Polyglot Persistence Case Study – Big Data Architecture

I was invited to speak to a big data innovation conference in Mumbai this week. I chose to present a case study to illustrate how we use Polyglot Persistence – or in plain English – using more than one database in a single application.

With the increase in the complexity and volume of data being handled by many applications today, it is imperative to consider databases other than the traditional relational databases that were not designed to handle the volume or variety of data that we need. There are a plethora of NoSql databases available, and hence the choice of which database to use for an application becomes quite complex. In this presentation, I introduce the factors that determine the choice of database and how to ensure that this decision does not compromise the long term viability and scalability of the application.

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Cycling to Jogeshwari Caves, Mumbai

In the heart of the city at the junction of the Western Express Highway and the Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR), among the shanties of Prabhat Nagar lies an ancient and forgotten cave. This is one of the oldest known Hindu caves and the second largest cave after Kailas in Ellora. The access to the cave is from either JVLR or Western Express Highway, or the road from Jogeshwari Station that runs through a subway under the Western Express Highway.
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Cycling to Nandi Hills, Bangalore

Last week, I had a business visit to Bangalore for a day and it happened to be a Friday. I took the opportunity to stay back for an extra half day and used it to cycle to Nandi Hills, the famous hill station near Bangalore.

Nandi Hills is a group of large monolithic rock structures. Nandi Durg, a fort that was built on top of the highest hill in the Nandi Hills by local chieftains and then further fortified by the famous Tipu Sultan. The fort was considered unimpregnable due to the steep slopes of the hills till 1791 when General Cornwallis stormed it and gained one of the most significant wins against Tipu Sultan.

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Cycling to Lonad Caves and Shiva Temple, Thane

Last month, some cyclists had visited Lonad to do tree planting, and I could not join them. But ever since, Lonad was on my mind due to the caves that are found there. This weekend, I got a chance to visit Lonad with Jp Shetty, a cyclist friend from Thane. We both had planned to visit Pune this weekend for the Fort Conservation Conference (Durg Sanvardhan Sammelan) and decided to grab a quick ride in the morning before heading out to Pune.

Lonad caves are located just north of Kalyan on the outskirts of Thane district, near a village called Janwal. The caves were built in the 5th century for monks who traveled from the port of Nala Sopara – a major port on the western coast at the time – to Junnar, the capital of the Satavahana kingdom ruled by King Satakarni. The cave is now converted into a temple but the carvings and inscriptions bear testimony to its Buddhist origins.

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McKinsey: Big data one of top five catalysts for US economy growth

McKinsey Global Institute published a report that identifies the top 5 catalysts of growth for the US economy:

The US economy is struggling to find a new formula for vigorous growth. But all growth opportunities are not created equal. New McKinsey research pinpoints five catalysts—in energy, trade, technology, infrastructure, and talent development—that can quickly create jobs and deliver a substantial boost to GDP by 2020. An animated video below also runs the numbers on these game changers and frames the challenge for business and government to make the most of the opportunity.

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Trek to Kangorigad / Mangalgad Fort with a visit to Shivtharghal

After a break of three weeks with no trekking or cycling, I was really looking forward to a nice trek. When Sameer proposed a trek to Kangorigad, I jumped at the opportunity!

Kangorigad, also known as Mangaldad, is one of the lesser known forts in Maharashtra. It is located about 20 km away from Mahad, and is accessible from Mumbai via the Mumba-Goa highway, or from Pune via the Pandharpur Mhapral road that branches off from the Pune Bangalore highway towards Bhor, via the Warandha Ghat.
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Fort Conservation in Maharashtra – a community steps forward

As part of the Mumbai Historical Sites Cycling Association project to promote cycling to historical sites in and around Mumbai, it was evident that many of the historical sites – especially forts – are in a bad shape, with no conservation or protection against degeneration due to weather and deliberate destruction. In particular, one fort that I visited was Nagla Bunder Fort, which is on the verge of being destroyed by quarrying activity around it. I had written a letter to the Archeological Survey of India to inquire how we could participate and help with the conservation and protection of these forts, and got a disappointing response from them.

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Mahakali or Kondivite Caves, Andheri – ideal for a cycling visit!

After having injured my knee while mountain biking in Germany, I was advised to avoid cycling or trekking for three weeks. I was wondering how I would spend two monsoon weekends without trekking or cycling. Luckily one weekend was spent in our IIT Kanpur reunion at Naukuchiatal. But this weekend there were no other plans, and I was itching for some activity. I did manage a nice swim in our club pool at Matoshri Sports Club, and on the way back, I walked over to the nearby Mahakali Caves.
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IITK 82 Reunion at Naukuchiatal

What happens when a bunch of 50 year olds (or thereabout) who have known each other for over half their lives, get together at a beautiful place in the mountains? They magically transform into their 25 year old versions!

That’s precisely what happened when about 30 of our IIT Kanpur batch mates got together at Naukuchiatal – a beautiful lake in the Uttarakhand mountains.

The outing was planned months in advance by email, and the more enterprising members of the group had arranged for the venue and accommodation. People came from everywhere – mostly all over India, but we also had at least one member from abroad. Spread over 3 days, some stayed only for part of the time, and in some cases they traveled longer than they stayed. But nobody doubted that it was well worth the effort!
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Cyclomon – you are what you ride!

If you are a cyclist, check this website out and figure out which kind of a person you are based on what kind of cycle you ride!

Two Frenchmen – Thomas Pom, a fourth-year student at the National School of Decorative Arts of Paris and Orthonormai – interactive designer at OgivlyOne Paris collaborated and created this interesting website Cyclomon, combining some great illustrations of cycle styles and interactive design. Truly innovative!

Cyclomon - http://www.cyclomon.com

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Offer to Archeological Survey of India to help with restoration and conservation of forts

Having embarked upon a project to visit various historical sites especially forts in and around Mumbai, I found to my dismay that many of the forts I visited were highly neglected, and there was no effort for conservation, let alone restoration. Specially painful was the visit to Nagle Bunder Fort, which is on the verge of being destroyed by quarrying of the hills around it. After that expedition, I had resolved to try and contact someone in the Mumbai Circle of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
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Cycling to Durgadi Fort and Khidkaleshwar Temple in Kalyan

With a trek planned on Sunday, I still wanted to do a cycling trip somewhere so as to not lose steam in my quest to cover all the forts in Mumbai and Thane region. Also, with a knee that I injured in my mountain biking in Germany, I wanted to avoid any off road cycling for a while. So I chose a place from my forts list that was reachable by normal road – Durgadi Fort in Kalyan.
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Cycling to Nagla Bunder Fort and Gaimukh Fort

After spending my last weekend mountain biking in Germany, I wanted to get on my cycle and experience the rains in Mumbai. My original plan was to join a gang of cyclists who were heading to Lonad, and was planning to see the caves there. But I had to attend to something at home at 10 am, and so had to skip that event.

I planned something that I could finish within 5 hours, and so I looked up my list of forts and identified two forts on Ghodbunder Road. The round trip distance is about 63 km, and assuming I ride at my normal speed, I should get at least an hour and a half to explore the forts.
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Mountain Biking in Mannheim, Germany

As an extension of a business trip to Germany, I took the opportunity to go to Mannheim. We have a bunch of close friends who stay there, and I never lose a chance to visit them. And this time was no exception. The highlight of my visit to Mannheim is mountain biking in the hills and forests nearby. This time I did not really have a full weekend and so tried to see if I could arrange something for Friday and Saturday. I was lucky to be able to do some great mountain biking on both days!
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Historical Forts and Caves in Mumbai and Thane

In my quest to cycle to various forts in and around Mumbai, I came across this map of forts in Thane created by BharGo. This was an incredible find… the amount of effort that he has taken to put this list together is great. But the forts in Mumbai were missing, and so I copied this map and created my own map. I have also added another layer with caves in and around Mumbai.

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Java EE threads v/s Node.js – which is better for concurrent data processing operations

We have started using NodeJS a lot these days typically to handle data processing applications that involve a large number of concurrent requests, each of which involve one or more I/O operations.

Why Nodejs? Why not Java? Java obviously has a much wider acceptance in the enterprise software community, while NodeJS is still to catch up. In fact this post was triggered by exactly such questions posed by the customer who belongs squarely to the enterprise software community. But before we can answer this question, we must understand what the target application is trying to do.
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Forest Coding – adventure of a coder building a software startup from the forest

THOMAS BACKLUND – The entrepreneurial adventures of a homeless coder living in a tent in the forest

Thomas Backlund has started a bold adventure of giving up his life in the city and living in a forest to build his start up.

He has set himself up with a laptop, battery pack, solar cells and mobile broadband. He lives in a tent and keeps moving around to find a good place to spend the day and night in the forest. And he writes code in the forest! Totally awesome!
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Cycling to Belapur Fort – the last vestiges of an era gone by

When it gets to Saturday evening, I usually start feeling the itch to figure out a route to ride on Sunday. Last night was no different, and with the current theme of riding to all the forts in and around Mumbai, I looked up Belapur Fort.

The location of Belapur Fort really surprised me – for it lies at the junction of Palm Beach Road and Uran Road – a place I have driven by several times, and also cycled to before. I did not know that a fort lies hidden among the trees there.
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Cycling and Forts at Kelve, Shirgaon, Mahim and Satpaati – the Palghar Circuit

For a change, this was a planned expedition as an extension of this year’s project of visiting all the forts in and around Mumbai.

Having already visited Vasai fort and Arnala fort, I was itching to go further north in the Palghar area. There are over 6 forts along the coast near Palghar. I found the references of from Dinesh Nair’s meticulously documented trekking experience. I had originally planned to ride ahead to Tarapur, but later decided to skip the extended ride and spend more time enjoying the places in Palghar itself.
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