Archive For The “Ramblings” Category

Four DB2 Code Bases?

Four DB2 Code Bases?

Many years ago I worked on IBM DB2 and so I occasionally get the question, “how the heck could you folks possibly have four relational database management system code bases?” Some go on to argue that a single code base would have been much more efficient. That’s certainly true. And, had we moved to a…

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When You Can’t Afford Not to Have Power Redundancy

When You Can’t Afford Not to Have Power Redundancy

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport suffered a massive power failure yesterday where the entire facility except for emergency lighting and safety equipment was down for nearly 11 hours. The popular press coverage on this power failure is extensive but here are two examples: WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/power-outage-halts-flights-at-atlanta-international-airport-1513543883 (pay wall) CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/17/us/atlanta-airport-power-outage/index.html For most years since 1998, Atlanta International…

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Top 50 Corporate Revenue

Top 50 Corporate Revenue

This morning, I was thinking about Apple. When I got started in this industry in the early 80s, it was on an Apple II+ writing first in BASIC and later in UCSD Pascal. I thought Apple was simply amazing, so it was tough watching the more than decade of decline before Jobs rejoined. Our industry…

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Advice to Someone Just Entering Our Industry

Advice to Someone Just Entering Our Industry

This morning I’m thinking through what I’m going to say at the AWS re:Invent Conference next week and I suppose I’m in a distractable mood. When an email came in asking “what advice would you give someone entering the information technology industry in 2017?” I gave it some thought. This was my short take: Play…

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David Patterson Retires After 40 Years

David Patterson Retires After 40 Years

David Patterson has had a phenomenal impact on computer architecture and computer science over the last 40 years. He’s perhaps most notable for the industry impact of the projects he’s led over these years.  I first got to know his work back when the Berkeley Reduced Instruction Set Computer project started publishing. The RISC project…

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A Decade of Innovation

A Decade of Innovation

March 14, 2006 was the beginning of a new era in computing. That was the day that Amazon Web Services released the Simple Storage Service (S3). Technically, Simple Queuing Services was released earlier but it was the release of S3 that really lit the fire under cloud computing. I remember that day well. At the…

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Volkswagen Emissions Fiasco

Volkswagen Emissions Fiasco

I’m an avid reader of engineering disasters since one of my primary roles in my day job is to avoid them. And, away from work, we are taking a small boat around the world with only two people on board and that too needs to be done with care where an engineering or operational mistake…

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Data Center Power & Water Consumption

Data Center Power & Water Consumption

I’m Interested in data center resource consumption in general and power is a significant component of overall operating cost and also has impact on the environment so, naturally, it gets most of the focus when discussing data center resource consumption.  As with all real issues, there is always a bit of hyperbole and some outright…

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2014 ACM Turing Award

2014 ACM Turing Award

Academic researchers work on problems they believe to be interesting and then publish their results. Particularly good researchers listen carefully to industry problems to find real problems, produce relevant work and then publish the results. True giants of academia listen carefully to find real problems, produce relevant results, build real systems that actually work, and…

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Goodbye GoDaddy

Goodbye GoDaddy

Back in 2005, I maintained a blog accessible only inside of Microsoft where I worked at the time. Having the blog internal to the company allowed confidential topics to be discussed openly, but over time, I found much of what I was writing about might be useful externally. And I knew, if I wanted to…

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Why Renewable Energy (Alone) Won’t Fully Solve the Problem

Back in 2007, the audacious RE<C project was started. The goal of RE<C was simple: make renewable energy less costly than coal and let economics do the hard work of converting the worlds energy producers to go renewable. I blogged the project in Solving World Problems With Economic Incentives summarizing the project with “the core…

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Network Neutrality and the FCC Proposal to Abandon it

The internet and the availability of content broadly and uniformly to all users has driven the largest wave of innovation ever e experienced in our industry. Small startups offering a service of value have the same access to customers as the largest and best funded incumbents. All customers have access to the same array of…

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Air Traffic Control System Failure & Complex System Testing

It’s difficult to adequately test complex systems. But what’s really difficult is keeping a system adequately tested. Creating systems that do what they are designed to do is hard but, even with the complexity of these systems, many life critical systems have the engineering and production testing investment behind them to be reasonably safe when…

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The Power Failure Seen Around the World

In the data center world, there are few events taken more seriously than power failure and considerable effort is spent to make them rare. When a datacenter experiences a power failure, it’s a really big deal for all involved. But, a big deal in the infrastructure world still really isn’t a big deal on the…

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Amazon Event in Palo Alto (10/11@5pm)

The last few weeks have been busy and it has been way too long since I have blogged. I’m currently thinking through the server tax and what’s wrong with the current server hardware ecosystem but don’t have anything yet ready to go on that just yet. But, there are a few other things on the…

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Fun with Energy Consumption Data

Facebook recently released a detailed report on their energy consumption and carbon footprint: Facebook’s Carbon and Energy Impact. Facebook has always been super open with the details behind there infrastructure. For example, they invited me to tour the Prineville datacenter just prior to its opening: · Open Compute Project · Open Compute Mechanical System Design…

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