress, by joint resolution (Public Law 88-566) approved on September 2, 1964, has authorized the President to proclaim October 9 of each year as "Leif Erikson Day."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2009, as Leif Erikson Day, and I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs to honor our country's rich Nordic-American heritage.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


Thunderbird and multiple accounts on the same server

I ended up having to create a second account on my private IMAP server (don't get me started why ...), and it turns out Thunderbird (at least v3beta) did not like this. It's limited to only one account per server. I tried using a different CNAME for the server, and albeit Thunderbird now lets me configure the second account, it only works until you restart TB. The final solution (thanks Dmose) is to create a new A-record with the same IP, then TBird happily works with the second accounts as well.

The Guild

I have no idea where I've been (well, I do, taking care of a little monster named Peter, and trying to Open Source Traffic Server), but I digress. I've finally found it, and it is absolutely hysterical: The Guild! The music trailer for season 3 is pretty cool too, definitely worth watching. So, better late than never, I've turned back to the Nerd Side again, and enjoying this show immensly.

Drupal and e-commerce

I recently helped a friend setting up his new E-commerce site ( using Drupal. We were considering a few modules, and finally decided on using UberCart. Now, our site isn't flashy, or have fancy graphics, but getting it functional was really easy. What we currently have working is

  • Paypal payment option
  • USPS shipping (with shipping calculations)
  • Basic cart features, different products, checkout options etc.

We've had a few issues on the way, most notably (and very confusing) was that the shipping cost calculator stops working if you disable the country field from the user entry for the shipping address. This made absolutely no sense to me (since we only ship to the US), and there were no errors or indicators whatsoever. Clearly someone didn't think through a typical use case scenario here ... Other open issues include

  • We have an optional addition to each order, for embroidery, where we'd like the price to be adjusted based on the length of the entered text.
  • There's no way to make the product picture adjust to selected options. There are a few modules that claim to do this, but none that really works.

All in all, setting up an E-commerce site with Drupal and UberCart has been a pretty good experience.


OpenSourcing Traffic Server

It's been long in the making, Chuck and I have worked hard to get this through all the hurdles and red-tape. But finally, we have submitted this draft to the Apache Incubator:

We'll be making an official "announcement" soon on the Y! Developer Network, but this is pretty exciting for us.


Dell Mini-9 performance

My Dell Mini-9 just came back from Dell service, and it's now a totally different experience. They replaced the motherboard, and possibly the CPU (I can't tell). With these changes, the box is performing just as expected, even when it gets warm. If you own a Dell Mini-9, I'd suggest you download Geekbench and run it at least 4-5 times. With the Ubuntu OS, it should score over 1,000 consistently, and with MacOSX it should score around 900.

The issue seems to be that with the bad mobo (or CPU), the CPU will throttle way too soon, and too much. The CPU is no where near the temperature levels where it'll throttle to save itself, yet it does throttle, severely. Before my repairs, I could get as low scores as 200 (i.e. less than 25% of expected performance). To me, this became painfully obvious when running anything CPU intensive, like watching a very high resolution movie, or compiling something.

Dell were way cool about bringing my unit back for service, and it took about a week from when I sent it until it arrived back home again. I'm very impressed with that.


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