From one of my favourite websites SMBC. As good a reason as any.
Archives for May 2012
Collection of useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internets for 25th May 2012 and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them:
Corporate: Brocade Embraces Software-Defined Ne… | Brocade Communities – Brocade outlines their SDN/OpenFlow strategy in this post. I’m not sure I understand it yet and need to spend some more time researching before I’m sure that I have got it right.
So You Want to Participate in the IETF… – Russ White blogs at the Packet Pushers about getting involved with the IETF ….
But how do you actually go about getting involved?
Start by understanding the process the IETF uses to build documents.
Then pick a working group, subscribe to the mailing list, read the documents, and participate.
It really is that simple.
BYOD Policies vs. the Realities of Corporate IT – Network Computing – My latest article at Network Computing :
The tension between consumer usage and corporate purpose is a massive gulf of expectation deficit. Consumer technology such as Apple’s iPhone and Google Android can be truly useful, and a delight to use.
The corporate IT of today is simply not able to deliver the promise already offered by consumer technology. The IT department will hold back productivity and prevent effective use of tools because of good corporate policies–policies that are based on sound, old-fashioned reasons rooted in law and good corporate governance.
And users are going to hate us for it.
Why I Dislike Keynotes | The Networking Nerd – Tom talks about the poor quality of Keynote presentations in recent years
I don’t like keynote addresses.
Nope. None of them. I’m not singling anyone out here. I don’t like the idea of a keynote, period. At most of the conferences and Tech Field Day events that I attend, we have a small mix of people listening to presentations and giving honest and real-time feedback about what they are hearing. It’s not all that dissimilar from an honors class in college. Smaller groups that debate topics and ask deeper, probing questions that might not be as welcome in a larger class.
When at events I don’t bother with keynotes any more either. They are usually lectures by CEOs or CTO that are banging their own agenda which is boring.
VMAX and the like are the ‘Big Iron’ of the storage world; they are the choice of the lazy architect, the infrastructure patterns that they support are incredibly well understood and text-book but do they really support Cloud-like infrastructures going forward?
Storagebod continues to ask good hard questions and come up with good answers. This one considers whether EMC is innovating or “not dying”.
Nmap 6 Release Notes – NMAP 6 – the scanning tool of choice. Now with more features and goodness. As discussed in Packet Pushers Show 96 – Hack the Hackers where we talked with Fyodor who the project lead.
Flash Changed My Life – Storagebod – Storagebod ( aka Martin Glassborow) make a great point about how flash has changed his personal computing experience.
But flash has made a big difference to the way that I use my personal machines and if I was going to deploy flash in a way that would make the largest material difference to my user-base, I would probably put it in their desktops.
Speed results in faster boot times which means turning off a computer more often. Or keeping documents open for weeks at a time (probably Mac OSX feature to automatically reopen documents). Nice reflection on the changes that are happening.
Time To Say Goodbye To Static IPs – Network Computing – Timeless advice that is more relevant now that IPv6 is creeping in.
Frankly, the IP address assigned to a host shouldn’t matter. What’s more important and useful to IT is the host name: You can decouple a name, which is portable, from an IP address, which may not be. You want to connect your application to database.example. com, not 2001:0db8:85a3::8a2e:0370:7334.
The days of memorising the IP addresses in your network are over. You can’t memorise a large number of IPv6 addresses. Why would you even want to ?
Who Will Support SMB 3.0, and Which Features Will They Support? – @SFoskett – Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat – So Microsoft’s CIFS protocol is simply crud. So bad it’s not funny anymore. The protocol is inefficient, faulty, and slow. So some of the billions of dollors of licensing fees has been spent on a new SMB protocol which Stephen Foskett outlines the case to believe that Microsoft is not a complete bunch of losers
Naysayers may point to previous Microsoft initiatives that failed to gain traction, but I think SMB 3.0 has a lot going for it. Microsoft’s openness with documentation and testing is a positive sign, as are commitments from major vendors like EMC, NetApp, and Samba. Add in the discontent with CIFS and existing work to implement SMB 2.0 and 2.1, and I expect widespread availability of at least some of the features of SMB 3.0 around the same time that Windows Server 2012 is released this summer.
In November 2011, I posted What Are 10 Gigabit Ultra Short Reach (USR) Optics ? where I tried to what is the actual difference between these optics and the certified 10Gbase-SR products. I recently received the following from an anonymous source. I’ve made some small edits to protect identity and improve the text.
Simply put: USR 10G optics are 10GBASE-SR that are “binned” at lower performance at the manufacturing plant.
As you know, 10GBASE-SR specifies a 300m reach over OM3 fiber. This was pretty tough to achieve in the early days of SFP+, so there was a pretty high yield fallout. Optics that managed 290m reach, but not 300m, for example, could not be sold as “10GBASE-SR” because they don’t meet the spec. They ended up in the trash!
That’s right: an (almost) perfectly good 10GBASE-SR optic that didn’t quite reach 300m, but would have performed just fine on links up to 290m, had to be tossed in the trash!
Someone realized that this was a real shame, because most links aren’t 300m long, so that extra performance was not even needed much of the time, and the “USR” optic was born! Since there is no standard, each of the optics vendors chose a slightly different spec (typically 100m reach) and name. Some call it “Ultra Short Reach” (USR), others call it “Data Center Reach” (DCR), yet others call it “SR Lite” (SRL).
At the specified reach, these USR optics will actually interoperate just fine with SR optics (i.e., if your link is up to 100m OM3, a USR can talk to an SR optic just fine), but, of course, if the link is longer than the 100m (or whatever your specific USR optic specifies), all bets are off — the limiting factor being the USR SFP.
This is more or less what I guessed at during my previous posts. Since they are effectively rejects they have a low commercial value so to recover some of the cost is good business. Therefore they can be sold at cheap prices.
Very few data centres will use 300m cable runs since most cabling plant is built to 100m/330ft lengths for historical reasons. (I’m not sure that many engineers are aware that cable lengths can be longer than 100m)
Thanks to Anonymous for sending me the information/confirmation.
I’ve just been forced to sit through another vendor presentation that had a lot of talk about their “platform” and how successful it’s been, and how valuable it is. When I pointed out that their platform was dependent on at least three other platforms, there was pause. Silence. The sales team, clearly, hadn’t realised this and it wasn’t part of the vendor briefing. I told them, it’s “Platforms All The Way Down”.
Platforms All The Way Down
The Network is not a substrate, or a foundation, or a simple set of connections. The Network is a platform. Your Network is a platform in a similar way that other technologies claim to be platforms. Oracle is a database platform, MS Windows Server is an OS Platform, VMware is a OS virtualisation platform. HP Servers are a hardware platform. NetApp is a storage platform.
The problem with most platforms is that vendors attempt to glamourise their value by pointing out all of the other technologies that depend on of their platform. Enter sales droids making great declamations about all those services and functions that sit on top of their platform while conveniently forgetting to respect, discuss or even mention the platforms that they depend on.
For example, VMware is good platform for virtualisation that depends on Server Hardware platform, which in turn depends on the Network Platform. VMware makes many great announcement that software will change the way servers work while conveniently avoiding discussion of their poor networking features and limited hardware capabilities.
Similarly, the Security Platform that combines many layers such as logging, IPS, and firewalls but also is completely dependent the Network Platform. Developers like to think that that their language is a platform. Database administrators think that their SQL platform is the foundation. Database platform that co-dependent on the application platform that supports the development platform that supports the business process platform.
The problem is that for all platforms except networking, there is plenty of other platforms that support the other platforms. Networking depends on nothing else except the physical cabling and power in your data centre.
Oh. See what happened there.
> A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on.” “Another Tortoise” said the lady. “What’s that standing on?” the scientist asked. “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down! 1
The EtherealMind View
In business, there are many companies that are building platforms. Platforms have great value (to investors) in terms of locking customers into a set of tools, or a process and make a great long term revenue source. Investors are very fond of companies that have “recurrent revenue models”. Obviously, customers should always be wary of buying into a platform because of the committed expenditure model they are taking on.
But for every platform, there is another platform that it depends on. Failure to recognise this dependency makes your platform weak. Importantly, engineers can see straight through the marketing double speak here because they have intimate knowledge of the stack and the interdependency. It’s just one point of tension between “positioning” and “reality”.
Vendors and resellers should forget the “platform” and start thinking about ecosystems that are connected platforms all the way down.
- Stephen Hawking, in “A Brief History of Time”, is apparently the source of the story although it’s probably much older. ↩
A while back I wrote about my Knowledge Management process and my choice for DevonThink on the Mac. A few people asked why I didn’t use Evernote.
There are two reasons. One, I think Evernote isn’t a well developed app in that the look and feel is all wrong to me. But hey, it’s free and it works OK so I could overlook that part.
The second and most important reason I don’t use Evernote is that my data gets locked in. Once I start capturing data inside of Evernote there is no way out. And while Evernote gives you some good methods to capture data there is no way to get it out in the future.
Check this screenshot showing the TWO export formats allowed for Evernote. Neither of which are remotely practical.
Check out this screenshot showing the export options for DevonThink:
That’s what you want in an “anything box”. Many ways to capture data, organise it, write. But most importantly, export the data.