In almost anything that you read about Cloud Computing, the statement that it is ‘nothing new’ is usually made at some point. The statement then goes on to qualify Cloud Computing as a cumulative epiphenomenon that more so serves as a single label to a multi-faceted substrate of component technologies than it does to a single new technology paradigm. All of them used together comprise the constitution of what could be defined as a cloud. As the previous statement makes apparent the definition is somewhat nebulous. Additionally, I could provide a long list of the component technologies within the substrate that could ‘potentially’ be involved. Instead, I will filter out the majority and focus on a subset of technologies that could be considered ‘key’ components to making cloud services work.
If we were to try to identify the most important component out of this substrate, most would agree that it is something known as virtualization. In the cloud, virtualization occurs at several levels. It can range from ‘what does what’ (server & application virtualization) to ‘what goes where’ (data storage virtualization) to ‘who is where’ (mobility and virtual networking). When viewed as such, one could even come to the conclusion Continue reading
These days there is much discussion whether switches or routers should be built with proprietary custom ASICs or standard “merchant silicon” chips. At one level, the question is “Why does it matter?” After all, networking vendors have been building custom silicon chips since the invention of the LAN switch in the early ’90s.
In my own career, I have led the development of several generations of very high volume network switch silicon. However, even I could not design better silicon switch chips than what is available now on the merchant market. To me this is an inflection point for the industry that is not unlike what happened in the computer industry with the adoption of industry standard architectures.
While CPU and switch silicon architectures differ in many ways, the underlying economics are very similar. In the 1980s and 1990s, CPU architectures flourished: there were MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, ARM, and X86. Each architecture staked out their position in the market. The RISC architectures led the server market with 64-bit addressing and multi-processing capability, and also focussed on embedded applications. X86 was the standard for desktop computers. However as the years passed, most of the volume growth in the market has Continue reading
My file server is full and I have no options for expanding it. The server is a white box system running FreeBSD with a hardware RAID card and 400GB of RAID-5 storage. The hardware is old, the hard drives are old and I can't expand it. It's time for something new.
Olive refers to a regular PC that's running Juniper Networks’ JUNOS software. Juniper developed Olive early on so they could perform testing of JUNOS during development. These days Olive is deprecated in favor of cheap, low-end M and J-series routers.