February 28th, 2013

I was super excited that my blog has been getting picked up on places like planetcassandra.com and nosql.mypopescu.com. But then yesterday I realized that writing a bunch of cruddy half joking dev-ops blogs is sure to land me back in obscurity so I decided to write something serious.

First some back story. In the beginning of my hadoop career, I remember very clearly being attracted to Hadoop by one very interesting use cases Hadoop Rackspace . This attracted me for two reasons: The first was I had just done some custom distributed lucene work. The second reason was the first application I every wrote at my first job was a Java application that wrote syslog messages to mysql with a front end to search them.

Because I wrote a syslog -> mysql application I was never impressed by splunk. The fact that its commercial license kept timing out features and trying to charge me cemented my dislike.

Over the years I have written several programs that read and write logs thanks to hadoop, but I always wanted to take a shot at writing that awesome near real time full text search system. Finally I slotted a weekend and went for it.

I knew Jake had coded Solandra a while ago. https://github.com/tjake/Solandra . I never really sat down and realized how awesome of a job it was. I mean back ending of Solr into Cassandra. Fricken amazing.

Someone who write a small review on their blog about my IronCount work called it “taco bell programming”. I never heard that term before and I have to say I love the concept. I love just taking some basic ingredients and whipping something together. You can call me a taco bell programmer any day! Looking at Solandra and the Reuters demo my taco bell mind kicked in.

Ed’s Mind: “Dude. You can take Solandra and this ajax thing and bang out a Taco Bell version of the rackspace thing in no time”

I am starting to love me some groovy. I should have written a log4j appender and eventually I will have to but instead I decided to taco-bell-express a logger. i love groovy’s GRAB annotation. I used to not be a fan of this type of stuff (pulling jars from the net) but I guess I am a convert now.


It took me a little bit of jerking around with jquery which I had never worked with before, but I was able to get the tagclouds, auto-complete and pagination support working against my new schema. (Still screwing with the date picker widget), but I am really happy.


1. Real time searchable logs

2. Scalability with solandra

3. The apps do not know it is not solr, (no need to custom drivers etc)

4. Results at taco bell speed