In this week’s Get to Know Our Couchbase Community Champion, we go to the Sky! Meet Ian Merrington from London who works at Sky U.K.
Tell us about yourself and what you do in your daily role.
I work in the OTT Persistence engineering team for Sky. Sky has really embraced the NoSQL concept, and the Persistence Engineering team is responsible for making sure it’s done right across all the teams. Day to day I’m creating the tooling required to successfully manage Couchbase, from Ansible deployment scripts to Grafana monitoring. I’m also the escalation point for any Couchbase issues across Sky, and work with teams both pre and post “go live” to ensure they are making full use of the product. In my previous life I was an Oracle DBA for 18 years, but who wants to hear about that.
Where are you based and what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am based in Sky’s Osterley Campus in London, so rubbing shoulders with Football players, F1 Drivers and Game of Thrones White Walkers on a daily basis. Outside of work I’m a huge music fan, so when not annoying the neighbors with my terrible guitar playing I will be at one of my local venues, pint glass in hand.
What made you choose Couchbase?
When I was working on the Sky Identity platform we had a requirement to migrate the platform to another data center. XDCR was the perfect tool to do this, so we migrated the application to Couchbase, switched on XDCR, and there we were, in our new datacenter. Coming from an Oracle background the simplicity of the replication configuration converted me to Couchbase.
What have you accomplished using Couchbase?
Couchbase allowed us to hit all our growth targets for the Identity platform, with fantastic resiliency. The introduction of N1QL allowed us to finally switch off the Reporting RDBMS that had been underpinning the whole platform.
What one feature of Couchbase do you use and what should people know about it?
I’m an old school DBA – so for me the introduction of the audit log and user roles bring Couchbase into line with RDBMS standards. Make sure your audit log is being ingested into somewhere you can query it now, rather than when you really need it. And make sure your users only have the privileges they need, rather than putting this into place once someone has accidently deleted something from the live system.
If you could have three wishes for Couchbase what would they be?
Instead of having metric windows of 1min, 1hour, and 1day, can we please have something between 1 min and 1 hour? The number of times I have been asked, “what happened” and I get to their desk just as the issue has moved out the 1minute window and isn’t visible in the 1hour window is too often. It would also be good to have monitoring plugins for a few of the popular metric collection engines, though I have enjoyed building my own.
What is your favorite book or author, and why?
I’m going to be greedy and choose a favorite author and a favorite book. Author would have to be Douglas Adams. Yeah, I’m a geek, but his ability to pull together so many sci-fi concepts into stories that are hilarious as well as thought provoking is an art in itself. Plus, he was a huge environmentalist as well as a Doctor Who script writer, so what’s not to love? My favorite book is Microserfs by Douglas Coupland (It seems I have never made it out of the Douglas section at my local bookstore). Whilst it’s written with the 90s tech bubble as a backdrop, the book really is about the friendships and comradery you can find in any workplace.