Joyent Blog 2013 Review: From Memory Leaks to Minecrab

January 02, 2014 - by Ben Wen

Looking back at the blog posts for 2013, I like the range of topics that we write about. On the technical side, they cover deep topics like Max Bruning’s articles on working with ZFS filesystems and performance analysis in Linux. We also cover the growing open source Node.js community and its maturation into a production-worthy stack with chasing down a tough Walmart memory leak and how to do some of that debugging yourself with runtime log snooping. And on to the fun side, there were posts on projects like Mario Kart analytics and self-contained Minecraft hosting tools dubbed Minecrab.

Of course we have our share of company announcements too, like the launch of our novel big data Manta Storage and Compute Service and our expansion of Node.js Core Support to include Linux. We had customer success stories like Runtriz and Teletrac. CTO Jason Hoffman bid a farewell after 10 great years here at Joyent. We still see his warm smiling face in the office from time to time and benefit from his insights at events like Node Summit 2013. Speaking of that event, we had a chance to see the history of Node.js at Joyent through a debugger, mdb and to hear the story of the Walmart memory leak through an illustrated book reading. We did quite a bit with Node.js events, including NodeConf 2013, NodeConf EU, 2013 NodeKnockout, and NodeStack webinars. We also participated heavily at Surge and at LISA 2013 where Brendan Gregg was awarded a USENIX award. We were also proud to help sponsor NewRelic’s inaugural FutureStack conference.

Back on the systems side, Brendan Gregg’s much anticipated Systems Performance book came out and he laid out some of his motivations for writing it in a talk on Systems Performance: Enterprise and the Cloud. Diving into the Go language at the same hackathon that brought us Minecrab, we worked on a few interesting things that will make Go a first-class citizen on our beloved SmartOS, including mdb support for Go. We covered some cloud security issues: Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability, and mutual Auditability in four parts. And as Node.js heads towards a 1.0 release, topics like Streams in Node.js were especially interesting to learn about. Finally, we were able to demonstrate some very interesting parallel visual image manipulations with Manta by Christopher Hogue in a detailed four part series.

These were just a few of the things that came to the top of my mind as I skimmed through our blog posts on this New Year’s Eve. What would you like us to cover for 2014? We hope you had as fun a 2013 and look forward to seeing you in 2014!