Through http://blog.ipspace.net I landed on this article on acm.org
discussing the complexity of distributed systems. Through some good examples,
George Neville-Neil makes it clear that creating and scaling distributed
systems is very complex and “any one that tells you it is easy is either
drunk or lying, and possibly both”.
Networks are of course inherently distributed systems. Most everyone that has
managed a good sized network before knows that like the example in the
article, minor changes in traffic or connectivity can have huge implications
on the overall performance of a network. In my time supporting some very
large networks I have seen huge chain reactions of events based on what
appear to be some minor issues.
Very few networks are extensively modeled before they are implemented.
Manufacturers of machines, cars and many other things go through extensive ... (more)
Many years ago Gartner introduced their technology Hype Cycle, which maps
visibility against maturity for new technology. The Hype Cycle in essence
states that many new technologies get a large amount of visibility early in
their maturity cycle. The visibility and enthusiasm drops significantly when
reality sets in: technologies early in their maturity cycle will have low
adoption rates. The vast majority of customers of technology are conservative
in their choices, especially if this new technology is not (yet) fundamental
to this customer’s business.
I call it common sense rea... (more)
Whenever we get to the end of a year we have this tendency to reflect on what
has happened in the past year and how we can improve in the coming year.
It’s natural to use the change of calendar year as a point in time to think
back, even though practically speaking it is usually the most chaotic time of
the year between shopping, family and year and quarter end at work.
Almost every industry will go through waves of change and transformation.
Real change and transformation is driven by powerful market forces of demand
coupled with technology leaps that allow an escape from increme... (more)
Network Engineers, Pay Attention to Big Data
You have probably realized we are having a Big Data kind of week here at the
Plexxi blog. And for good reason. The amount of development and change in
this big bucket of applications we conveniently label “Big Data”, is
Walking around at Hadoopworld in New York last week, I initially felt
somewhat lost as a “networking guy”. But that feeling of “not
belonging” is only superficial, the network has a tremendously important
role in these applications. The challenge is that many “networking” folks
don’t quite understand or r... (more)
Throughout the development cycle of new features and functions for any
network platform (or probably most other products not targeted at the mass
market consumer) this one question will always come up: should we protect the
user of our product from doing this? And “this” is always something that
would allow the user of the product to really mess things up if not done
right. As a product management organization you almost have to take a
philosophical stand when it comes to these questions.
Protect the user
Sure enough, the question came up last week as part of the development of on... (more)