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NDC Oslo 2017 Impressions

A couple of weeks ago, I had a great opportunity to visit NDC Oslo 2017. NDC stands for Norwegian Developers Conference and is one of Europe`s largest conferences for .NET & Agile development. The first conference was held in Oslo in 2008 and today NDC Conferences are 5-day events with 2 days of pre-conference workshops and 3 days of conference sessions and are being held in Oslo, London, Sydney, and Copenhagen. What makes the NDC different is the quality and the quantity of the speakers and the topics it offers. Having this in mind I must say it is always a challenge to select the right sessions or to choose one session over several popular ones.

Looking at the agenda this year, I decided that my focus will be getting updated on .NET Core 2.0 from technology aspect and getting deeper and broader understanding of the microservices and serverless architecture from architectural aspect. In this blog post I will focus on the architectural talks that I think are worth sharing along with my personal thoughts. I found these topics very interesting because currently I am working on cloud solutions based on microservices and serverless architecture and I always want to compare my work with the latest trends.

I will start with Sam Newman and his talk "Confusion In The Land Of The Serverless." One of his points is that whenever we introduce FaaS (Functions as a Service) in our solution suddenly we have a big computing power. This means that certain pieces of our solution that were performing average now can perform very well and there is nothing wrong with this if the whole architecture is adjusted to the change. If that is not the case, we can introduce new bottlenecks that were not anticipated at all. For example, I was working on a project where the processing part of our solution was replaced with Azure Functions. At that point we could process a huge number of requests, however we could not store all the processed work because we have introduced a new bottleneck and that is the storage part. Afterwards we had to replace the existing storage (Blog Storage) with more efficient storage (Redis Cache.) just to make the whole architecture aligned to the new changes.

Here comes the question: How do we decide which technology to apply to solve certain bottlenecks? This question was very well elaborated by James Lewis in his talk: "Betting on Performance: A note on Hypothesis-driven Performance Testing." His main idea is that whenever we detect a problem, we propose a hypothesis based on our knowledge and experience, we implement a prototype, and we test the hypothesis. In general, this is nothing new, but with the latest cloud platforms is very easy to implement. For example, if we look at the example above with the storage bottleneck, it was very easy for us to test the new storage solution and to compare the performance results. The easiness of the testing comes from the fact that we can create a new Redis Cache component in Azure, we can deploy modified version of the Azure Functions to use the new storage part, and we can observe the results in Application Insights with just few clicks. In general, we can test the performance improvement hypothesis in less than an hour and we can have a go-no-go decision.

Another interesting talk that I would like to share is from my favorite Pluralsight author Scott Allen entitled "Building Resilient Applications In Microsoft Azure." Scott presented latest tools from Azure to make more resilient cloud solutions. For instance, there is already integrated retry policy in each SDK which offers more specific features than a generic retry library. I find it very useful that in Azure Storage retry policy there is a location mode to specify that retry attempts will access the secondary read-only copy if we are using geo-redundant storage. Scott has also spent some time on Service Fabric as the most appropriate approach for more resilient solutions and he has promised a new course for Service Fabric, which is already on Pluralsight.

I as a mentioned above, it is very difficult to decide which talks to visit and there are many interesting sessions that I didn't listen. However, being there allowed me to talk to some of the speakers and guests during the breaks and that helped me get answers to my questions and updates on certain topics. In a nutshell visiting NDC was a great experience, I got back with fresh ideas and motivation for making better products. Looking forward for NDC Oslo 2018.

Innovative Technologies on Offshore Technology Conference

Since 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference is held annually in Houston, Texas. Throughout the years, it expanded both technically and globally with the Arctic Technology Conference, OTC Brazil, and OTC Asia. This year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) took place from 1–4 May in Houston, in the NRG Center Rotunda Lobby.

17 new technologies have received the 2017 Spotlight on New technology award at this year’s conference, and as previously announced on OTC New Technology Award, one of the award winners was Fuglesangs Subsea with their Omnirise Minibooster powered by Nebb subsea VSD’s. The Spotlight on New Technology Awards is a program for ITC exhibitors which showcases the latest and the most advanced hardware and software technologies that are leading the industry into the future.

Every year, OTC draws tens of thousands of people from around the globe to see offshore energy’s latest technologies, and the Spotlight Award winners are the cream of the crop,” added OTC 2017 Chairman Joe Fowler. “OTC’s main purpose is to spur innovation, and these companies are creating new standards of excellence for the industry.”

And for a third year in a row, OTC supports and recognizes the innovative technologies which are developed by small businesses with the Spotlight on Small Businesses Award.

Fuglesangs Subsea AS is one of only two winners of the Spotlight on Small Businesses Award is, for their OMNIRISE MINIBOOSTER – the world’s first barrierfluid-less and seal-less pump intended for permanent Subsea applications down to 3000 meters, including Nebb’s unique subsea electric Variable Speed Drive.


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