Shepherding Containers

Shepherding Containers

Thanks to Yahoo for the base image CC BY 2.0

As one of the earliest users of Docker, I’ve had the pleasure of creating and working with multiple different platforms built on containers. Each platform has evolved in step with current ecosystem around it, and I’ve gotten the chance to really put Docker’s “batteries included, but removable” philosophy to the test.

Here at, we have launched over 1 billion user containers in production, not to mention the containers we launch to keep our services running. The massive volume of containers we launch is enough to place great demands upon any platform that we use.

In our search for the right direction for the evolution of our platform, we’ve explored as many tools as possible. The release of Docker 1.9, combined with production-ready Docker Swarm and Docker Networking, brings a lot of value to those wanting to roll their own platforms.

Right-sizing with Docker Stats and cAdvisor

Right-sizing Docker

Thanks to Jared for the base image CC BY 2.0

Containers make life easy. Oh, you don’t have Ruby 2.2 installed? No problem, try this Docker image. Knowing what I tested on my local is exactly what’s running on production gives me warm fuzzies.

Docker gets a lot of love because it simplifies development. That’s not all though. If Docker punished infrastructure, there’d probably be a lot less love going around. Thankfully, Docker does some cool things on the infrastructure side, as well.

The biggest benefit is the “right-sizing” of compute resources. Your program might only need 200 MB of memory. Why dedicate an entire VM + OS to that? Docker insures our compute resources are neatly divided by memory and CPU between instances. Neat! There’s a lot to love about Docker on the infrastructure side, as well.

See How Untappd Processes 100s of 1000s of Updates a Night


Untappd, a mobile check-in app for beer lovers, helps beer lovers share their passion with friends and other beer lovers from around the world.

With millions of users checking-in, tracking and sharing newly discovered beers and beer drinking locations, as well as earning points for coveted badges, the Untappd app’s processing power is tested daily.

Watch the Untappd video to see how the team was able to make the app an integrated part of many beer lovers night out.

Defrag 2015: Our Favorites From Day Two


This post is a continuation of our Defrag 2015 coverage from yesterday. Read on to hear about our favorite talks from day two.


Where Does the Time Go? – Researching Top Activities At Work

Lisa Kamm is a Product Manager at Google. She got involved with a project to figure out how Googler’s spend their time at work. How could they make it better? Do their mobile products support their own workflows?

Kamm and a team of curious Googlers embarked on a journey to find out. The project started with a collaborative session, where Lisa posed the question: “Wait… what are the top 100 things an employee does in an average day.” Oops. By asking the question she surreptitiously also volunteered to find an answer.

The search for answers started the way you’d expect. Being a Googler, Kamm began the hunt for answers by analyzing a large set of data. Logs from mobile phone and computer usage seemed to be the easiest way to go. There were some hurdles with actually obtaining the logs, as well as with personal privacy. Kamm prevailed in the end, and was able to crunch down 2.5 billion records to get the data she needed.

Defrag 2015, Our Favorites From Day One

Defrag 2015 Day One Highlights

Yesterday was the start of the 9th annual Defrag conference! What is Defrag?

Defrag describes itself as: “We explore the frontiers of technology’s intersections with society, government, education, healthcare, and commerce through discussions and sessions rooted in topics like cloud computing, APIs, mobile technologies, big data, devops, the internet of things, and next generation human computer interaction.”

Neat! Read on to hear highlights from the first day of festivities.

Upgrade to IronMQ v3 in Under 30 Minutes

Upgrade to IronMQ v3 Today!

Thanks to Johan Fantenberg for the base image CC BY 2.0

Earlier this week, Customer Success Engineer JPK and I sat down with Michael Geneles and Stephen Kamenar from PitchBox to discuss their transition to IronMQ v3. Last Friday, they made the transition in less than 30 minutes! We were so impressed, we asked them for the details of their experience.

First, how does PitchBox leverage IronMQ? PitchBox helps marketers find online influencers. To accomplish that they crawl blogs and social media. Then, they run some fancy algorithms voodoo magic to process the results, and boom! Marketers are matched with their ideal influencers.

PitchBox’s dashboard is written in PHP. But, their crawler is an event driven NodeJS app. A couple thousand websites may need to be crawled and parsed at any given time.

First Class Support for Docker: Better Service, More Legroom

First Class support for Docker

Thanks to Richard Moross for the base image CC BY 2.0

“Docker, please visit the front desk to receive your complimentary upgrade to first class seating.“

That’s right, Docker just received a first class upgrade on A ways back, Travis (our digital frontiers-man of a CTO) announced beta support for Docker. Today, we’re ripping off the beta tag. Docker is our preferred way to package code.

#EastBayGo: Pareto Efficiencies and AOP with GoWeave


Special thanks to James Daisa for the base image! CC BY 2.0

The other night we headed over to the TurnItIn offices to get nerdy about Go. They hosted the first speaker-led event for the EastBayGo group. Full disclosure: I was one of the speakers!

#SFRails: Scaling ElasticSearch + Advanced Ruby Tricks

sfrails-october 2015

Last night a near 100 folks showed up at Hotel Tonight’s swank downtown offices to get nerdy about Rails.

There’s still a lot of excitement, innovation, and love happening in the Ruby world. After a bit of pre-show socialization with our fellow devs, the crowd settled in to hear the talks of the evening.

#GoSF: Identity, Safe Secrets, and IoT Friendly Languages

GoSF at Betable

The Go gopher was designed by Renee French. CC BY 3.0 US

Last night’s meetup, which was hosted by Betable, included two presentations and two lightning talks rounding out a solid evening for the GoSF group. Topics included identity on the web, safe storage of tokens (beyond ENV vars), and even the debut of a new Go-inspired embedded systems language.

Let’s take a look at each!