Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Last week

I'm glad last week is over. There was just too much going on here at Vyatta. In addition to releasing Vyatta Subscription and Community Editions 2.2, we also moved our office from San Mateo to Belmont, CA. The offices are within spitting distance of each other, so it really isn't as big of a move as it sounds. We're now about a quarter mile from Oracle world HQ in Redwood Shores. The city boundaries right here are strange and they all come together in some strange harmonic convergence that results in a small move jumping from city-to-city wildly.

We finally grew out of the original Vyatta bunker. We just didn't have sitting room for anybody anymore. In the new office, we have room to spread out, and (most importantly!) more conference rooms. We only had two conference rooms in the old building and it seemed like somebody was always in both of them. We had taken to calling a small patio table in the courtyard of the old building "Conference Room 3." That worked well during the spring/summer, but it's going to get rainy here in a few months, so that solution had a definitely lifetime associated with it.

The folks here that coordinated the move did an excellent job for the rest of us. It was as smooth and painless as you could possibly imagine, though there were certainly a lot of hiccups in making that happen. The planning was perfect. All my boxes arrived right where they were supposed to and I walked in yesterday and just plugged in my PC and got to work. Easy!

So, mixed in with all that packing for the move, we also released version 2.2 of the Subscription Edition and Community Edition this week. This was a big release. We ended up posting a full ISO because the changes were so significant and we wanted all the new downloaders to have the latest and greatest. Unfortunately, we had a hiccup with the package upgrade instructions for existing users that caused some confusion. Hopefully, we got that all straightened out. We had a last minute change in the procedure from the VC2.2 beta release and we also missed a change to a package name from the Subscription Edition to the Community Edition in the release notes. As much as we try to double and triple check things, it seems like something always gets through. Unfortunately, it's never the thing you expect.

In any case, if you're upgrading from an earlier version, follow the instructions in the latest version of the release notes on the web site. Those are now correct and you should have no problems. If you have any trouble, post to the vyatta-users mailing list.

SSE4 adds CRC32 and string instructions

I have written a few times before about how standard microprocessors are increasing in power very quickly. This morning, I was scanning a whitepaper from Intel about upcoming SSE4 instruction set additions. In addition to some string searching instructions that could improve the performance of everything from databases to virus scanners to intrusion detection systems, Intel has also included a CRC32 instruction. CRC32 is used a lot as an error detection technique on low-level communication protocols. For instance, the data of every Ethernet or WiFi frame is protected by a CRC32. The addition of this instruction to the x86 instruction set is significant as it is a recognition that data communications is an important application area, whether for a server or a piece of network infrastructure. As I have stated before, commodity silicon continues to grow more powerful...