Larry Hagman, also known as J.R. Ewing on the 1980’s primetime television show Dallas, passed away recently. J.R. was one of the great, original characters on a groundbreaking show – the real, original primetime soap opera. Dallas was the story of a Texas oil wildcatting family and J.R. was the ruthless tycoon. If you’ve never seen it, go get it on DVD or on demand.
It started as an April Fool’s joke in 1996 when Ross Callon drafted RFC 1925 “The Twelve Networking Truths.” The purpose of this RFC was to “provide information about the fundamental truths underlying all networks.” Though this started as a joke, it has some real nuggets of wisdom that apply as much today as when it was originally written. I’m also posting this as a video blog over the coming weeks where I will also be going into a few of these truths in more depth as they apply to our overall industry. (My first detailed video blog post will be related to truth No. 5.) As a reference, I’ve posted the 12 networking truths below. They can also be found here: (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1925). Continue reading →
I can remember spending time as a kid with my dad at work. He was the “Manager of Information Systems” (what we now call an IT guy) for an industrial construction company. The server room was loud, had a raised floor, a towering multi-head line printer that shook the room, and a massive IBM mainframe. There were dumb terminals built into the tabletops that ran the perimeter of the room and a punch card machine in a small separate room that overlooked the whole thing.
And there were people. Quite a few people doing data entry and managing the system and changing the reel-to-reel tapes. It definitely had the look of a pretty significant operation.
Over time, I saw that mainframe supplemented and then replaced by PC servers. The data entry people were replaced with software and automation. Before you knew it, remote construction sites needed modem-based access into the systems at the headquarters.
But this was a midsize company, and then, budgets were limited – just as they are now. Remote access was provided via programs like PC Anywhere coupled with consumer-type BBS software. Integration and migration of data between systems was done with homespun scripts backed by hours of me watching dad on the couch, debugging source code printed on green-lined paper. Continue reading →
A few months ago I wrote about how we were preparing to launch a new product at my company, one that was built around the idea of radical innovation – the kind of innovation that changes industries by changing the very foundation of the industries themselves. Not all innovations are like this, nor should they be. They are high-risk propositions but they are the kinds of innovations I like best because, success or failure, they are rooted in a core vision. And, I am a “vision” kind of guy.
Right now, I am sitting on a flight en route to the tradeshow at which we will launch this new product. The product is called the HC3. My company is Scale Computing. It’s a product that plays in the world of information technology infrastructure – the blinking lights and humming of a server room that is full of stuff. It’s a world that most of you probably don’t give two hoots about. But to me, it’s the world I grew up in.