Monday, March 23, 2015

The 2015 Digital OS Company

Who will listen and who will not listen

See this table:

Will Not Listen
Will Listen
What a message should do to the listener
What the listener does with the message
The listener will  interpret what we say anyway
Listeners interpret  messages in ways which make  them feel comfortable and secure
Does the message attack heads-on the listeners attitudes?
Listener will defend and re-enforce any attitude we attack
We know the message is important
People will only pay attention to massages relevant to their circumstances and point of view.
Best listeners are the one have secure relationships
The best listeners are in insecure relationships
People will listen to us
People will listen to us, only if we listen to them
Simple communication will change people
People change if there is a combination of a new experience and communications
People may or may not accept change
People will more likely accept change if they are consulted before
Anyone, anywhere, anytime can deliver the message
The message will be interpreted in light of who delivers the message, when and where.
Make the message raise above our own internal conflicts
Communicators  must first reconcile their own internal conflicts and doubts in order to be effective

The Meetup-geekese style

The container companies  want to wow DevOps. And Developers, But
Most of the pitches I have seen  are in a meetup-geekese  style. Which is great, But with a few exceptions (like the CTO of Docker) no one container star bothered to do a final edit using the table above.
This is what we do in Ahrono Associates.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hard to use versus secure

Cisco Registered Encryption Service

Secure email

I received an encrypted email from the local government via Cisco Registered Encrypted Service (CRES). To open the attachment, one must read all this...

As a first time user (95% of the users are 1st timers) , I had to register a password, a password phrase (not the same as password) , three questions. I made a typo and I lost all information. I had to re-enter again all data, a very tedious activity I'd rather avoid. Then I had to check the email to get a  green light. After receiving the confirmation, I tried to open the attachment. I got an error message.

You must "download the message on your hard disk", it said. I did and then voila, I opened a pdf file telling me the same letter was in the snail mail. and I will get it soon.

Who are the users of this service? What do they feel?

They are low income and have basic, if any, computer skills. Did  Cisco applied an User Experience (UX) research to see whether the intended audience is able to cope to this mishmash? How someone applying for food stamps knows how to use a CRES encrypted email and put up with its  hotchpotch instructions? 

Make an application impossible to use, and yes, as no one can use it, the email is secure.

Secure versus Easy To Use

Making a secure application easy to use, does not diminish it's ability to protect the content. We can't force real people to use a badly UX designed security product, The app should adapt to people and not showing off a superiority complex, which is nothing by the visible face of stupidity

Saturday, March 14, 2015

AWS versus the New Joyent

Cassey Bisson, - the Joyent's Product Manager - latest blog,  Docker bake-off: AWS vs Joyent describes in details all elements that make the New Joyent Container Service a much better choice than the iconic virtual cloud leader, Amazon Web Services (AWS)..

His thorough analysis  shows,
  • Joyent does not need to create "clusters"  - as AWS does - in order to run Docker Containers
  • Joyent uses the native Docker API, -  instead of layering proprietary APIs on top - and 
    • It preserves the ability to develop and test the entire workflow on your laptops,
  • Joyent containers are running on bare metal container hypervisor, rather than inside a virtual machine, like AWS
    • They run faster with much higher I/O performance
  • Each Joyent container has an independent IP stack,
    • you'll no longer have to suffer the frustration of port conflicts.
  • The performance and security protections in Joyent's container hypervisor isolate every container from trouble in the containers nearby
  • ... and more, read Casey blog
This leads us to the following conclusions
  1. The New Joyent leaves AWS in the dust when running Docker containers. Joyent is much, much faster, more secure, easier to use and it costs less.
  2. AWS have years as market leaders, with the largest mind share in the cloud virtual servers, but not in running Docker containers.
  3. Joyent can run in the customer's data center and as a public cloud. AWS offers AWS public cloud only 
The last bullet requires some clarifications. Read below.

The new cloud  top executives expect

Large corporations are tired of the existing definitions of cloud
CloudExpo NY 2014: Moving Mission Critical Applications to the Cloud, by Kacy Clarke

According to Gartner 
By 2017, Web-scale IT will be an architectural approach found operating in 50 percent of global enterprises, up from less than 10 percent in 2013, according to Gartner, Inc. Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions..
Large multinational  corporations look at Facebook, Google, Amazon (the entire company, that includes AWS) and say. "Why can't we have a system like that in-house?" This mean transforming the Data Center in a modern industrial strength grade infrastructure that can be run like a factory to produce top-line revenues.

The executives want to adopt internally a cloud, to add velocity in software development, because for the majority of corporations today, software is at the heart of the business. They understand cloud is a superior solution, but they are reluctant to place the mission critical applications on someone's else public infrastructure.

They can go to Joyent and ask for their cloud and container software, that will run internally in a private data center, just as it runs on Joyent Public Cloud. AWS does not offer that at all.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Rescale and the Moore Law

This Wednesday March 11, 2015  the San Francisco High Performance Computing Meetup will host Joris Poort, CEO and Founder of Rescale.  He will talk about  Rescaling the Future of HPC and Simulation The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Geekdom SF, 620 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA (map

 The Moore Law

 The Moore Law is one term that should be on a first page of a booklet not yet written, The bluffer guide to performance computing, big data and cloud computing. Modeled from here.

So what is Moore Law? If you think you know the answer, you will be part of an elite. Most people don't.
  • Moore Law is a not a physical, or natural law. It is an observation, a conjecture .
  • Gordon Moore is credited in 1965 to say in a paper over the history of computing hardwarethe number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. 
  • The period is often quoted as 18 months because of Intel executive David House, who predicted that chip performance would double every 18 months (being a combination of the effect of more transistors and their being faster). number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years
  • The 2010 update to the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors predicted that growth will slow at the end of 2013,[15] however, when transistor counts and densities are to double only every three years.
In a previous presentation last month at San Francisco HPC meetup,  Dr, Horst Simon's  ( Usable Exascale and Beyond Moore's Law )  proved using TOP500 data, that Moore's law does not work anymore,

We must thank G-d that Moore Law stopped working. Now we realized  what we called  a law was sort of a casual observation. Gordon Moore larger-than-life personality - he was the founder of Intel - made us call this a lawIn retrospect, Gordon Moore created the most famous ever advertising blurb for hardware computer industry  We enshrined these empiric data to believe that bigger is better. It is a religion that affected our behavior, but now we will change.

Rescale significance

This San Francisco startup tries a different approach than adding and adding blindly transistors to an integrated circuit. They simply offer a platform via web and does not force a user computational intensive applications to buy Jurassic Park hardware.

Revolutionizing the HPC industry

The new breed of investors in San Francisco and Silicon Valley reshape the world. They change the car industry (Tesla, Apple), the taxi services (Uber), Big Data (Palantir) , currencies (bitcoin) so why not revolutionize HPC?

Joris Poort's company is a proof that this is happening. See Rescale investors These are the professionals who not only invest, they make history.

This is only the beginning. Other new HPC statups will follow.

 According to the Economist cover storyby 2020 80% of adults will have a supercomputer in their pocket.

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