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Blog Snowsprint 2015 Recap: Dockerzeit

This article is more than 4 years old SnowSprint 2015 revived a long tradition of legendary Austrian Alpine hackathons. For a whole week we have been drinking beer, skiing and of course, hacking around Crate which is the perfect database to be used in containererized environments, especially Docker. This time we have had over 30 developers from all over the world, from San Francisco, Sarajevo, Berlin, London, Bristol, up to Graz and Dornbirn.

Even if it has been a lot of fun, we managed to get a lot of work done and get some positive feedback from the community surrounding Crate and Docker. It has been my very first SnowSprint and it has been wonderful to see how people are engaging and building bleeding edge stuff by using Crate over various platforms and in conjunction with all kinds of technology stacks. We wish to present some of the things that we did in the week we have been hacking together:

Crate with Docker, Flocker, and Weave

Notably Luke Marsden from ClusterHQ and Ilya Dmitrichenko from WeaveWorks hacked together the final pieces of a new project called Powerstrip, which lets various third party tools for Docker interact with each other by allowing them to avoid wrapping Docker commands. Crate, as a database which uses Weaves container networking, and Flocker's portable storage has been used a proof of concept and use case for Dockerized databases.
As a high point after announcing Powerstrip, Solomon from Docker said hello:

You can find out more on how to integrate Docker, Crate, Flocker, and Weave in our in-depth blog post: Crate, Weave, Docker, Flocker

How to integrate Crate with PHP / Symfony 2

Another really interesting thing which happened in the quiet corner at Leo's Hutte was that Kamil Adryjanek from Level 7 Systems has done some really amazing work on integrating Crate with PHP / Symfony 2, bearing some impressive performance gains over MySQL on their own backend.

"Lately we were looking for some new solution to store our Call Detail Records which grow very quickly. MySQL database engine was doing quite well so far but with the beginning of the year it was time for change. Before migration on table with about 30 million records, MySQL queries were executed in about 5 to 15 seconds. Now with Crate it takes less than 500 milliseconds." From Level 7 Systems

Read their blog post for an in-depth guide on how to use Crate with PHP / Symphony 2 Network and their experiences with it: Symphony7Systems running Crate with PHP / Symphony 2

Crate goes Azure cloud

Sasha Vincic, a long time SnowSprinter from Cenito Software from Sweden has been firing up Crate clusters all over Microsoft's cloud platform, Azure. Cenito Software has been hitting the limits of the Azure SQL DB with a project of their own, so Crate and Azure seem to be an interesting way to go.

"At Cenito we have few projects running on Azure where the biggest has hit some limits of the SQL DB. We will be try Crate.IO for one of them to compare the price/performance compared to Azure SQL DB." from Cenito Software Blog

We are looking forward to see what kind of results come out of the comparison!

Crate for Ruby on Rails getting hypercharged and a Node.JS Loopback connector in the works

Meanwhile the Lovelysystems guys from right next door to the Dornbirn office of Crate have been working on implementing a Loopback connector for Node.JS, which is used to quickly create dynamic end-to-end REST APIs.

"Loopback is a framework for rapidly implementing REST APIs, which would be quite a natural fit for Crate" says Lukas Ender

Johannes Faigle Ruby on Rails developer at day, Partymensch at night joined the SnowSprint, and he has been giving the Ruby adapter some love and updated it to be in line with the latest versions of Crate. We are hoping to update the official Ruby client soon, for all the Ruby lovers out there!

The challenges of developing well performant joins for a distributed database

The Crate.IO core team hasn't been sitting idly either, they have been working hard on upcoming key features like: Joins, finished a better implementation of nested analyzing and nested planning, and are on their way to a new stable release soon. They have gone full-pace on the SnowSprint, tackling the core of Crate.

"The challenging part about Joins is it is a work to do and have the nested thing going on, dabble in the exploit field cache in Lucene, it is simply a lot of work, but we are getting there!" says Bernd Dorn, CTO of Crate

SnowSprints, historically have been community building events, with many outdoor activities. As it seems beer, schnapps and spaetzle-fueled developers at their best the alpine mountains have done some amazing work which has gone around the world in tweets, blog posts, and even trended on Hackernews. We are looking forward for next year's SnowSprint, hope to see you there too. We want to thank everyone for being so great, and keep on hacking!

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