Team

OS/DB team OS/DB team

Open Source Software SE Project

Activities that handle technology development or improvement of technological capabilities
for software platform including the total support for OSS.

Tell me about activities of NTT OSS Center.

Fujita:There are four major activities of NTT OSS Center. The first is “Total support for OSS” including responses to inquiries. The second is “Promotion of application of OSS” to promote the introduction of OSSVERT®, an OSS package that has been verified. The third is “Technical development” of various OSS from operating systems (OS) to middleware such as database management systems (DBMSs). The fourth is “Improvement of technical skills of engineers” by training through collaboration with various OSS communities.

The “Total support for OSS” activity responses even to very difficult inquiries that require analyses, based on the results of having studied a wide range of OSS products at the source code level. In “Promotion of application of OSS”, we collect know-how for construction and recommended configurations, etc. in OSSVERT® to provide NTT Group companies with verified information. PostgreSQL is one of OSS products on which we focus in the “Technical development” activity. We have been involved in this product since around 2003 and have developed many features of PostgreSQL so far. We, therefore, can say that we have made contributions to the PostgreSQL community to date. Finally, in our efforts on “Improvement of technical skills of engineers”, many engineers in the OSS Center have been working on many products such as PostgreSQL, Linux, Docker and Heartbeat, and have posted many patches for functional, performance and quality improvements to their communities, which have been adopted at a high rate.

What role do the DB team and the OS team play in the OSS Center each?

Fujita:Both the DB team and the OS team support responses to inquiries. The DB team attaches considerable weight on the “Technical development” activity and continues to enhance the functionality, performance and quality of PostgreSQL and facilitate migration from commercial DBMSs to PostgreSQL. More recently, the DB team is working to improve PostgreSQL to allow the expansion of the DB scale, in cooperation with the PostgreSQL development community around the world. What we are tackling to support the expansion is the sharding for PostgreSQL. This technology improves performance by distributing large-scale data across multiple servers so that we can distribute DB processing such as data retrieval and modification across those servers.

Makita:The OS team provides support based on source code analyses to each company in the NTT group, using accumulated technologies. Quality improvement follows. We feed back problems found in the support to the communities. We are working on quality improvement through reporting of bugs and providing of patches to the Linux development communities.

Not only development for improvement of functions and performance but the “collaboration” on a global stage is challenging.

What is worth working and what made you happy with your work in the team?

Fujita:Mr. Yamada is a committer of a tool for PostgreSQL that cooperates with Oracle Database. He is actively working with Cybertec in Austria to develop the tool, taking other jobs. It was the first time for Mrs. Hosoya to work on PostgreSQL, but she made a big progress in a short period of time and developed a design-support tool for PostgreSQL with French researchers. PostgreSQL has a long history of the development, so it is not easy to work on it, but they work proactively and grow steadily. That is a pleasure for me taking the leadership position. And I think that motivates me to work hard with them.

Yamada:As I was originally specialized in technical support, I did not totally understand how to collaborate with the PostgreSQL development community. Thanks to Mr. Fujita, who taught me carefully what kind of developers there are overseas and what kind of communications make things proceed smoothly, I have been able to work to date. I am myself not only a committer of the tool but also begin to be able to carry out proposal activities for PostgreSQL itself, taking advantage of the experience of technical support in the development activities. I think that it is good to have been working with the team.

Tell me what you have had a hard time in working with.

Makita:Since Linux is widely used around the world, I feel it greatly worthwhile that the functions we created and performance improvements we made have been incorporated. Since Linux is a huge program that exceeds 10 million lines, it is naturally impossible for me to know in detail about everything for the program. Five years have passed now since I started developing in the communities. Things, however, that I cannot understand still often come out. As I had proceeded the work, having remained unaware of how to behave in community activities or something like an implicit rule especially when I began working, my proposals for improvement was sometimes ignored.

Komachi:It is my second year after I joined the company and now, I am at the stage of finding challenges in the research and development. Until now, I have been addressing verification of speeding-up technologies for a next-generation network on Linux and investigating new technologies requested by business companies. I remember I was desperately studying because the volume of knowledge for Linux as a prerequisite was enormous. I hope, from now on, to be able to contribute to the team through activities in the Linux community like Mr. Makita.

Promoting the open innovation through proactive activities in communities.

How do you carry out community activities with the external members?

Yamada:The overseas members and I usually communicate by e-mail because we are far apart, but I participated in the conference held in Europe the other day. I discussed with various developers including those in Cybertec in the conference. When actually met them, we could proceed with the talk swiftly and share awareness that we will work harder each other. I think that talking with a diversity of developers on site in the world is an important point in promoting the development in communities.

Hosoya:In 2017, researchers mainly in France and the United States launched a group called Postgres Women to support women involved in the development of PostgreSQL, and they are making efforts on expanding women's community participation. When I take part in an overseas conference, I go out to dinner with members of Postgres Women and exchange information and opinions. There are only a few female researchers in Japan, but I hope that the number of them would increase in Japan because overseas female researchers are doing very proactively overseas.

Aiming at reduction of TCO by complete migration to the PostgreSQL and realization of ultra-high-speed networks of Linux.

How do you want to make activities and technologies in the OSS Center affect the world?

Fujita:Oracle Database is still a leading product to be widely used especially for large-scale mission-critical systems. We believe that by achieving the sharding technology we are working on now and then migrating those systems from Oracle Database to PostgreSQL with the sharding technology, we can contribute to more reduction of TCO at NTT Group companies. Since the migration to PostgreSQL also allows us to solve problems quickly even when troubles occur, using our knowledge about it at the source code level, I think that we could contribute to maintaining the business and service continuity of NTT Group companies.

Makita:Our OS team is now contributing to the development in the community of Linux ultra-high-speed network technologies. These technologies can be utilized for technologies called NFV which virtualizes the network function on servers. Achieving the NFV allows us to enhance network flexibility and the accommodation rate to reduce costs and make services more sophisticated. This enables providing better services with lower costs and we will, therefore, achieve the technologies we are now handling to contribute to business companies and the society.

Profile

OS/DB teamOS/DB team

Open Source Software SE Project

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    Etsuro FujitaResearch Engineer
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    Toshiaki MakitaResearch Engineer
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    Tatsuro YamadaResearcher
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    Yuzuko Hosoya
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    Yoshiki Komachi