Bandwidth, Latency and Throughput, the Star Trek Way

June 26, 2014 2 comments

Okay, I know there are a lot of different explanations about how to describe these common components of networks (see, for instance, here, here, here, here, and here), but every once in a while I get a question about whether or not 40G will make things go “faster” in networks (often relating to FCoE and storage in general). Why write another one? I wanted to see how fast I could make this easy to understand.

Last night as I was trying to wind down to go to sleep, I had a brainstorm about an interesting visual (to me, at least) that might help explain some of the different concepts in moving data around. Your mileage may vary. Read more…

You Do Good Work

June 23, 2014 3 comments

keep-calm-and-keep-up-the-good-workThere is something I’ve been struggling with lately, trying to deal with some major issues of the pressure that comes naturally to a workaholic in high-stress environments. You may have been too; in fact a friend of yours may have sent you a link to this blog for one very important reason that you may have missed somewhere along the way:

You do good work. Read more…

Categories: Philosophy Tags: ,

Quick Take: Why Not the User-Defined Data Center?

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I’ve been struggling with names (or rather, the act of naming) recently. As I get more and more involved into the aspect of Data Centers and Programmability, trying to become more familiar in a world that remains considerably alien to me, I begin to struggle with some of the rather buzzword-laden (but ultimately vague) nomenclature:

  • Software-Defined Networks
  • Software-Defined Storage
  • Software-Defined Data Center

Yet, when you break down what each of these things mean, you start to realize that they become rather limited in what can actually be deployed. “Everything in software,” “Hardware means nothing,” “You need both hardware and software,” etc. Doesn’t this sideshow actually distract us from what we’re really trying to do?

thought we were simply trying to make deployments easier and more flexible. We keep hearing about “lock-in,” but what it really means is that we don’t want to be locked into our own decisions. In other words, we want to change our minds, adapt as necessary, and not have to build a whole new Data Center just because our technological crystal ball during the financial crises of 2008 and 2009 forced us to make choices that we now make us feel trapped.

What’s wrong with just a “User-Defined Data Center?” I mean, I’ve always been a huge proponent of using the right tools for the job, but why swap out one limitation (hardware-based) for another (software-based)? If I’m a Data Center user, don’t I just want it to work the way I want it to? After all, that’s what all this hype is supposed to be, anyway. It’s my equipment, my applications, I want to define it.

It seems to me that all this stuff about “software-defined” still wants to withhold the actual decision-making power from the user and keep it in the hands of those who create the software, rather than any real liberation from “lock-in,” which much of the marketing hype wants you to believe.

Just a quick take about nomenclature, nothing more. We now return you…

Categories: Uncategorized

OpenStack and Storage, a Response

May 29, 2014 3 comments
No Fibre Channel allowed?

No Fibre Channel allowed?

During the recent OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, GA, I wrote a blog on the Cisco blog site called “Thoughts on #OpenStack and Software-Defined Storage,” arguing for the need to avoid reinventing the wheel when it comes to Software-Defined X and storage. My very good friend Stephen Foskett wrote a (fair and excellent) response, entitled Why OpenStack Doesn’t Need Fibre Channel Support.

Stephen’s argument, essentially, is that Fibre Channel, and the conventional IT that it represents, do not really have a place in the Open systems, such as the OpenStack ecosystem. Thing is, I think Stephen’s argument is a little too late. The cat has left the barn, and the genie has been let out of the toothpaste tube, the train has left the gate. Or something to that effect. Read more…

Willys Jeep: Axle and Frame Reassembly

For much of this project there has been a lot of “one step forward, two steps back,” especially when it comes to things like brakes and suspension for Porkchop. My exasperation was mitigated a bit, however, when I made some excellent progress within a two weeks time with the help of my wife and a friend. In the short video below (no audio), you’ll see as we carefully reassembled the axles to the wheels, and then the axle assembly to Badger’s frame.

All in all, progress is a very satisfying motivation. As usual, there are before/after shots too.

Willys Jeep: Quick and Dirty Axle Before-and-After


4002fae2e65d57bdc33cf21c97631e69_largeI don’t have a lot of time, so this is going to be a pure photo extravaganza. Just brought the Badger’s axles back from the restorers. Due to time constraints I haven’t even had the chance to take them off the trailer yet. I’ll write more about that later. For now, though, here are the comparisons for the axles after they’ve been restored, powder-coated. This is only the rear axle, but I’ll take pictures of the front soon. Read more…

Categories: Jeep Tags: , , ,

Willys Jeep: Porkchop’s Clutch Arm Problem

April 25, 2014 6 comments
Problem area

Problem area

This is a quick and dirty post to describe a particular problem that I’m having.

Part of what I have to do when replacing the master cylinder (that is, converting it to a dual master cylinder (MC) from the original single reservoir, making it safer) on the M38A1 (affectionately named Porkchop) is disassemble the pedal assembly bracket and modify it a bit so that the new MC can fit onto the frame.

I’ll likely revise this post in the future to describe what that process has been like, but I need to ask a question right now and see if anyone knows the answer to it. Read more…

Categories: Jeep Tags: , , ,
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