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

Don MacVittie

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Latest Blogs from Don MacVittie
  Every once in a while, as the number of people following me grows (thank you, each and every one), I like to revisit something that is fundamental to the high-tech industry but is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves. This is one of those times, and the many-face...
  Every once in a while, as the number of people following me grows (thank you, each and every one), I like to revisit something that is fundamental to the high-tech industry but is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves. This is one of those times, and the many-face...
By now, everyone even vaguely familiar with information security knows the military maxim of blitzkrieg – burst through the hardened defense at a single point and then rush pell-mell to the rear where the soft underbelly of any static army lies. It is a good military strategy, provided...
By now, everyone even vaguely familiar with information security knows the military maxim of blitzkrieg – burst through the hardened defense at a single point and then rush pell-mell to the rear where the soft underbelly of any static army lies. It is a good military strategy, provide...
By now, everyone even vaguely familiar with information security knows the military maxim of blitzkrieg – burst through the hardened defense at a single point and then rush pell-mell to the rear where the soft underbelly of any static army lies. It is a good military strategy, provide...
There was an interesting discussion on one of the table-top wargame lists I belong to (Two Hour Wargames if  you follow the hobby) about the “production value” of a given set of printed products.  While it devolved (as web conversations often seem to) to a comparison with Hollywood, th...
There was an interesting discussion on one of the table-top wargame lists I belong to (Two Hour Wargames if  you follow the hobby) about the “production value” of a given set of printed products.  While it devolved (as web conversations often seem to) to a comparison with Hollywood, th...
There was an interesting discussion on one of the table-top wargame lists I belong to (Two Hour Wargames if  you follow the hobby) about the “production value” of a given set of printed products.  While it devolved (as web conversations often seem to) to a comparison with Hollywood, th...
There is a series of advertisements for Capital One aired in the US featuring Vikings talking about “more points” from their credit cards that asks “What’s in your wallet?” While they’re entertaining, I never understood what Vikings had to do with a credit card, other than perhaps both...
    There is a series of advertisements for Capital One aired in the US featuring Vikings talking about “more points” from their credit cards that asks “What’s in your wallet?” While they’re entertaining, I never understood what Vikings had to do with a credit card, other than perhaps...
    There is a series of advertisements for Capital One aired in the US featuring Vikings talking about “more points” from their credit cards that asks “What’s in your wallet?” While they’re entertaining, I never understood what Vikings had to do with a credit card, other than perhaps...
After a couple of weeks of vacation, some minor oral surgery, a birthday, and my five year anniversary at F5 Networks (has it really been that long?), I’m back to annoy or please you some more. Our holidays were acceptable, and here’s hoping all of you had an enjoyable time also. One ...
After a couple of weeks of vacation, some minor oral surgery, a birthday, and my five year anniversary at F5 Networks (has it really been that long?), I’m back to annoy or please you some more. Our holidays were acceptable, and here’s hoping all of you had an enjoyable time also. One ...
The complexities of life often escape a young child. The Little Man asked me the other day why I had to go work, which was both a compliment to wanting to spend time with me and an unintended backhand slap at Lori, who was going to hang out with him while I took care of business. The a...
The complexities of life often escape a young child. The Little Man asked me the other day why I had to go work, which was both a compliment to wanting to spend time with me and an unintended backhand slap at Lori, who was going to hang out with him while I took care of business. The ...
Ever try to explain something to a three year old that they don’t want to hear? It’s a chore. They change the subject, try to ignore you, turn away, and as a last defense, start asking “why?” a lot. It is amusing that IT often suffers the same issues. Really. We’re adults, but at the ...
We at F5 – like most collectives of geeks - are constantly discussing the wide array of IT boondoggles that are out there, looking at which ones hold water and which are just passing fads. Often we’re debating which are passing fads. Today I received an email to a small group asking if...
When I was hired in to a utility to head an Automated Meter Reading project that was just getting organized – R&D was largely done, but implementation was not started – the team was set up in a rather odd manner. We had our own datacenter, we had our own networking, we had our own...
It is entertaining to read all that is currently being written about DevOps. Having been a developer, a development manager, an operations manager, and even a CTO, I can attest to the fact that the “throw it over the wall” syndrome is real, and causes real problems for everyone involve...
There has been much made in Information Technology about the military quote: “He Who Defends Everything Defends Nothing” – Originally uttered by Frederick The Great of Prussia. He has some other great quotes, check them out when you have a moment. The thing is that he was absolutely c...
At our annual sales conference, Lori and I sat in on a great presentation by coworker Dawn Parzych that talked about the Internet, usage, and patterns. There are two interesting statistics that she presented, and I’ve munged them to generate a combined statistic. Dawn is our Product Ma...
I don’t usually talk a lot about F5 specific solutions, but since we’re the only ones doing this (so far), the contents of this blog are F5 specific. Though this needs to be industry standard. So, you’re yearning for some chili. That’s understandable, this time of year is when those o...
Funny thing about the advancement of technology, in most of the modern world we enshrine it, spend massive amounts of money to find “the next big thing”, and act as if change is not only inevitable, but rapid. The truth is that change is inevitable, but not necessarily rapid, and somet...
Last week, InformationWeek quoted a Microsoft manager as saying there was “No chance” Windows XP would get another stay of execution. This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, it was only the backlash from enterprises that kept Microsoft from ending support for XP over the last se...
There are many things in the history of high technology that are downright conundrums. One of the obvious ones is: given the formats and media currently used to distribute text, music, and video, for example, how do we protect the rights of both legal users and the creators of content...
The rate of change in a mathematical equation can vary immensely based upon the equation and the inputs to the equation. Certainly the rate of change for f(x) = x^2 is a far different picture than the rate of change for f(x)=2x, for example. The old adage “the only constant is change” ...
Developers are a great lot of folks, people who spend their day trying to do the impossible with bits for a customer base that is, by and large, impossible to satisfy. When the bits all line up correctly, the last line of code has been checked in, and the nightly compile accepted for d...
#F5Friday SSDs speed more than just disk I/O on your servers. If you’re one of those geeks (or gamers) that squeezes every last ounce of performance out of their personal computing equipment, then you’re well aware that the performance of Solid State Drives (SSDs) is far and away b...
In many industries, it is all about word of mouth. I’m not talking about tech-savvy industries that have just rediscovered this truth since Social Media made it impossible for them to ignore, I’m talking about industries for whom it has always been about word of mouth… Take lawn care, ...
There has been a lot written about “IT Democratization” and how it will change the world. To some extent that is true, and I’ve previously encouraged IT management to support the process. But listening to those who see a “Bright new future” makes me realize that while we agree in prin...
I haven’t been in IT management for a while, but if I were right now, I’d get the storage guys to build me a pie-chart showing who owns how much data, then gather a couple of outrageous examples of wasted space (a PowerPoint that is more than five years old is good, better than the foo...
When horrid disasters strike and both people and corporations are put on notice that they suddenly have a lot more important things to do, will you be ready? It is a testament to man’s optimism that with very few exceptions we really don’t, not at the personal level, not at the corpora...
Sun Tzu wrote that you cannot win if you do not know your enemy and yourself. In his sense, he was talking about knowing your army and its capabilities, but this rule seriously applies to nearly every endeavor, and certainly every competitive endeavor. Knowing your own strengths and w...
(Booming voiceover voice); Are you running the same tired old network tools? Does your network staff have to administer security and load balancing for each and every application? Do you find application analysts and owners show a growing frustration with the network team’s response ti...
In an N-Tiered architecture, the network connection between tiers becomes a truly important part of the overall application performance equation. This is a fact we have known for a couple of decades now. If your network performance is down for some reason (from mis-wiring to hardware m...
In most fantasy RPGs and in historical context, a fort is a well built defensive position that allows you to detect attacks and funnel them to places where they can be defeated. It's well constructed, has restricted points of entry, and has defense in depth. A trade network on the othe...
An interesting thing about toll booths, they provide a point at which all sorts of things can happen. When you are stopped to pay a toll, it smooths the flow of imagetraffic by letting a finite number of vehicles through per minute, reducing congestion by naturally spacing things out. ...
It’s interesting to watch the evolution of IT over time. I have repeatedly been told “you people, we were doing that with X, back before you had a name for it!” And likely, the speaker is telling the truth, as far as it goes. Seriously, while the mechanisms may be different, putting a ...
The Web Application Firewall debate has been raging for a very long time, and we keep hearing the same comments going back and forth. Many organizations have implemented them as a fast-track to compliance, primarily compliance with PCI-DSS, but the developer community is still hesitant...
In our first house, we had a set of stairs that were horrible. They were unfinished, narrow, and steep. Lori went down them once with a vacuum cleaner, they were just not what we wanted in the house. They came out into the kitchen, so you were looking at these half-finished steps while...