Early (very early, in fact) in the rise of SDN there were many discussions
around scalability. Not of the data plane, but of the control (management)
plane. Key to this discussion was the rate at which SDN-enabled network
devices, via OpenFlow, could perform “inserts”. That is, how many times
per second/minute could the management plane make the changes necessary to
adjust to the environment.
It was this measurement that turned out to be problematic, with many
well-respected networking pundits (respected because they are also
professionals) noting that the 1000 inserts per second threshold was far too
low for the increasingly dynamic environment in which SDN was purported to be
That was years ago, when virtualization was still the norm. Certainly the
scalability of SDN solutions has likely increased, but so too has the
environment. We’re now moving in... (more)
Scaling things seems like such a simple task, doesn’t it? Open a new
checkout line. Call a new teller to the front. Hire another person.
But under the covers in technology land, where networking standards rule the
roost, it really isn’t as simple as just adding another “X”. Oh, we try
to make it look that simple, but it’s not. Over the years we (as in the
industry ‘we’) have come up with all sorts of interesting ways to scale
systems and applications within the constraints that IP networking places
One of those constraints is that physical (L2) and logical (L3) addresses... (more)
I’m not going to start with a reminder of how important app performance is.
Let’s just all agree we already know this as the first app economy axiom
and get on with the post payload. Actually, I know this is true because
I’ve watched a staggering increase in the past year in use of web
acceleration services including techniques like compression.
That’s why today’s ops briefing focuses on app performance and brings to
your attention two emerging efforts (yes, both from Google, are you
surprised?) designed to help you obey the first app economy axiom.
The first one, AMP (A... (more)
Developers are often caught between a rock and a hard place. They aren’t
allowed to employ the tricks of the trade that can squeeze more performance
out of their code because the consequences – technical debt stemming from
impaired maintainability - are generally considered even worse. It’s not
appropriate, for example, to use bit-shifting techniques to do simple
multiplication because while it might be milliseconds faster, it isn’t
always universally understood and thus can cause issues with long-term
While we (developers) like to joke that “if it was hard to w... (more)
Software is eating the world. Everywhere you look there's an app for that.
And I'm talking everywhere - including places and activities that maybe there
shouldn't be an app for. No, I won't detail which those are. The Internet is
your playground, I'm sure you can find examples.
The point is that software is eating not just the world of consumers, but the
world of IT.
While most folks take this statement to mean that everything in IT is
becoming software and the end of hardware is near, that's not really what
it's saying. There has to be hardware somewhere, after all. Compute and ... (more)