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Lori MacVittie

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Latest Blogs from Lori MacVittie
Ask and ye shall receive – F5 joins Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Alliance to bring network automation to a Systems Center Operations Manager near you You may recall that last year Microsoft hopped into Infrastructure 2.0 with its Dynamic Datacenter Toolkit (DDTK) with the inten...
Just when you thought the misconceptions regarding cloud computing couldn’t get any worse…they do. We have, in general, moved past the question “what is cloud” and onto “what do I need to do to move an application to the cloud?” But the question “what is cloud” appears not to have...
Training your data center “muscle memory” will ensure that when the pressure is on your network will make all the right moves. If you’ve ever taken dancing lessons – or musical lessons – or tried to teach yourself to type you know that repetition is the key to success. Or as your ...
Salesforce and Google have teamed up with VMware to promote cloud portability but like beauty that portability is only skin deep. VMware has been moving of late to form strategic partnerships that enable greater portability of applications across cloud computing providers. The lates...
… where response time and speed are concerned, many businesses automatically assume Google.com- and Amazon.com-levels of performance from services such as Google App Engine and Amazon EC2, but this can be a mistake. -- ESJ, “Q&A: Managing Performance of Cloud-Based Applicat...
Most rational folks agree: public cloud computing will be an integral piece of data center application deployment strategy in the future, but it will not replace IT.image Just as Web 2.0 did not make extinct the client-server model (which did not completely eradicate the mainframe mod...
It’s been described on Twitter as “reading like a Greek tragedy” but then again, Novell’s interpretive reading of one of Hoff’s cloud security posts was describe in similar terms, so at least I’m in good company. Novell deserves kudos for this humorous set of “interpretive” readings ...
Almost every definition of cloud, amongst the myriad definitions that exist, include the notion of multi-tenancy, a.k.a. the ability to isolate customer-specific traffic, data, and configuration of resources using the same software and interfaces. In the case of SaaS (Software as a Ser...
In cloud computing environments the clock literally starts ticking the moment an application instance is launched. How long should that take? The term “on-demand” implies right now. In the past, we used the term “real-time” even though what we really meant in most cases was “near t...
Extending identity management into the cloud   The focus of several questions I was asked at Interop involved identity management and application access in a cloud computing environment. This makes sense; not all applications that will be deployed in a public cloud enviro...
In all versions of Dungeons and Dragons there is a nifty arcane spell for wizards called “Mirror Image.” What this nifty spell does is duplicates an image of the imagewizard. This is useful because it’s really hard for all those nasty orcs, goblins, and bugbears to tell which image is ...
If it were the case that a “dynamic infrastructure” was focused solely on issues of scalability then I’d have nothing left to write. That problem, the transparent, non-disruptive scaling of applications - in both directions – has already been solved. Modern load balancers handle such ...
The Internets are full of bad advice. Some is harmless, but some is downright dangerous, especially when it isn’t bad advice per se but rather shall we say, incomplete. Suggesting that you should only provide personal information to sites that use HTTPS is an example of the latter kind...
Or in modern technical terms, don’t throw the software out with the hardware Geva Perry recently questioned one of Gartner’s core predictions for 2010, namely that “By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets.” Geva asks a few (very pertinent) questions regarding this pre...
One of the benefits of cloud computing, and in particular IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is that the infrastructure is, well, a service. It’s abstracted, and that means you don’t need to know a lot about the nitty-gritty details of how it works. Right? Well, mostly right. While t...
I recently expounded on my disappointment with cloud computing services that fail to recognize that server metrics are not necessarily enough to properly auto-scale applications in “I Find Your Lack of Win Disturbing”. One of the (very few) frustrating things about working for F5 is ...
How should auto-scaling work, and why doesn’t it? Although “rapid elasticity” is part of NIST’s definition of cloud computing, it may be interesting to note that many cloud computing environments don’t include this capability at all – or charge you extra for it. Many providers offer ...
I spend a lot of time talking about generic application delivery solutions that can be implemented using just about any commercial – and in most cases open source – application delivery platform. Sometimes I write about solutions that could be implemented with a variety of technologies...
No, scalability may not be rocket science but it is computer science and not nearly as easy as it might appear In what might be considered an ironic statement, scalability in cloud computing environments is as much about decreasing capacity as it is increasing capacity. I know, p...
Apple’s latest “i” hit over a million sales in the first 28 days it was available. Combine that with sales of other Internet-abled devices like the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and other “smart” phones as well as the continued growth of Internet users in general (via cable and other br...
Back in the early days of networking (when the pipes were small and dumb) the concept of “Deep Packet Inspection” started to bubble up the network stack. Deep Packet Inspection describes the ability of a networking device to fully inspect an Ethernet packet; essentially it’s the abilit...
There’s a growing focus on PaaS (Platform as a Service), particularly as Microsoft has been rolling out Azure and VMware continues to push forward with its SpringSource acquisition. Amazon, though generally labeled as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is also a “player” with its Simpl...
I spent hours yesterday listening to folks talk about “infrastructure.” It’s a hot topic, to be sure, especially as it relates to cloud computing. After all, it’s a keyword in “Infrastructure as a Service.” The problem is that when most of people say “infrastructure” blackbox1it appear...
We have a brittle system underpinning the data center: the network. It’s brittle, yes. But it works. Thanks to years of tweaking and tuning and troubleshooting, it works. We know where everything is, and how everything interacts, and it works. It works well, in fact, now that we’ve got...
Everyone has likely seen the optical illusion of the vase in which, depending on your focus, you either see a vase or two faces. This particular optical illusion is probably the best allegorical image for IT and in particular cloud computing I can imagine. Depending on your focus with...
But Lori, what about SaaS (Software as a Service)? That’s cloud computing. Business users tap into that, don’t they? No, no they don’t. They tap into the software – that’s why it’s called Software as a Service and not Cloud Computing as a Service. The SaaS model also requires, necessar...
There have been many significant events over the past decade, but looking back these are still having a significant impact on the industry. Next week is Interop. Again. This year it’s significant in that it’s my tenth anniversary attending Interop. It’s also the end of a decade’s wo...
It’s all fun and games until application performance can’t be measured. We talk a lot about measuring application performance and its importance to load balancing, scalability, meeting SLAs (service level agreements) and even to the implementation of more advanced concepts like cloud...
Are you scaling applications or servers?  Auto-scaling cloud brokerages appear to be popping up left and right. Following in the footsteps of folks like RightScale, these startups provide automated monitoring and scalability services for cloud computing customers. That’s all well and...
My mother’s latest project is projected to be over-budget. Thanks to a change in the way projects are allocated she now has X dollars instead of Y hours. Her project needed 50,000 “IT” hours (yes, she actually did the quote thing with her fingers when she said that), but now it can on...
One of the side-effects of the rapid increases in compute power combined with an explosion of Internet users has been the need for organizations to grow their application infrastructures to support more and more load. That means higher capacity everything – from switches to routers to...
The biggest disadvantage organizations have when embarking on a “we’re going cloud” initiative is that they’re already saddled with an existing infrastructure and legacy applications. That’s no surprise as it’s almost always true that longer-lived enterprises are bound to have some “l...
It is true right now that for the most part, virtualization changes deployment of applications but not their development. Thus far this remains true, primarily because those with an interest imagein organizations moving to public cloud computing have reason to make it “easy” and painl...
Stateless applications may be the long term answer to scalability of applications in the cloud, but until then, we need a solution like sticky sessions (persistence) Amazon recently introduced “stickiness” to its ELB (Elastic Load Balancing) offering. I’ve written a bit about “stickin...
Long before human scientists figured out that DNA was the basic building block of everything living, philosophers spent long eons being satisfied with Plato’s (and his equally famous student Aristotle’s) explanation that there is some inherent “ness” in everything that makes it what it...
The future of application performance management is in real-time visibility, action, and integration. For a very long time now APM (Application Performance Management) has been a misnomer. It’s always really been application performance monitoring, with very little management occurri...
If we do it right, cloud interoperability could be as easy as a URL rewrite – a la API refactoring. Not kidding. Question is, can we do it right? Watching the emergence of a new technology is both fascinating and frustrating. In the case of cloud computing it’s fascinating to see the...
Think that your image heavy site won’t benefit from compression? Think again, because compression is not only good for image heavy sites, it might be better than for those without images. jetNEXUS has a nice post entitled, “What does Application acceleration mean?” Aside from complete...
I recently read a strategic article about how networks were getting smarter. The deck of this article claimed, “The app-aware network is advancing. Here’s how to plan for a network that’s much more than a dumb channel for data.” So far, so good. I agree with this wholeheartedly and sa...
The way some people talk about the “virtualization of the network” and how it’s necessary for cloud computing and automation and creating a flexible infrastructure you’d think that the transformation from physical form factor to virtual form factor was a magical one that conferred not ...