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

Don MacVittie

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Latest Blogs from Don MacVittie
Years ago I wrote a piece for Network Computing Magazine about the state of Utility network security and the issues it presents. I focused largely on SCADA security, but also looked at Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and the new issues it brought to the table. That article was not withou...
Those who love to hear themselves talk about the growth of cloud computing just seem to keep barraging us with numbers, and it is time that those of us with a desire to understand what is really going on demand some clarity into those numbers, because many are obviously questionable, s...
NOTE: To my knowledge, F5 Networks does not do business with Deep Storage. This article is purely personal opinion and should not be construed as F5’s stance on… Well… Anything. In fact, there’s a chance I’m getting called “up on the carpet” (as we used to say in the military) right no...
For those who don’t know, according to the Meyers & Briggs Foundation, part of the Meyers-Briggs Assessment is defined as: The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent… The same can be said about your dat...
There is a trend in the high-tech industry to jump from one hot technology to another, without waiting for customers to catch up. We’re certainly seeing it with Cloud, there are people out there pushing the “everyone else is doing it and gaining agility!” button every day. But you’re n...
There is a trend in the high-tech industry to jump from one hot technology to another, without waiting for customers to catch up. We’re certainly seeing it with Cloud, there are people out there pushing the “everyone else is doing it and gaining agility!” button every day. But you’re n...
For those who don’t know, I’m relatively conservative in my use of IT, I’ve been around the block, been burned a few times (OS/2 Beta Tester, WFW, WP...The list goes on), and the organizations I’ve worked for where I was part of “Enterprise IT” were all relatively conservative (Utiliti...
In a recent blog by Randy George over at Network Computing, he gets a little excited over the prospects of running 100% virtual, and is somewhat dismissive of hardware appliances. Buried in toward the end of the post is a note that says he’ll be running tests of virtual Wan Optimizatio...
It is Memorial Day here in the US, where we remember those who served our country in the military – particularly those who gave their lives in military service. So I thought I’d tell you a cautionary tale of a good idea gone horribly wrong… A TALE OF TANK DESTROYERS Leading up t...
In late 2008, IDC predicted more than 61% Annual Growth Rate for unstructured data in traditional data centers through 2012. The numbers appear to hold up thus far, perhaps were even conservative. This was one of the first reports to include the growth from cloud storage providers in t...
EVERYBODY’S DOING IT (or letting you do it) One of the more interesting bits to come out of recent news is EMC jumping on the primary storage dedupe bandwagon. Since HDS and NetApp were already doing so, HP has a network based solution, and IBM  got NetApp’s solution for free sin...
THE (STORAGE) WORLD IS A-CHANGING Innovation in the storage space seems to be at an all time high, and that means you have a lot more choices in what to do for storage tiering. Maybe too many choices if you are considering everything you possibly can. Seriously. Tons of moving pa...
THERE WAS A DAY… In the heady days of the networked IT explosion, it was a green field. We had very little data stored anywhere, everything was reasonably new, and whatever we thought might help the organization we were able  to just go do, assuming the organization had the money...
George Crump posted an interesting article over on Storage Switzerland that talks about the current state of the storage market from a protocol perspective. Interestingly to me, CIFS is specifically excluded from the conversation – NAS is featured, but the guts of the NAS bit only talk...
There is an excellent article over on SD Times about multi-core programming and virtualization that delves into the approaches that application developers can consider to take advantage of multiple core CPUs.  For those that missed it, I wrote a bit about this not so long ago. I was lo...
THE FUTURE IS CLOUDY If the surveys out there are any indication, a whole lot of you will be working on some form of cloud project in the next year. And if major IT initiatives of the past are any indication, some of you will be the  champions of cloud computing, some supporters...
WAN Optimization seeks to reduce the cost of transferring data over the WAN from one data center to another. This group of technologies has been around for a while, but with the advent of cloud computing, it is getting more attention than it has in the past. Whether you are transferrin...
TO OUTSOURCE OR NOT TO OUTSOURCE? There is a published debate on NetworkWorld’s website that discusses if and how much IT to outsource in light of the current state of the economy and technology. These debates have intrigued me for years, and for those who don’t know, I wrote an...
I had just finished writing this blog and was about to post it, taking that moment to go do other things before one final read-through, and guess what? I saw this article on Dell’s site cross my Twitter account. I’ll blame the fact that I’m the shiny new Technical Marketing Manager as ...
The ongoing saga of everything cloud is entertaining, if nothing else. I have a couple of areas of interest that aren’t really burning up the electrons, one of them is cloud databases. Let’s face it, while “the cloud” is interesting in an application sense, for IT it is relatively usel...
The scene - Five years in the future, a boardroom of a mid-sized company with a large web presence. The VPs are assembled to hear the CIO report on the progress of the cloud computing initiative. * Jeff Digglesby, CIO of NeverSold, strode into the boardroom with the gathered VPs an...
Now that Jason has blogged about me leaving the team, I’ll chime in with my “cool things coming” post. As of the first of May, I am the shiny new member of the Technical Marketing Team.  I’m really pleased with the change and its timing. I was able to go out on the high note of the r...
  THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY   The Interstate road network in the US was built to facilitate interstate trade. Using public funding, the idea was that everyone benefitted if goods were able to move easier across the nation. Everyone did benefit, and unfettered interstate trade facil...
In the early days of Knighthood, it was a simple matter to become a knight. Save enough money, buy a horse (or four, knighthood was rough on horses) a suit of armor and some weapons, stake a claim and have those within the boundaries of your claim build you a manor house, or a castle. ...
Posted a new article last night on configuring BIG-IP LTM VE In a VMWare Team environment with servers (DevCentral login required) and just wanted to let you all know. It’s a relatively complex topic, considering that the pieces all work well separately, but if you’ve configured net...
Last week was golden for me. Three of my projects had major blocking issues, all three were resolved in the course of the week. That makes this week writing time, since two of the three projects were to support writing I want or need to do. This is the start of that process. The firs...
So I’ll bet you’re wondering where the updates have been? I took on this little side project knowing it would be an “after-hours” and “as time allows” project. I knew that we had some big projects coming like the BIG-IP LTM VE and others that I’m not able to discuss yet. What I did...
Well, over the weekend one of our NAS boxes – the NetGear – started throwing SMART errors. Yeah, it was telling me that more and more blocks are going bad and we need to do something about it. After due consideration (more below) Lori and I decided to replace it with a lower-end enter...
Well, I’ll bet you’re wondering how it’s going? First, the reasons for my silence that you haven’t heard. Last Thursday my wonderful Dell Latitude D820 died. I loved this machine, thought so much of it that last time I updated my home machine I got a D830. But sadly, it was over three...
I wanted to do at least two updates a week on this series, but circumstances conspired to keep me from an update earlier this week. In case you missed it, we’ve had a release or two going on (that link also has the “F5 joins NetApp Alliance Partner Program” Press Release on it if you m...
Okay, so I hit a wall and didn’t post yesterday. That is not at all a statement about the ARX, indeed, it was acting as advertised. The problem is our network. It creaks a little bit around the corners. We’ve got two NAS boxes, a bunch of Linux boxes (all patched, but some OS versions...
Well I’m putting my new ARX through the paces on my network, starting today with the base config and try number one at setting up the shares. This is an ARX 500, which is more than enough for our needs, and gives us a platform to start testing different ideas out on. To quote Lori whe...
Well, tmsh has been around for a while now, but the scriptable version and support for it here on DevCentral are relatively new. In fact, I just got the links to the parts of DevCentral last night, so that’s very new. I wrote about tmsh when it first came out in version 10.0, but with...
Funny thing happens when you start talking about things like inter-cloud standards, those who are looking at it from the IT guy’s perspective start to see issues that are as-yet unresolved. We have an excellent screencast on moving VMs between clouds, and Lori has written a ton about ...
Well, this is my “on vacation” blog, so I’ll keep it short. This holiday season I received a big box from our Data Solutions Group that I’m told contains an ARX for my play-time and will no doubt fill your reading time in the new year. Assuming you read my blog anyway ;-). Those guys ...
Yeah, I’ve been putting the baby to bed most nights lately, and yeah, that was a Goldilocks reference. In the slew of new versions and products that we’ve been talking about, I didn’t want you all to miss what is (to me) some of the biggest news this month – the ARX 2000 and DMOS 5.1. ...
As I said (at length) in this post, you can enhance your security with a file virtualization appliance. Lock down the NAS boxes so they can’t be accessed except from the IP of the appliance (a good idea anyway, if files are changing and the appliance doesn’t know it, well an ARX can fi...
If you’re an OEM user and an F5 customer, we’ve got an updated version of the OEM Grid Control Plug-in for BIG-IP in beta testing right now. It’s been in limited beta for a while, but we wanted to make certain that both TMOS 9.x and 10.x were supported before we talked about it publicl...
Well hello again! After a week off with H1N1 (don’t get it, you really won’t like it), and another week or two catching up, I’m finally back in the saddle and there’s plenty to talk about – some of it stuff I should have been talking about weeks ago. Today we’ll discuss the Deployme...
Okay, I know I haven’t been posting as much as normal for quite a while now… Trust me, I still have plenty to say, my mind has just been wrapped up in special projects and editorial calendars. Meanwhile, Pete Silva, one of our Technical Marketing Managers, has been out at Oracle Open ...