So, we are again at the New Year, and that’s the pain for sysadmins of messaging services or any other telecommunication systems. And that’s because of the servers’ or networks’ saturation due to the huge traffic from their users, trying to send New Year wishes messages to their friends and relatives. Usually such issues happen with mobile phone networks, GSM, 2G, 3G, 4G etc, but for the second consecutive year, the online services too are suffering from those bottle necks. The most complained service this year or last year for some, is WhatsApp. At first, I got messages from friends in Mauritius asking about the issue, but it was working fine for me. Some even thought the service was blocked by the government. Mine was working fine (In Turkey), and posted about the WhatsApp issue on my Facebook page , and then noticed that it’s not in Mauritius only. Then, as time went, I started to experience issues here too, and it’s obvious, the New Year is 2 hours before Turkey’s , and it also confirms the fact that the issue was due to high traffic. News websites were also reporting about same . But its good to note that the official Twitter Account @wa_status where WhatsApp post system updates, had no indication at all about that downtime, but their in-app system status page displayed a “server experiencing a problem” message.
To check about the worldwide extent of the problem, I collected testimonials from friends around the world and confirmed once more my hypothesis (Sorry for that term, I had an Stats exam this morning 😛 )
So! It’s been long since my last blog-post! But this one will compensate for the time I’ve been off-air.
Well, Logan‘s done a presentation on fq_codel and I got really interested in the topic. fq_codel (fair-queuing controlled delay), in a nutshell, was designed to overcome Bufferfloat; a phenomena in Networking whereby excess buffering of packets causes bottlenecks and thus reduces network quality. fq_codel is a scheduling algorithm that sets limits on delays suffered due to the bufferings. I won’t go too technical deep in this blog post.. This post will only show the setting-up of OpenWRT, and configuring it to enable CoDel and thus improve our networking performance. Hopefully, more posts about OpenWRT will follow including tutorials for some amazing features Stay tuned !!
To be honest, I had some experience beforehand with those Operating Systems. I once got an Access Point from somebody that did not support bridge mode. I had to kick the propriety firmware out, install DDWRT, configure it (+ some tweaks 😛 ) and had it up and running. It’s still working since around a year or so..
The router I chose is a TPLINK WR841N; chose another model that had modem capabilities built-in but unfortunately, same did not support OpenWRT. Had to get it replaced by the vendor.
Well, let’s dive inside..
Devices are everywhere; from around our wrists to inside our pockets to huge server farms. Those Engineering excellency are roughly metal structures with electronics components and one of the intangible marvel of the human mind inside them – The Software; those piece of code that make sense to everything. People either take writing those codes as their job or their hobby; but when the two are mixed, great stuffs happen!
Usually, important softwares and application are written by several programmers from one specific company or from developers around the globe contributing on the same project. One of the latter is Logananden Velvindron, a Mauritian coder. (about whom I wrote some time back). He helped to fix bugs on critical systems or wrote improvements to existing softwares. The great news is that, some times his improvements are deployed on production servers and systems from famous companies like Google! The latest in date is from CISCO which implemented an updated version of ntp which happens to contain Logan’s code. On that occasion, I paid Logan the usual virtual visit and got a little word from him.
Well well, when WhatsApp was bought by Facebook, the Social Media world shared mixed feelings regarding the future of the Most-Loved Mobile Instant-Messaging platform even though its founders promised to keep WhatsApp as ‘WhatsApp‘ – The same model. Facebook on its side said that it will bring its contributions to the app and connect more people through same. WhatsApp is the de-facto messaging platform on mobile phones, be it Android ones, iOS ones or Windows mobile ones, while its rival, Viber, is prefered for voice and video calling. – WhatApp and Viber share an almost similar model; that of enabling instant messaging with the possibility to share photos, videos, voice notes, emoticons, etc – So, how can you swallow the group of users still sticking to Viber because of its call features?.. (Let’s forget Skype for the time-being and concentrate on these two major rivals ) .. Well, you develop your own Call feature! And it’s Facebook! Anything it touches, becomes gold! Since then, there has been rumours about a Call feature being developed for WhatsApp. Facebook annonced it once and Mark Zuckerburg commented about it following a user’s question on Facebook. Release dates were not disclosed and spammers took advantage of that to mass-message fake WhatsApp Call activation links, which turned out to be user-data collecting honey-pots.. [Fast-Forward..] And then came the big day! Users got the upgrade message on their mobiles and downloaded the latest version (Mine’s 2.11.543). Among the new features, spare the tweaked UI, is a little phone icon next to the ‘Attach‘ icon. Brace Yourselves ! The Call feature is here, finally!
After talking about Linux and BSD, we will in this post focus on one of the flavours of BSD; FreeBSD, a major Operating System which is used heavily by big companies such as CISCO and Juniper in their networking products. It is powerful enough to push huge amount of internet traffic around the globe. A descendent of the original Berkeley UNIX, FreeBSD continues to evolve to this day, driven by a pool of passionate developers. We have the pleasure to chat with one of the developers of FreeBSD, Mr Loganaden Velvindron, Logan, previously interviewed on this same blog. (URL: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/contributors/contrib-additional.html)