Posts Tagged ‘Rational Survivability’

SQUIRREL! I’m joining Cisco.

June 9th, 2009 10 comments

squirrel-xsmallFrom the Cisco Data Center Networks Blog:

So, for me, one of the best parts of working here at Cisco is the opportunity to work with some incredibly smart folks.  Today, I can add one more person to that group of folks—Christofer Hoff is joining the Cisco Data Center Solutions team.  Chris has built a solid reputation in the industry for domain expertise, forward thinking and incisive commentary blended with a healthy dose of wit.  I know Chris has the tenacity of a squirrel chasing an acorn, and I am personally quite pleased to welcome Chris to the team as I see he will add both depth and breadth to our efforts.  So, if you are not familiar with Chris, definitely check out his blog, Rational Survivability and you can also follow him on Twitter as @Beaker.

Thanks for the warm welcome, Omar.  I’m beyond psyched. Besides getting to work with some awesome friends, I finally get to hug a Nexus 7000.  Getting my fingers back in the pie with cutting-edge technology, partners and customers should translate into even more interesting things to discuss when appropriate.  I can’t wait.

To answer your question before you ask it: “Yes, Same blog time. Same blog channel. Now with extra datacenter fu.”


Categories: Career, Cisco Tags:

Google Gaffe – The Cloud Needs a Snuggie…Or a Wedgie

May 19th, 2009 No comments

snuggieBy now you’ve undoubtedly heard that Google had a little operational hiccup.  I particularly enjoyed Craig Labovitz’s (arbor) account of “The Great GoogleLapse

When a suite of services that account for a projected 5% of the entire Intertube’s traffic shits the bed, people pay attention.

Sometimes for the wrong reasons.

Conspiracy theories, rumors of the end of days and chants of “don’t trust the Cloud!” start to fly when operational issues such as the routing boo-boo that hit Google turn up.

The reality is that in the grand scheme of things, we should take the three salient points from this experience and move on:

  1. Cloud services — even those with the scale, maturity and operational track-record of Google — still depend on fundamentally weak, insecure and unstable infrastructure that is easy to screw up.
    This is the premise for my upcoming Black Hat talk titled “Cloudifornication: Indiscriminate Information Intercourse Involving Internet Infrastructure.”
  2. You ought to have a Plan B. That maybe difficult as it relates to Cloud-based SaaS application offerings and service which, by definition, tend to tie you to the platform/provider offering them.
  3. This isn’t going to stop anyone from moving to the Cloud.  It may give people pause and they may spend a few more cycles evaluating what Plan B might mean, but it also pushes the agendas of hybrid architectures like Google’s NaCl and client-side hypervisors for “off-line” Cloud goodness.  All in all, it’s a nice reminder, but Cloud goes on.

The economic lubricant provided by the Astro Glide that is Cloud is just too compelling. If someone hasn’t factored potential widespread outages from single-sourced providers, shame on them; that’s poor risk assessment.

Yes, we’ve got lots of attendant issues to solve when it comes to Cloud.  Many of them, I have so soapboxed, are the same ones we’ve had for a long while.  To those of us who recognize the Internet Cloud for what it is, Google’s outage was simply an opportunity to order another Hoffachino.

What doesn’t kill us makes us…just as insecure and potentially unavailable due to some monkey pushing the wrong button as we’ve always been.

Besides, now we know that outsourcing your traffic to China is the sux0r.

So chill.  Learn from this.  Use it to form rational arguments about how to deal with this sort of thing when it does happen — because it’s going to again, just like it always has.  Remember?

Worse comes to worse, may I suggest one of these — it is the cure for all your woes anyway, right?


The Cloud is to Managed Infrastructure as Guitar Hero is to Karaoke…

January 18th, 2009 2 comments

How many of your friends do you know that would never be caught dead at a karaoke bar belting out 80's hair band tunes and looking like complete tools? 

many of them are completely unafraid, however, to make complete idiots of themselves and rock out to the
same musical arrangements in front of total strangers because instead of "karaoke" it's
called "Guitar Hero" and runs on an XBox in the living room rather
than the "Tiki Room" on Wednesday nights?

With all the definitions of the Cloud and the vagaries associated with differentiated value propositions of each, folks have begun to use the phrases "jumping the shark" and "Cloud Computing" in the same breath.

For the sake of argument, if we boil down what Cloud Computing means in simpler and more familiar terms and agree to use rPath's definition (from Cloud Computing in Plain English) as an oversimplified example we get:


Where Cloud Computing is the convergence of 3 major trends:

Virtualization: Where applications are separated from infrastructure
Utility Computing: Server Capacity is accessed across a a grid as a variably priced shared service
SaaS: Applications are available on-demand on a subscription basis

Again, overly-simplified example notwithstanding, what's interesting to me — and the reason for the goofy title and metaphor associated with this post — is that with the popularity of "Cloud" becoming the umbrella terminology for the application of proven concepts (above) which harness technology and approaches we already have, we're basically re-branding a framework of existing capabilities and looking to integrate them better.

…oh, and make a buck, too.

That's not to diminsh the impact and even value of the macro-trends associated with Cloud such as re-perimeterization, outsourcing, taking cost of the business, economies of scale, etc., it's just a much more marketable way of describing them.

The cloud: a cooler version of Internet karaoke…


*Image of Triston McIntyre from ITKnowledgeExchange