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Lori MacVittie

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Latest Blogs from Lori MacVittie
With just a few clicks you, too, can create a cloud computing environment. But if you’re like a lot of organizations, you may not know what to do with it after that. The latest version of Ubuntu Server (9.10) includes the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), which is actually powered by Eu...
Cloud computing is, at its core, about using resources in the most operational and financially efficient manner possible. It’s about spreading resources around and sharing them to achieve greater scalability with fewer investments in hardware and software. But what if you aren’t moving...
Paul Miller, who pens Cloud of Data, had an interesting perspective during a chat this week on what effect infrastructure upgrade cycles might have on cloud computing adoption. Paul postulated that as these servers fail and organizations have to make the decision to replace or not repl...
Vertical scalability used to require optimizations inside the application, at the code level. Cloud computing changes the nature of vertical scalability and, one hopes, will lead to a new model of scalability based on the capabilities of Infrastructure 2.0 and increasingly granular res...
There is a common myth that the reason legacy code continues to run in businesses around the world is that no one understands it; that IT and businesses are afraid to replace it because they don’t know what it does. Once again, living in the mainframe capital of the world (the insur...
“Where are you storing your data these days,” he asked casually after trying to come up with a better opening line but failing. “Ah, dahhling,” she drawled while gesturing in no particular direction with an almost deprecating wave of her hand. “The Cloud, where else?” Thanks to the...
IMAGE CREDIT: DANIEL PENNEY Everyone has surely experienced the frustration of an overloaded desktop/laptop. You’ve just got too many apps open at one time and the performance of your machine has been slowly degrading to the point where you can select an application from the ...
There seems to suddenly be a lot of focus on “data” and the ability for users consumers to pack up their data and take it wherever they want. Except for people attached to their i-Thing. I think users of i-Things were approached about the concept but were unable to get past the revelat...
Mobile devices may still be somewhat awkward in terms of supporting rich, web-based applications but they are leaps and bounds ahead of most infrastructure in their ability to figure out where you are. GeoLocation technologies used to be used by load balancing solutions to address po...
The notion of Elastic Load Balancing, as recently brought to public attention by Amazon’s offering of the capability, is nothing new. The basic concept is pure Infrastructure 2.0 and the functionality offered via the API has long been available on several application delivery controlle...
A lack of ability in the cloud to distinguish illegitimate from legitimate requests could lead to unanticipated costs in the wake of an attack. How do you put a price on uptime and more importantly, who should pay for it? A “Perfect Cloud”, in my opinion, would be one in which the cl...
One of the benefits of Infrastructure 2.0 is connectedness: the ability to collect and share pertinent data regarding the health and performance of applications and infrastructure services. Based on that data a dynamic infrastructure can adapt on-demand and make decisions that respect ...
Cloud offers an appealing “pay only for what you use” that makes it hard to resist. Paying on a per-usage hour basis sounds like a good deal, until you realize that your site is pretty much “always on” because of bots, miscreants, and users. In other words, you’re paying for 24x7x365 u...
Spectacular “cloud” failures over the past few weeks have raised the hue and cry for portability and interoperability across clouds for data.The problem is that the cry is based on the false assumption that a “cloud service” is the same as an “application service.” Apparently Microso...
When an admin brags they can do some task with their eyes closed there may be hidden process inefficiencies that orchestration can uncover. But the orchestration in a public cloud is effectively done for you, with little opportunity to design based on your organization’s operational pr...
The term “Infrastructure 2.0” seems to be as well understood as the term “cloud computing.” It means different things to different people, apparently, and depends heavily on the context and roles of those involved in the conversation. This shouldn’t be surprising; the term “Web 2.0” is...
Remember at trade shows oh, a few years back now, the “hot” vendor swag was 256MB USB keys. I’m sure many of you spent time trying to collect them as fervently as kids collect Pokeman cards (or whatever the CCG du jour may be). Just a few years later you’d have laughed if someone offe...
The problem of AJAX, interstitial request patterns, and the effect on the performance and availability of your applications. There are several reasons why applications need to be scaled out but they all come down to essentially addressing the same core problem: resource consumption. ...
A question I often hear is “Why don’t you just move load balancing/application delivery into a virtual appliance model?” My answer is almost always “That’s the wrong question.” The question that should be asked is “What are the potential impacts to the infrastructure and application?” ...
Steve (apparently yes, we are on a first name basis) offers up his thoughts on developing APIs for the Cloud in “A Cloud Tools Manifesto.” While the inclusion of the word “manifesto” in the title raised quite the stir (“Manifestogate” is still fresh on the minds of many cloud-oriented ...
won’t disagree with the assessment of Ubuntu and its current state of maturity. It’s very nice, and I’m enjoying it immensely on my new laptop for a multitude of reasons and Don and I have always insisted that our children run a Linux distribution on their laptops just to minimize the ...
There are few things in reality that can match The Gazebo in its ability to evoke fear and suspicion amongst gamers. The links on your web site may be one of them. In the history of Dungeons and Dragons there exists the urban legend known to all as “The Gazebo.” The Gazebo, over the...
Are you monitoring the network, servers, stack, or the application? The answer may mean the difference between your application being available or not. One of the biggest problems with moving away from simple load balancing to application delivery is that network teams don’t often ge...
I won’t argue the private cloud comment. Really, I won’t because what’s important is the reminder that cloud isn’t the only way to realize operational efficiencies in data center architectures. This is important because not all applications are going to be able to move to “cloud” – whe...
If one of the drivers for moving to cloud-based applications is reducing costs, you should think twice about the placement of application security solutions. There’s almost no way to avoid an argument on this subject so I won’t tiptoe around it: web application security in the cloud ...
Infrastructure 2.0 requires collaboration. Collaboration requires the ability to communicate. The ability to communicate requires integration. But how that integration will happen may shape the future of infrastructure and network architecture. There is a growing recognition of th...
Every year a variety of application delivery vendors sit around, wringing their hands, waiting for Gartner to release its latest Magic Quadrant for Application Delivery Controllers. No matter how much weight you personally put on Gartner’s – or any other analyst firms’ – opinion on the...
Back in the day when I was actually allowed to write code for customers the pat answer to any code being returned from QA because of problems was a flat “but it works on my machine.” Alright, alright, I’ll be honest; it wasn’t flat at all, it usually a plaintive whine. This isn’t an un...
Load balancing and application delivery is almost always associated with scaling out interactive, web-based applications. Rarely does anyone think about load balancing and application delivery in batch processing systems even when those systems might be critical to the business they ar...
Understanding the various types of load balancing When someone says “load balancing” the immediate reaction is usually to think of pools of servers and applications being load balanced to provide high-availability for massive sites like Amazon or Google or Facebook. But there’s a cou...
Isolation of resources in “the cloud” is moving providers toward hosted data centers and away from shared resource computing. Do we need to go back to the future and re-examine mainframe computing as a better model for isolated applications capable of sharing resources?  James Urquha...
There’s more than one way to address the rapid rate of change in infrastructure supporting a dynamic environment. We spend a lot of time talking about how software and systems and standards are the ultimate solution to addressing the rapid rate of change in the association between ap...
Commoditized from solution to feature, from feature to function, load balancing is no longer a solution but rather a function of more advanced solutions that’s still an integral component for highly-available, fault-tolerant applications. Unashamed Parody of Monty Python and the ...
AJAX enables the use of network-side scripting enabled application delivery solutions to offload client-side functionality and improve capacity and performance of dynamic (Web 2.0/AJAX) applications. In the last couple of weeks I’ve embarked on a home project to rewrite – from scratch...
Are you load balancing servers or applications? Network traffic or application requests? If your strategy to application availability is network-based you might need a change in direction (up the stack).           Can you see the applicati...
Sharing is core to a successful cloud implementation but not something every organization does well. How do you encourage business stakeholders to play well with others? In most definitions of “cloud computing” there lies a central, key component: shared resources. It is the sharin...
Infrastructure 2.0 is not just about automation, but rather is about the orchestration of processes, which are actually two different things: the former is little more than advanced scripting, the latter requires participation and decision making on the part of the infrastructure invol...
A new law signed into effect in February 2009 requires that health care providers and organizations subject to HIPAA notify affected customers in the event of a breach affecting more than 500 records. There was very little discussion of this new requirement in the blogosphere which wa...
There is no reason in a modern web application for users to see a white error page Sightings of the Twitter “fail whale” are, these days, fewer and far between. That’s a good thing. What’s interesting is that when it does show up, users are almost amused – as if they’re glad to see an...
Leveraging Java EE and dynamic infrastructure to enable a shared resource, on-demand scalable infrastructure – without server virtualization Many pundits and experts allude to architectures that are cloud-like in their ability to provide on-demand scalability but do not – I repeat do ...