When I was much younger I used to do a lot of systems administration work and I had a t-shirt (popular in the day) that read ‘go away or I will replace you with a very small shell script’.

shell-script-shirt

Yesterday one of our competitors made a ‘new major version release’ of their software.  Never mind that this version was a x.5 release. That’s not important.  The press release touted two major features: one was something that sounds a lot like our Supercharger feature (updating of their architecture to handle heavily multi-core machines).  We did that two years ago and the results have been phenomenal.

The other was allowing users to ‘hold’ individual messages until a specific time.  This is often known as ‘send time optimization’ and is also very useful.  We first implemented it about 4 years ago, and for customers that can optimize their user engagement by sending to users at specific times it’s really useful.

I wanted to take a second to showcase not only this feature, but how ridiculously powerful our embedded Lua support is.

Here, in it’s complete and full glory, is how you implement that within Momentum.  Don’t blink, it’s only 36 lines (including whitespace), so you’ll want to pay attention.

 

And that’s it. Shortest ‘major release’ ever.

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For IT professionals, one of the real world implications of Moore’s law – that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years – was that CPU power doubled roughly every two years also. Around the 2006 timeframe, however, the dramatic increases in CPU speed that we’d long taken for granted began to plateau. This meant that for servers to become more powerful from a processing point of view, they would need to scale in other ways. Manufacturers responded by putting multiple CPUs in a system, which then gave way to having multiple processor cores on a single CPU. A few years later in the late 2000s, when eight-core CPUs and ultra-high-speed solid state drives (SSDs) became affordable and readily available – making dramatic increases in CPU the norm once again – the performance dynamic within many data centers began to shift.

IT performance has long been predicated on a three-legged stool of 1) processing power, 2) storage capacity, and 3) network throughput. And for most of the past fifteen years or so, the hardware wars were pretty much exclusively fought out on processing and storage terrain. This was because when gigabit Ethernet network interface controllers (NICs) became commercially available around 1999, they had dramatically more capacity to handle traffic produced by the processors of the day than the Fast Ethernet technologies they replaced. It’s taken more than a decade for processing power and storage speed/capacity to catch up, but within the commercial data centers where much of the world’s email marketing and e-business computing gets handled, it’s clear that single-gigabit Ethernet will no longer suffice to get the full performance out of today’s multi-core servers.

The Need for Speed

Over a decade ago, Momentum set the standard as the best performing (fastest delivery speeds, highest throughput) email platform on the market. When Momentum was first designed, a state-of-the-art hardware server had one or maybe two CPUs. But, as we’ve seen, things have changed in the hardware space, and so too has Momentum changed. As we announced earlier this year, Momentum has been re-architected to allow customers to fully utilize the resources of today’s multi-core server hardware – with the ability to run multiple event loops per CPU. Unlike most commercially available MTAs that operate on a single master event loop, Momentum now has the ability to leverage virtually all available I/O, CPU, and memory resources on modern systems that offer multiple cores and extremely fast I/Os.

The net result with Supercharger is that we’ve seen significant performance boosts on all systems that had available system resources (disk, I/O and CPU). The amount of boost depends on the available resources on the server in question. A 4x gain is a good baseline; or performance increases could be significantly higher for a system with plenty of available CPU and incredibly fast disks. During tests run within a customer’s production environment, Momentum with Supercharger was able to send in excess of 18 million messages per hour. This rate, however, saturated the gigabit Ethernet interface on the system, indicating that further performance gains would have still been possible with a properly provisioned network. Indicating also that the main roadblock to performance within high-volume messaging implementations going forward is likely to be the network interface. Welcome to the post single-gigabit age.

Learn more about unique features that set our email infrastructure apart from commodity MTAs.

What Sets Momentum Apart

This article contains excerpts from Momentum with Supercharger.

So you just bought new shoes online. Or signed up for a newsletter. Or texted your bank to check your account balance. And then… nothing. You were expecting a confirmation email or a quick reply text, but it didn’t arrive, or showed up after a few minutes. Or hours. That kind of delay — or latency in engineering-speak — is deadly to customer engagement. It brings the shopping experience or the brand dialog to a screeching halt, with customers left wondering what went wrong. We’ve all experienced this as consumers, and it’s annoying and irritating. But from the business perspective – as marketers and messaging industry professionals – we need to realize that latency can be disastrous to brand engagement and customer loyalty.

Eliminate Delays, Eliminate Uncertainty

Message Systems solutions are so effective for customer engagement because each one is built on the speediest, most reliable two-way messaging technology available today. We deliver unmatched speed and inbox placement — even if you’re conducting billions of customer interactions per day. Our approach to low latency is unique in that it focuses on the direct integration of all the elements involved in message delivery. Every one of the touch points that affect speed and reliability within the message origination and delivery infrastructure are optimized to ensure peak performance, even as message volumes reach carrier-grade loads and beyond. And we can support these kinds of real-time two-way interactions in email, SMS text, and other digital channels. When immediate communication is essential for successful customer interactions, Message Systems has the low-latency technology that will keep your business on track.

The Need for Speed

Over a decade ago, Momentum set the standard as the best performing (fastest delivery speeds, highest throughput) email platform on the market. When Momentum was first designed, a state-of-the-art server had one or maybe two CPUs. But things have changed. According to Moore’s law, CPU power doubles roughly every two years, and so Momentum has now been re-architected to allow customers to fully utilize the resources of today’s multi-core server hardware – with the ability to run multiple event loops per CPU. Unlike most commercially available MTAs that operate on a single master event loop, Momentum now has the ability to leverage virtually all available I/O, CPU, and memory resources on modern systems that offer multiple cores and extremely fast I/Os.

Momentum with Supercharger creates multiple event loops that horizontally distribute all laborious tasks. Mail queuing, message reception, message delivery, and Adaptive Delivery® processes are all able to be spread across a completely configurable set of event loops. In fact, multiple event loops may now also be defined to isolate specific tasks.

The net result with Supercharger is that we’ve seen significant performance boosts on all systems that had available system resources (disk, I/O and CPU). The amount of boost depends on the available resources on the server in question. A 4x gain is a good baseline; or it could be significantly more for a system with plenty of available CPU and incredibly fast disks. In a production customer environment, Momentum with Supercharger was able to send in excess of 18 million messages per hour.

Reduced Processing Time With Supercharger

Ensure Business Success

Now that so many B2C interactions are happening on mobile smartphones and tablets, keeping conversations fresh and free of delays or gaps will increase business value in multiple ways:

  • Create New Revenue-Driving Services
    Reliable supercharged low-latency capabilities enable you to tap real-time data sources and business processes to create customized communications services like mobile banking, investment research, location-based engagement programs and lots more.
  • Increase Compliance & Performance Capabilities
    If you’re a service provider, supercharged low latency messaging provides the kind of superior performance that allows you to ensure higher levels of compliance and meet more challenging service level agreements (SLAs) — to expand your business and take on bigger, more lucrative accounts.
  • More Effective Customer Service
    For retailers, banks and service providers, your customer call operations are an expensive cost center. When you can use automated messaging to respond to simple customer queries, and immediately communicate those responses through email, text or IM, you can realize enormous savings.

Sometimes, Silence is NOT Golden

Fewer server requirements with a new multi-core architecture ensures better efficiencies with existing hardware; Momentum now provides the absolute highest performance and scalability of any digital messaging server platform on the market today (credit michael). It has everything high volume senders need to meet your low-latency digital messaging needs now, and well into the future.

So that message that your customer is waiting for? You can be sure that they’ll get it.

For more information about how you get avoid low latency with Momentum, download the Momentum with Supercharger brochure. Interested in how you can incorporate push notifications into your high speed transactional messaging to drive down costs? Check out our Push Notifications Best Practices E-Book!

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