So… I started an MBA

October 20th, 2013 • no one likes this


Not a light (… or cheap) decision.

Took a few years to think about it – but finally made the leap. Am now enrolled in the Executive MBA at Read more »

How AWS taught SSD’s to sprint the marathon with DynamoDB

July 2nd, 2012 • no one likes this

Graham spends a lot of his time tuning and finding the cause of performance issues on some of the largest WebSphere Portal installations. Inevitably during our recent conversation we turned the topic to SSD’s, and performance considerations of database workloads atop.

• dynamo db ssd screen-grab

Interestingly the most visible SSD proponent and database service is none other than Amazons AWS service DynamoDB. Launched earlier this year, a database service which can be scaled at the turn of the knob, whilst offering performance, availability and the NoSQL feature-set. Considering the whole premature klonking-out with small-block, highly-randomised IO that hits the SSD controllers, you’d think a very ambitious undertaking. Read more »

Cloud Bursting, a reality check

April 18th, 2012 • no one likes this

Working with a heavily enterprise-led customer base, I was excited to see an article looking specifically at how large corporates can extend their workloads into the cloud, within the industry this is commonly referred to as cloud bursting and unicorn spotting.

Last night I read a post by Aditya over at Savvis that looks at “horizontal application scaling into the cloud”, and what such a solution will encompass.

I take an issue not with the article, but the concept itself in the current incarnation when its applied to the area of enterprise applications. Read more »

NAND is dead, long live NAND

March 27th, 2012 • no one likes this

A question was raised internally the other night, specifically looking at the balance between performance and reliability of NAND devices; asked as a result of a paper titled “The Bleak Future of NAND Flash Memory”. I must admit, sensationalism and geek link-bait executed to perfection.

• Endurance vs Performance vs FTL Capability

The paper, written by Laura M. Grupp, John D. Davis and Steven Swanson does make some very valid points, and more importantly it is backed with Read more »

Measuring NAND Longevity

March 3rd, 2012 • no one likes this

No secret that NAND/Flash/SSD drives are fundamentally different to their spinning cousins. Yet given the relative lack of high-visibility maturity of NAND technologies within the enterprise, adoption of standards has yet to proliferate. Specifically around the determination of failure rate.

When we start looking at availability of mechanical drives or most components inside a server, we first refer to the MTBF.

The consumer-grade disks are generally rated at several thousand hours, whereas enterprise-grade drives typically see 1.3million+ hours of operation.

Due to the differences between spinning Read more »

Lima, a day with zë Germans

October 9th, 2011 • no one likes this

That wonderful feeling of someone rummaging within the room when you’re trying to sleep is further enhanced by small whispers in a foreign language. None other than the smoothest to the ear, like a broken chainsaw – German.

• Happy Germans | Nora + Christoph

As my eyes were pried open, I uttered a somewhat able ‘hola’ to the newly found adjacent bunk-bed companions. To which one of them nicely reciprocated – “You look damaged”. Now that’s how you say “hello”! Read more »

Meat me at the Torres refugio on a horse

September 21st, 2011 • 2 responded. You?

According to the local coffee shops raggy edition of the Lonely Planet’s “Chile”, Torres Del Paine has approximately 100,000 flower tramplers per year. An astounding number of wide-eyed gringos for any destination.

• 3 amigos discussing Patagonia over some Calafate Sours

Especially if you consider that the main walk[s] consist of half a dozen variations to a set track, the paths themselves in most places are no more than 1m in width. Pushing through a hundred smelly backpackers as you traverse the peaks of this beautiful terrain would be a horrible horrible thing … that’s why the best time to visit is pre-season! (shh. . don’t tell anyone) Read more »