IT Is Power. Try Living Without A Single Breadboard For A Day.

Don MacVittie

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Latest Blogs from Don MacVittie
The idea of DevOps is appealing, particularly in highly complex environments. There are just so many places where a system can go wrong, let alone a complex interconnected multi-machine system like a cluster or a cloud hosting environment. As systems have become progressively more comp...
OpenStack and Hadoop are both amazingly powerful platforms for those who need (and recognize that they need) them. We all know what private clouds and Big Data are, so I won't waste your time explaining them. I will point out for those who haven't had the pleasure of installing them th...
For regular readers of the StackIQ blog, Hi! I’m Don MacVittie, the new Senior Solutions Architect here at StackIQ. For regular readers of my aggregated blog, if you have not, meet StackIQ – Web Scale Infrastructure Management vendor that will knock your socks off. Introductions comple...
One funny thing about DevOps is that it is often touted that constant, on-the-fly changes are the way of the future in operations, and DevOps enables those changes. While this sounds really good, and some organizations are actually doing this type of DevOps, I think it is time that, fo...
A funny thing has happened in the technology world, the hype cycle has become far more than a cycle that you watch and smile at. It has become a sales frenzy, while people try to make a name and/or sell you stuff before the idea or product category has even solidified. You can see it a...
A funny thing has happened in the technology world, the hype cycle has become far more than a cycle that you watch and smile at. It has become a sales frenzy, while people try to make a name and/or sell you stuff before the idea or product category has even solidified. You can see it [...
One funny thing about DevOps is that it is often touted that constant, on-the-fly changes are the way of the future in operations, and DevOps enables those changes. While this sounds really good, and some organizations are actually doing this type of DevOps, I think it is time that, fo...
Thought I’d take a moment to drop a bit of an idea out there for making the most of vendor relationships. You see, product roadmaps in the tech space are simply a sales and marketing tool. They are designed so that whomever you are talking to can point at them and say “those fifteen mu...
Thought I’d take a moment to drop a bit of an idea out there for making the most of vendor relationships. You see, product roadmaps in the tech space are simply a sales and marketing tool. They are designed so that whomever you are talking to can point at them and say “those fifteen mu...
Ask two politically opposed people in any given country about the causes of the country’s problems, and guess what? Each will give you an answer filtered through their world-view. Through what they know, and what they believe. That is not to say one is right and one is wrong, both simp...
Ask two politically opposed people in any given country about the causes of the country’s problems, and guess what? Each will give you an answer filtered through their world-view. Through what they know, and what they believe. That is not to say one is right and one is wrong, both simp...
You may have noticed that I’ve been awfully quiet out here lately. That’s because I’ve been adapting to my new role and making certain I had a clue what I was talking about before I came out and posted a bunch of things. But it’s been long enough that it is time to start getting back ...
When Lori and I were writing import/export routines for a large software vendor, we had a phrase to remind ourselves that what we loved was not necessarily the all-important part of what we were doing. We used to say “It’s all about the data”, almost as a mantra, to keep our team (I wa...
I was researching something totally unrelated today, and happened upon a couple of things that made me decide to write a quick blog about SPDY support and the tools available to you relevant to SPDY. First, I found a ton of administrators asking how they could verify that SPDY was bei...
Lori and I were discussing the entire topic of agility the other day, she looking at it from the SDN prospective, and I from the evolutionary perspective for development. While I know there has been a metric ton of writing about the topic, since I’ve used agile development, and find it...
If you’ve ever developed for an enterprise IT department, and had to please the end user, you know very well that they don’t care about what your technical limitations are, they care about getting a tool that helps them do their job better. Oh some will commiserate with you about your ...
Driving tacks in carpentry is just that – putting small nails in to hold something (normally carpet) in place. It is a task that is easily accomplished by the most novice of carpenters, and heck, even a non-carpenter like myself can get it right most of the time. A repeated process of ...
Many things are intended to work together, but require specific knowledge to get the outcome you desire. Automobiles and trailers, for example, require a trailer hitch, and not just any trailer hitch, but one with a ball the correct size to work with the trailer, and wire connectors th...
Okay, for those of you who’ve been waiting, this is the blog. For those who haven’t, welcome, we’re going to talk about https connections (specifically) on Android (TM) from within a native app and connecting to sites that Android views as possible security risks. Easy like learning t...
When first you build a bookshelf from raw wood, on your own, you learn a lot. While the first may be the only one you ever want to build, by the time you’re done, you know you could have done X, Y, or Z better. This is true of so many crafts. You get better by doing, in large part beca...
It is interesting, talking with people about what they read, and seeing how what they read is reflected in their daily lives. Even the occasional reader of this blog would not be surprised to find that I spend some amount of time with my nose buried in epic fantasy books and military h...
If you’re like most people, when you notice something really odd about your body, the first thought to enter your brain is not “I need to call the doctor”. Of course let me clarify, if you look down after a fall, and think “My arm really shouldn’t bend like that”, then yeah, you call a...
#f5 #BareMetalBlog Time to take a break, let the laggards catch up on reading, and talk about topics other than hardware for a bit. You do not have to be a top-flight auto mechanic to appreciate the precision with which some cars are made. From Rolls Royce on down, there are some cars ...
It is often the case that when you look at things a certain way, they become filtered over time, and you see what you expected to see. This happens to everyone, and while a wonderful adaptation to help handle all of the various inputs in our lives, has caused just about everyone to jum...
#BareMetalBlog #f5 performance report ADC Performance Envelopes. A new way to look at traditional test data. In the history of technology, we have found time and time again that there are multiple variables to define any given problem domain. As a military became more and more reliant...
This week F5 released the 2013 Performance report. This is an important report for the industry, because it is not marketing slideware. It is actual tests, performed on actual gear, with not only results, but configurations and test environment information also. By design, it is open –...
When assembling a model – any model, from a highly detailed functional replica of an engine to a mass produced plastic model of an airplane – there are several places where things can go wrong. The final product is only as good as the model kit, the glue used, the tools used, and the s...
When you purchase a high-end storage array, it is not generally advised that you half fill the racks and then forget about it, purchasing a new empty rack to fill when next you need high-end storage. Knowing how the firmware is configured on a BIG-IP, we can chat about some of the m...
Knowing what to test is half the battle. Knowing how it was tested the other. Knowing what that means is the third. That’s some testing, real clear numbers. In most countries, top speed is no longer the thing that auto manufacturers want to talk about. Top speed is great if you need...
Along the lines of the first blog in the testing portion of the Bare Metal Blog series, I’d like to talk a bit more about how the testing environment, the device configuration, and the payloads translate into test results. One of the problems most advanced mass education systems run i...
In two previous installments, I talked at a high level about the uses of FPGAs, risk mitigation, and the potential benefits. Today I’d like to delve into the benefits that the industry in general, and F5 in particular, gain from using FPGAs, and why it matters to IT. If you’re a regula...
Test results provided by vendors and “independent testing labs” often test for things that just don’t matter in the datacenter. Know what you’re getting. When working in medicine, you don’t glance over a patient, then ask them “so how do you feel when you’re at your best?” You ask t...
#BareMetalBlog #F5 Test results provided by vendors and “independent testing labs” often test for things that just don’t matter in the datacenter. Know what you’re getting. When working in medicine, you don’t glance over a patient, then ask them “so how do you feel when you’re at your...
I was talking with the team working on our yard – they’re putting in new sidewalks and a patio, amongst other things – and we got on the subject of gutters. When we bought this house, it came with no gutters, and that has, over time, caused some serious damage to the base of the house....
#BareMetalBlog The use of FPGAs, the risks, trade-offs, and benefits to IT. I was talking with the team working on our yard – they’re putting in new sidewalks and a patio, amongst other things – and we got on the subject of gutters. When we bought this house, it came with no gutters, ...
We’re having all of our sidewalks redone right this instant. In fact, I’ll include a picture of the “pavers” – which is the fancy new word for the stones used to build the sidewalk. If the construction and design team do something wrong, it will cost them a pretty penny to come back ou...
#FPGAs change a lot. Here’s why they’re a big deal. #BareMetalBlog We’re having all of our sidewalks redone right this instant. In fact, I’ll include a picture of the “pavers” – which is the fancy new word for the stones used to build the sidewalk. If the construction and design tea...
This morning, Chaucer, our relatively new Sheltie puppy, took off with my slippers. I found one lying in his favorite spot almost immediately, but the other had gone missing. I wandered about the house with one slipper in hand while he hid in his kennel, knowing I was angry but not qui...
This morning, Chaucer, our relatively new Sheltie puppy, took off with my slippers. I found one lying in his favorite spot almost immediately, but the other had gone missing. I wandered about the house with one slipper in hand while he hid in his kennel, knowing I was angry but not qui...
Just about every high-tech vendor on the planet has some form of secret sauce that makes them believe they’re the best option for your IT needs. For some it is price, for others service, yet others point at integration. All have some level of support for all of the others, but believe ...