Internets of Interest for 20th December 2012

I'm considering turning this regular blog post into a free subscription email service. Anyone think this is a good/bad idea ? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think ? 

Collection of useful, relevant or just fun places on the Internets for 20th December 2012 and a bit commentary about what I’ve found interesting about them:

Multicasting Apple’s Bonjour Protocol – Apple in the Enterprise ? It’s already at mine, in the thousands but we don’t have the Bonjour problem …… yet:

You receive a support call one day, stating that senior management wishes to print – wirelessly, of course – from their iPhones and iPads. They are trying to print to their new Bonjour supported/enabled wireless printer, but can’t. You as the engineer investigate the functionality of Bonjour, and learn that multicast is what makes this protocol tick. A decent starting place to get configuration tips is Cisco’s Wireless LAN Apple Bonjour Deployment Guide.

The End of Year Audit: Things Worth Checking While You Have A Minute – Action list for those people allowed to make change to their network from Ethan Banks.

What better time to do some of that network clean up you’ve been putting off? Let’s make a list of fun things to check.

draft-sheffer-running-code-01 – How do you formalise “rough consensus” ? This is a good attempt:

Over time, a variety of policies have been implemented within the IETF to consider running code. In the Routing Area it used to be a requirement that one or more implementations must exist before an Internet-Draft could be published as a Proposed Standard RFC [RFC1264]. That RFC was later obsoleted and the requirement for implementation was lifted, but each working group was given the authority to impose its own implementation requirements [RFC4794] and at least one working group (IDR) continues to require two independent implementations.

The hypothesis behind this document is that there are benefits to the IETF standardization process of producing implementations of protocol specifications before publication as RFCs. These benefits, which include determining that the specification is comprehensible and that there is sufficient interest to implement, are further discussed in Section 4.

This document describes a simple process that allows authors of Internet-Drafts to record the status of known implementations. This will allow reviewers and working groups to assign due consideration to documents that have the benefit of running code and potentially reward the documented protocols by treating the documents with implementations preferentially.

Cisco Documentation has a new look – I noticed that the formatting of this PDF has new fonts, new headers and overall look and feel. This is nicely done. Especially pleased to see the use of the screen fonts which makes the PDF highly readable on a LCD screen (unlike Brocade and Juniper who use print fonts that don’t render properly on computers). After all, who prints PDF files any more ?

The Power of Concentration – – There are many people extolling the virtues of mindfulness & meditation as a cure for excessive multitasking. When will I adopt this practice ? It’s becoming more likely everyday.

But mindfulness goes beyond improving emotion regulation. An exercise in mindfulness can also help with that plague of modern existence: multitasking. Of course, we would like to believe that our attention is infinite, but it isn’t. Multitasking is a persistent myth. What we really do is shift our attention rapidly from task to task. Two bad things happen as a result. We don’t devote as much attention to any one thing, and we sacrifice the quality of our attention. When we are mindful, some of that attentional flightiness disappears as if of its own accord.

Flat Datacenter Storage | USENIX – Microsoft FDS explaining how FDS performs distributed data clustering.

Flat Datacenter Storage (FDS) is a high-performance, fault-tolerant, large-scale, locality-oblivious blob store. Using a novel combination of full bisection bandwidth networks, data and metadata striping, and flow control, FDS multiplexes an application’s large-scale I/O across the available throughput and latency budget of every disk in a cluster. FDS therefore makes many optimizations around data locality unnecessary. Disks also communicate with each other at their full bandwidth, making recovery from disk failures extremely fast. FDS is designed for datacenter scale, fully distributing metadata operations that might otherwise become a bottleneck.

Microsoft Flat DataCenter Storage research paper – Microsoft Falt Datacenter Storage is a blob storage using white box hardware to deliver a “big data” solution. For me, this interesting for it’s use of CLOS network fabrics to support distributed storage.

Amazon beaten on price for books outside top 20 bestsellers | Books | – I foun that Amazon cloud run a similar pricing strategy. Looks cheap, hidden costs that add up. This might also be described as price fixing – supermarkets use milk and bread as loss leaders to get you into a supermarket and is now illegal.

“Many booksellers think of Amazon as this mythical competitor, just incredibly low on price – an insurmountable adversary, impossible for them to overcome,” Poyar continued. “But our research has revealed that much of that is just outdated myth. The reality is that Amazon needs to make money like everyone else, but they understand consumer buying behaviour, and use those insights to be able to give off a low-price image, while still not necessarily being the lowest price.”

  • Dave Noonan

    FYI, the line “I’m considering turning this regular blog post into a free sub” didn’t wrap properly in Chrome so that’s all I can see of it.

    Thanks for these posts BTW. They’re very useful and often point out interesting reading.