Sorry, Stuff the Internet Says has been called on the account of a power outage. Gods of rain and tree have interfered with thee. Instead, how about watching a little Python? (that's Monty, not the language)
While certainly not in the same class as Hilarious Video: Relational Database vs NoSQL Fanbois or NSFW: Hilarious Fault-Tolerance Cartoon, this parody does have some really good moments:
Ivan Pepelnjak, in his short and information packed REDUNDANT DATA CENTER INTERNET CONNECTIVITY video, shows why networking as played at the highest levels is something you want to leave to professionals, like a large animal country vetenarian delivering a stuck foal at 2AM on a dark and stormy night.
There are always a lot questions about the black art of building redundant datacenter networks and there's a shortage of accessible explanations. What I liked about Ivan's video is how effortlessly he explains the issues and tradeoffs you can expect in designing your own solution, as well as giving creative solutions to those problems. A lot of years of experience are boiled down to a 17 minute video.
Ivan begins by showing what a canonical fully redundant datacenter would look like:
It's like an ark where everything goes two by two...
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Several weeks ago, we came into the office one morning to find every server alarm going off. Pixel log processing was behind by 8 hours and not making headway. Checking the logs, we discovered that a big client had come online during the night and was giving us 10 times more traffic than we were originally told to expect. I wouldn’t say we panicked, but the office was certainly more jittery than usual. Over the next several hours, though, thanks both to foresight and quick thinking, we were able to scale up to handle the added load and clear the backlog to return log processing to a steady state...
Imagine if you will that car rental agencies rented cars like programmers are hired at many software companies...
Agency : So sorry you had to wait in the reception area for an hour. Nobody knew you were coming to today. I finally found 8 people to interview before we can rent you a car. If we like you you may have to come in for another round of interviews tomorrow because our manager isn't in today. I didn't have a chance to read your application, so I'll just start with a question. What car do you drive today?
Applicant : I drive a 2008 Subaru.
Agency : That's a shame. We don't have a Subaru to rent you.
Applicant : That's OK. Any car will do.
Agency : No, we can only take on clients who know how to drive the cars we stock. We find it's safer that way. There are so many little differences between cars, we just don't want to take a chance.
Applicant : I have a drivers license. I know how to drive. I've been driving all kinds of cars for 15 years, I am sure I can adapt.
Agency : We appreciate your position, but we can only take exact matches. Otherwise, how could we ever know if you could drive one of our cars?
Click below to see how the story ends, but you probably already know the ending...
Colin Scott, a Berkeley researcher, updated Jeff Dean’s famous Numbers Everyone Should Know with his Latency Numbers Every Programmer Should Know interactive graphic. The interactive aspect is cool because it has a slider that let’s you see numbers back from as early as 1990 to the far far future of 2020.
Colin explained his motivation for updating the numbers:
The other day, a friend mentioned a latency number to me, and I realized that it was an order of magnitude smaller than what I had memorized from Jeff’s talk. The problem, of course, is that hardware performance increases exponentially! After some digging, I actually found that the numbers Jeff quotes are over a decade old
Since numbers without interpretation are simply data, take a look at Google Pro Tip: Use Back-Of-The-Envelope-Calculations To Choose The Best Design. The idea is back-of-the-envelope calculations are estimates you create using a combination of thought experiments and common performance numbers to a get a good feel for which designs will meet your requirements.
And given most of these measures are in nanoseconds, to better understand the nanosecond you can do no better than Grace Hopper To Programmers: Mind Your Nanoseconds! 11.8 inches is the length of wire that light travels in a nanosecond, a billionth of a second.
Colin's post inspired some great threads On Reddit and On Hacker News. Here are some I found particularly juicy:
To the idea that these numbers are inaccurate Beckneard counters:
An inevitable part of disaster recovery planning is making sure customer data exists in multiple locations. In the case of LogicMonitor, a SaaS-based monitoring solution for physical, virtual, and cloud environments, we wanted copies of customer data files both within a data center and outside of it. The former was to protect against the loss of individual servers within a facility, and the latter for recovery in the event of the complete loss of a data center.