January 16th, 2013 by Phillip Jaenke
So lately we’ve been talking about two of my favorite words, stability and resilience. And mostly how my stance is that you can’t have one without the other – because that’s been my experience, without exception. When you take away stability, the resilience goes away because multiple components fail in parallel. When you take away resilience, a single fault takes the whole thing out.
There’s an excellent discussion going on with myself, @jamesurquhart over here, some good stuff from @mthiele10 over here, and so on.
But the whole point of stability and resilience is availability. Because the fact is that availability is paramount to all, period, no exceptions. It doesn’t matter if you’re public facing like Netflix or it’s an internal application. If people can’t use it, it’s a doing nothing more than burning cash.
The idea that cloud somehow changes the equation is, in fact, completely false. Cloud doesn’t change these basic concepts – it changes how you achieve them. That’s all. Doesn’t matter if your solution is hosted or in house; if it’s down, it’s worthless. If it’s down regularly, it’s worthless. But to really understand things, first we need to understand availability and start debunking a lot of the traditional “enterprise” cruft that’s been wrong for as long as I’ve been in IT. (That’s a long time.)
Continue reading ‘Availability in the Modern World, Part 1′
December 13th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
So @AndiMann @jamesurquhart @f3ew and I have been having a bit of a discussion on Twitter regarding resilience, change control, deployment cycles and such and I really can’t fit my thoughts on the matter into 140 characters. It is a bit of a complicated topic, but not as complicated as folks keep saying in various outlets.
First of all, the most important thing to recognize is that almost any company pushing it as an OR rather than an AND is trying to sell you hardware, software or services. Period. That’s just a truism and it’s unavoidable and something they don’t like me calling them out on. Especially when I point out that they’re trying to sell you these things whether or not you actually need them. But come on – we all already know they’re going to do that.
But that’s not what we’re here to look at as much as the AND versus OR argument. There’s a lot of folks who have gone completely overboard with this idea that if you don’t do continuous deployment, you’re doing it wrong. And the simple fact of the matter is that they’re wrong. IT is not a zero sum game, nor is it strictly OR operations. Most organizations don’t want or need continuous deployment. And many organizations (e.g. Google who likes to break their infrastructure at the expense of paying customers and products) are doing it completely wrong. Continue reading ‘Stability + Resilience, not Stability | Resilience’
September 30th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
Another Oracle Open World keynote, another pack of lies from Larry Ellison. Bad enough that the still blind (dangit, why does my prescription have to suck so much?!) guy is actually writing a blog post about it. Before people start spreading more lies as truth. Mind, I’m not there, so this is an incomplete dismantling of the falsehoods. But there’s some real ugly ones.
And yeah, being a Sun guy for as long as I have been, well. I feel obligated to share the real facts of things, so folks aren’t reliant on spin, revisionism and unicorns.
August 27th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
I really still don’t know how to put into words the sadness I felt when I heard of Neil Armstrong’s passing. I can write 5000+ words about a storage system, over 3000 about a single game, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put into words what I felt and still feel.
People these days misuse and abuse the phrase ‘my hero.’ You know what a hero is? A “person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal”. Neil Armstrong has been my hero for pretty much my entire life. Often misquoted, Neil’s first words when he stepped on the moon were and have always been: “That’s one small step for “a” man, one giant leap for mankind.” Frankly, the grammar arguments are a pointless and stupid distraction. That’s what he said, and that’s what he meant.
He was just a man. The first man to set foot on another planet, but still just a man. He never pretended to be anything else. He never put on airs, pretended to be someone or something he wasn’t, or went seeking fame and glory. He didn’t go to the moon because he wanted to be famous. He did it because he earned a BS in aeronautical engineering from Purdue under the Holloway Plan. He went to the moon because it was the greatest engineering and technical challenge we had ever undertaken. He went to the moon not because of fame, not because of politics, but because he was the right man for the job.
Anyone who says Neil Armstrong was not the right man for the job, doesn’t know Neil Armstrong. He could have swapped Buzz Aldrin for fame-hound Lovell; he declined, saying that he felt Jim Lovell deserved his own command. He could have gone back to the moon. He could have had anything he wanted. Instead, he stepped aside so that others could shine.
Dozens, if not hundreds of companies sought Neil Armstrong as a spokesman – most failed. Chrysler succeeded because he believed they had a strong engineering division and wanted to help a company in financial difficulties. He never brought up the moon landing, he never brought up being an astronaut, and he became part of the research and development team.
To quote the man himself: “I’ve taken the position that, if the right situation came along, where I thought I could be of significant help .. and it would not jeopardize my honesty.” He was reputed to be a good businessman, but more importantly, an honest one.
He could have been famous; he could have parlayed that into a career in politics, in science, in anything at all he wanted. And that’s exactly what he did. He did what he wanted. When he was pressed by reporters about his lack of publicized appearances, he responded “[w]ell, I was pleased doing the things I was doing. That’s the sum and substance of it.”
He stopped giving autographs in 1994 when he found that people were selling them for large amounts of money and people were circulating forgeries. He sued Hallmark when they used his name without permission, and his barber when he tried to sell hair clippings. He settled both cases, refusing to accept any money for himself – every last cent went to charity.
He could have lived anywhere in the world. He could have made millions selling autographs and memorabilia. He could have had anything he wanted. Instead, he returned to Ohio. He lived quietly, privately, and modestly. He did what made him happy.
President Obama said he carried the aspirations of the entire United States on that fateful day in 1969; I refuse to accept that. Neil Armstrong was the living example of the aspirations, hopes, and dreams of the entire human race. He was the embodiment of the best our species has to offer. On July 21, 1969, he carried the hopes for every man, woman and child on this planet to the lunar surface. The flag he planted was American, but the footprints he left were for all mankind.
Space flight has never interested me, and probably never will. For me, it’s always been about the engineering challenges, thanks to him. The first computer system I properly engineered, I named “Eagle.” For Neil.
Neil Armstrong is my hero. He embodied all the qualities and ideals I aspire to myself. And he always will.
July 28th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
(Update’s at the bottom, so you can skip ahead.)
A corporate member of OpenStack basically threatened Shanley Kane, who had been nominated as an individual that happened to work for a company they apparently consider a competitor – though that’s speculation on my part. (It’s the most obvious motive, but we don’t know what their true motive is.) This member corporation apparently stated that they would block her nomination to the Individual Board, even though they had no ability to, unless she gave them detailed information about her employer’s plans to the organization making threats – basically, conducting corporate espionage in exchange for not interfering with the allegedly independent board election process.
That’s beyond shameful, and blatantly illegal – it’s called attempted blackmail. The fact that the company had the gall to do so speaks to a total lack of ethics and governance at the organization making these threats. As to OpenStack – there is no possible way I could or would support an organization which tolerates members of any sort using threats and intimidation to influence the decision making process. And the fact that any corporate member would feel they could conduct themselves in this way calls into question governance capability and ethics of the OpenStack Foundation itself. A question which must be answered if their legitimacy is to be preserved.
And we have no idea if this is the first time or the fifth time. How many other members have they blackmailed or threatened in order to get the result they want? How many other companies are doing this? This conduct MUST be investigated, to find out just how widespread it is, and how many decisions have been enforced or changed through these unethical means.
Unless I missed a memo, the whole point of the OpenStack Foundation individual board was to provide a body representative of the community, independent from the “Platinum” and “Gold” (sponsoring companies) to prevent undue or excessive influence from companies with more money. This incident would seem to indicate otherwise.
As a result, I have no choice but to recommend and request that all individuals and corporations demand external counsel be hired to investigate this matter, whether or not other decisions have been influenced in this manner, and that all OpenStack Foundation elections and nominations be halted pending the results of the investigation. If this incident is true (and I have no reason to disbelieve Shanley’s statements,) it must be determined how widespread it has been, corrective action must be taken, and the members who have engaged in this conduct must be expelled immediately, permanently, and publicly.
Folks have more or less been making a LOT of baseless accusations and slinging a lot of unjustifiable mud in Shanley’s direction because she has not publicly named the parties involved or said any more about it. First and foremost; this is in the hands of the lawyers. Why? Because there really is and was no choice in the matter. As Shanley has said: she’s cooperating with the OpenStack board as much as she’s able, and continuing to do so. That does not mean publicly naming the parties involved, nor are people entitled to that information.
Secondly, frankly, this is not a matter between the accused and Shanley, and never has been. There are four parties – Shanley Kane, the accused, OpenStack, and Shanley’s employer. Why? Because the allegations include a demand for proprietary information from her employer. That’s not a “personal” problem, even when standing for a position as an individual. That’s a corporate espionage problem. The kind of problem where if something gets leaked, stolen, or broken into? It can and will fall back on you if you don’t report it immediately. Forget losing your job – you will not only get sued out of existence, you will probably go to jail too.
Now are you going to tell me that if someone demanded you engage in corporate espionage against your employer, you wouldn’t immediately report it to HR? Hint: I worked at a company where corporate espionage was a real concern and had occurred before. Failing to report it meant you were A) fired immediately B) sued in civil court C) prosecuted criminally when possible D) the company allegedly requesting it got sued E) miscellaneous things like blacklisting to ensure you never work in the industry again. I know of absolutely no company out there that does not follow the same pattern.
So no. Nobody is entitled or owed anything beyond what Shanley has said publicly, and it would be incredibly unethical and irresponsible (and potentially slanderous) for Shanley or anyone else to go around naming names. The matter is under investigation, and in the hands of people who know how to do that the right way – as in lawyers who understand the law. Bashing her and making accusations that it’s “made up” or she’s lying because she’s not saying more is incredibly disrespectful and completely wrong; and the same goes for OpenStack. It would be absolutely unethical of them – and potentially illegal – to release the names of anybody involved until the investigation is completed. And that holds true regardless of the result.
So yes, I absolutely support the course of action OpenStack has taken and I applaud the board for their quick action. However, I am still troubled by the possibility that this is not an isolated incident – I do not know whether or not OpenStack is investigating this aspect; and obviously I will reserve judgment on the actions taken for when those actions are taken, and not before.
So knock the conspiracy theories the hell off and just be patient. Until proven otherwise, I believe that everyone involved is doing their best to resolve this in a fair and ethical manner, and to ensure it does not happen ever again. And there’s nothing more you can ask of them at this point.
June 20th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
Lately, some things have been said on Twitter about me and this blog which are, well, patently untrue. As in 100% false. I hate having to write posts like this because, frankly, I shouldn’t have to. (Nor should I have to get civil protective orders, but that’s another issue entirely and why I’ve been relatively quiet of late.) Most people know and understand my policies with regards to advertising and such, and I’ve always been open and honest about them. I could discard them as trolls and fools, but, you know what? I’m tired of people thinking they can just walk all over me, spread whatever lies they want, and I’m done feeling like I can’t speak my mind.
So let’s talk about the outright slanderous claims and statements made by people of late.
Firstly, HP doesn’t sponsor my blog and doesn’t provide any direct funding whatsoever. In fact, the most expensive thing I have received directly from HP is a nice polo shirt to commemorate an event – estimated retail value around $35. Maybe $40 since it’s embroidered. As I’ve mentioned on my disclosure page, the events I’ve attended are organized and arranged by Ivy Worldwide. I am not privy to the details, but my understanding is that HP arranges location and speakers, and Ivy selects attendees and arranges travel. HP might request specific people, but I honestly don’t know. I’m not part of the selection process other than occasionally being asked if there are other individuals I believe would benefit from attending certain events or web presentations.
Secondly, I don’t suck up to vendors, period. Never have, never will. What I write or don’t write actually has little to no bearing on whether or not I work with someone in the future. I only write about products and services relevant to my readers that I have a genuine interest in, based strictly on technology. In fact, there are HP events I have attended which I haven’t written much about outside of Twitter, for various reasons – usually because I didn’t see much value to my readers. The policy on these events has been set in stone for over two years now – attendees are free to write whatever they please without restriction (excepting embargo dates) or even to not write about something. The only actual requirements are attending, listening, and sometimes giving feedback on the events and speakers.
Third, I don’t receive any compensation beyond the aforementioned swag, and I wouldn’t accept it if it was offered. None of us do to my knowledge. We aren’t paid to write about these events, we aren’t paid to be positive, there’s simply no money changing hands at all. It’s the same policy almost everyone else has – generally, we accept travel, accommodations and meals. And we don’t fly first class, or stay at the Four Seasons either. (That isn’t to say we’re at Motel 6 – but it is to say that I spent my last vacation at a significantly more expensive hotel.) In exchange, we pay attention, consider, and write or don’t write as we see fit.
Fourth, people still don’t seem to get it. So let me spell it out. I have been there and I have done that. And in a lot of cases, I did it years before people even thought about it. Me disagreeing with you does not mean I am an idiot, jerk, or any of the things people have called me. It means chances are very good I’ve done it or I know what I’m talking about from research. I spend pretty much all my time learning anything I can get my hands on and my entire career has been spent way past the bleeding edge on technology. End result is that I am a skeptic, I am a realist, I know what businesses are actually looking for and where their concerns are, and I am beyond tired of hyping that I can see through – much less lies, doubly so those based on flawed research. I don’t always communicate what’s false, wrong, or foolish in writing – but I also don’t say anything if I don’t know. (Nor do I waste time on obviously foolish things.)
Fifth, I still maintain the same open door policy I always have. If you think you’ve got some sort of amazing breakthrough technology that I would be interested in or my readers would be interested in? Bring it! Seriously. I don’t care what vendor you are, where you’re located, or what the product is. If you think it’s interesting? Get in touch with me via Twitter or my contact form or email or phone or smoke signals and bring it to a web presentation or an event or loan me a review unit or produce a feature length film! See point four, wherein I explain that I spend a lot of my time learning. If you think your product is sufficiently interesting, then bring it.
And sixth and most importantly; I don’t have infinite bandwidth here. Which is part of why I absolutely hate having to write posts like this – they are a giant time waste. I am in the middle of starting a business and developing software here, after all. I do not have time to read every last circle-jerk press release, track 32 websites, trawl the web, pay attention to the latest feature updates, and then write about all of it. This is my personal blog; that means I only write about things that interest me personally, and that I think merit taking the time to write about. There are plenty of other blogs out there that you can and should read for stuff like “what VMware added in Update 1″ and “How To Shave Bananas In The Cloud.” Most of the things I don’t write about aren’t because I think it sucks, or it has massive flaws, or it’s stupid – it’s because I don’t have time or sufficient information, or because other people with more bandwidth already covered it better.
Crap like this leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Doubly so when I actually feel forced to write about it. And it’s flat out off the charts when it prevents me from writing the posts I want to. Which this has.
May 22nd, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
I’ve already invoked a meme and I haven’t even started writing (version 13) of this post, so you know it’s going to be good, right? Right. Seriously though. If you know anything about my relationship with x86, you know that the release of new processors and ‘generations’ of systems elicits at best, a very loud yawn from me.
Frankly, getting me excited about x86 takes a lot. If you bring your A game, I’m still going to yawn at you. I have been there, and done that, since I’ve been building x86 systems for 21 years. Frankly, you’re going to have to do better than “Hey look a terabyte of RAM!” I shipped two systems with 256GB – in 2006. So what the heck did HP pull out of their bag of tricks to actually get me excited? (Hint: it’s not the faceplates. Though they are sexy.)
Also, read on – or skip to the end – to take $300 off your HP Discover registration!
Continue reading ‘HP Gen8 Tech Day – YES I EXCITED.’
May 3rd, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
So, in case you missed it, here’s the story on Groklaw. It’s okay; I won’t take offense if you missed it. Not quite so many people have been paying attention to SAS v. WPL. So it goes.
This ruling is… a very bad idea. It is too broad. It takes away protections which are absolutely vital to driving innovation and invention. (And no, this is not contrary.) To describe the ruling as overly broad in a dangerous way is much like calling the ocean damp. And yes, I really do know what I’m saying and talking about here.
EDIT 05/25/2012: Hello all 10 of you from the cowardly post on G+; I guess a certain unjustifiably arrogant person figured I wouldn’t notice? But, I’ve invoked my Zero Tolerance For Those Wishing Me Harm policy. So consider the source and feel free to engage in reasonable – not religious – debate.
Continue reading ‘Blocking Copyright on APIs – Bad Idea.’
March 29th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
Note; significantly rewritten post. So, you know, please read again. I’m truly sorry about what I initially wrote – it was a stupid way to say things and I should know better than to write when I’m that angry.
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably noticed I got rather pissed off at someone the other night. Justifiably so. As @wilw says, “Don’t be a dick.” Well. A lot of people have been failing utterly. Not just one person – a lot. And I’m tired of feeling like a doormat and/or invisible.
Why? Because a lot of people have been saying things that are extremely offensive, whether or not they realize it. In this case, another person quite literally said that I, as in me personally, pretty much don’t deserve to live. Or to have any quality of life. While spreading ignorant, hurtful lies about the reality of the country we live in and how insurance works.
And yes, I’ve gone back and rewritten this post. Because the personal aspect of it, in hindsight, obliterated the message I actually wanted to send. Pobody’s nerfect, most especially of all not me. Especially when upset. And that’s on me, and I’m sorry.
Continue reading ‘You’re Just a Dick.’
February 27th, 2012 by Phillip Jaenke
Everyone already knows I love Synology. And those who have joined the growing list of Synology owners have quickly found out exactly why I love Synology so much. It’s not because I’ve joined a religion, or because they gave me free hardware (which they did in this case; full disclosure after all!) It’s because Synology really is the best tool not just for the job, but for many, many jobs.
Continue reading ‘The Synology DS1511+, or, Another Reason To Love Synology’