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

Don MacVittie

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Latest Blogs from Don MacVittie
I’ve been talking about Cloud Storage Gateways off and on, and F5 doesn’t have any reason to care one way or the other which Cloud Storage Gateways win the race, so even though I always strive to keep my blogs only biased based on merit, this one should scream at you that it is unbiase...
Thursday was quite the day for us. I mentioned earlier in the week that I was setting up the storage for Lori to digitize all of the DVDs, well we came to the conclusion that we needed 12 terabytes of raw disk to hold movies + music. Our current NAS total was just over four Terabytes, ...
Someone said something interesting to me the other day, and they’re right “at 10 Gig WAN connections with compression turned on, you’re not likely to fill the pipe, the key is to make certain you’re not the bottleneck.” (the other day is relative – I’ve been sitting on this post for a ...
Now that Lori has her new HP TouchSmart for an upcoming holiday gift, we are finally digitizing our DVD collection. You would think that since our tastes are somewhat similar, we’d be good to go with a relatively  small number of DVDs… We’re not. I’m a huge fan of well-done war movies ...
I owned a book once – long since wandered off in the hands of a friend or one of my children so I can’t give proper reference – where they discuss replication teleportation. Where your pattern is transmitted, but your physical self is not. Back in the 90s, some smart folks at IBM were ...
We developers used to be obsessed with optimizations. Like a child with an Erector Set and a whole lot of spare parts, we always wanted to “make it better”. In our case, better was faster and using less memory/CPU resources. Where development came from – a few Kilobytes of memory, a mu...
There is an interesting bit in high-tech that isn’t much mentioned but happens pretty regularly – when a good idea is adapted and moved to new uses, raising it a bit in the stack or revising it to keep up with the times. The quintessential example of this phenomenon is the progression ...
I was pondering the weather in Northeast Wisconsin this morning, it’s gloomy and oppressively hot. Between heat and humidity, I’d say it felt more like the US’s Pacific Northwest than the Midwest. And it’s been image that way all summer. We’ve been plowed under with 80+ percent humid...
Almost exactly a year ago, I inherited several sets of model railroad trains. Two full O scale sets and two full HO scale sets. They were in varying stages of disrepair, and I wasn’t certain any of them worked. I’m not a train person, but my kids might be – given the chance to try the...
My eldest son has been having car troubles. To be more direct, he needed a new car. We agreed to help him out financially, let him go do his shopping and comparing, and when he chose a car I took him to pick it up. He chose a used PT Cruiser to replace his worn-out Olds Achieva, and o...
My father was an antique dealer that specialized in furniture refinishing. All of us children spent some amount of time down at the shop getting instruction in how to handle antiques from dishes to weapons to furniture. But each of us got special instruction in how to treat a piece of...
As I write this, Lori and The Toddler are on their way to the store, his first trip out of the house without a diaper (nappy for our UK friends), she bravely told him that they would go get some robots as reward formom-nat being a big boy. I told her that it was brave – possibly braz...
In the US, many people watch the entire season of NASCAR without ever really paying attention to the racing. They are fixated on seeing a crash, and at the speed that NASCAR races average – 81mph on the image most complex track to 188 mph on the least curvy track – they’re likely to ...
When you’re going through your basement, attic, or garage and reorganizing, you move things from box to box, shuffle locations of boxes, buy better boxes to hold things that are more precious, take steps to see  to their safety by keeping boxes off the floor… There is an entire sorting...
Jessica Scarpoti has an article discussing the state of CDN and application delivery. While I had not put a ton of thought into this particular market – CDNs grew into some pretty special-use, high-end items because of their pricing models over a decade ago – it does bear some obvious ...
While there are a whole array of well-documented benefits to be found in virtualization, there is one truth to virtualization that has not escaped the experienced IT veteran. Virtualization sprawl is not just bad for operations, it is bad for disaster recovery planning. Not only are th...
I read an interesting blog the other day that is pretty spot-on about IT, customers, and what we’ve spent the last 30 years doing. We’re in a field whose purpose is to increase the capability of the enterprise while simultaneously making it easier to do whatever the organization in ge...
This week has been a banner week in the world of Cloud computing. The experts have been out there saving us from ourselves in droves. Good to know that there is no shortage of people who either don’t get  what cloud is and think they do, or don’t get what cloud isn’t and think they do....
There are some topics that warrant the occasional revisit as time goes on, and application security is certainly one of those. As long as we have applications being developed and deployed, it seems we will have bad guys looking to exploit them. While I do believe that the Internet, lik...
No matter what country you live in, if it is in any way democratic, you have seen the political trend wherein nearly everyone knows the correct solution to a given problem, but hidden agendas, partisanship, and general demagoguery get in the way of implementing that solution. In most i...
The last couple of years have been painful, to say the least. Some call them unprecedented, financially, but I do believe that is pushing the descriptor a bit far, since there have been plenty of instances where business pretty much en-masse questioned the amount that IT returns for th...
Remember when Beanie Babies were free in Happy Meals, and tons of people ran out to buy the Happy Meals but only really wanted the Beanie Babies? Yeah, that’s what the storage compression/dedupe market is  starting to look like these days. Lots of big names are out snatching up at-rest...
In the data center of the future, you are going to need to be able to bring up new instances of an application, have them fully functional without any user intervention, and when they’re no longer needed they should clean up after themselves and quietly go away. Five years ago this was...
Storage at rest de-duplication has been a growing point of interest for most IT staffs over the last year or so, just because de-duplication allows you to purchase less hardware over time, and if that hardware is a big old storage array sucking a ton of power and costing a not-insignif...
Over the years data archiving and backup technology have waxed and waned, growing closer and further away from each other as the needs of the enterprise, new technologies, and the external economic and regulatory environment have changed. There have been clear indications that the need...
A couple of weeks ago, one of the people I follow on our home Twitter account (focused on role-playing and miniature wargames) tweeted “Zombies! This Year’s Vampires Are Zombies! Oh Please Let This Year’s Vampires Be Zombies!!” as a joke aimed at those in the entertainment industry tha...
Anyone who has children and travels by car will tell you that there is no substitute for the mandatory array of bathroom breaks that must be taken by those children. One of the many reasons I prefer to travel at night when driving long distances is that children who are asleep are not ...
Where you are going has a huge impact upon the mode of transportation that you choose to use. If you are going to the neighbor’s house, you tend to walk. If on your way to town or downtown, you tend to take a motorized vehicle. Out for a leisurely trip around the subdivision? You are l...
Since cloud computing has a bit of an identity crisis, and cloud storage is just starting to realize one itself, it should be no surprise to anyone that “cloud storage gateway” has more than one meaning. While they are all a single market, implementation and deployment details make th...
At the end of the odd but intriguing movie Existenz, one of the primary characters looks at the other after killing a bunch of people and says “We’re still in the game, right?” With the implication that you the viewer really don’t know if they’re still in the Virtual Reality game they ...
A couple of articles that have come out in the last week or so got me pondering the current state of IT Management mentality, and it is somewhat amusing, if you think it through. We’re risk-averse where all imageevidence indicates we don’t need to be, and we’re cutting edge, risk aware...
In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (the first Star Wars movie for those more curmudgeonly than I), Luke is training with a light saber… Ben Kenobi: Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him. Luke Skywalker: You mean it controls your actions? Ben Kenobi: Partially,...
One of the things I have talked about quite a bit in the last couple of months is the disjoint between the needs of enterprise IT and the offerings of a wide swath of the cloud marketplace. Some times it seems like many cloud vendors are telling customers “here’s what we choose to offe...
Ever hang out with the person who just wants to make their point, and no matter what the conversation says the same thing over and over in slightly different ways? Ever want to tell them they were doing their favorite cause/point/whatever a huge disfavor by acting like a repetitive fo...
Lori and I were discussing accomplishments with our 23 year old a week or so ago, and he is keeping score of the things we’ve done and he’s done. We’ve written books, he’s written books. We’ve written for a magazine, he’s written for a magazine. Then he hit the things he has to do if ...
It used to be that if you were replicating database or file storage to a remote location you had few options if your connection was not the best. You could use rate shaping to give more of the pipe over to your replication, increase TCP window sizes, turn on jumbo frames… All relativel...
If a given nation independently developed twelve or fourteen governmental systems that all sat side-by-side and attempted to cooperate but never inter-operate, then anarchy would result. Not necessarily overnight, but issues about who is responsible for what, where a given function is ...
Over the last several years, and for several more to come, virtualization and cloud are transforming the way that we implement IT. The purpose of the department is the same – to serve users in the best manner possible – but the agility with which that service can be offered has increas...
One thing that some companies seem to have grabbed onto and run with while others don’t seem to have made the correct connections to fully utilize is testing in a highly virtualized or cloud environment. Of all the things these environments can do well, testing is one of the best possi...
Looking for my blog today? It’s in hiding. I posted it over there –>> Lori’s blog. She is running a series called “F5 Friday”, and as I promised a few blogs ago, I have a write-up about Data Manager (DM), complete with screenshots in for today’s installment. A little weird that ...