|By Don MacVittie||
|December 26, 2012 11:00 AM EST||
Knowing what to test is half the battle. Knowing how it was tested the other. Knowing what that means is the third. That’s some testing, real clear numbers.
In most countries, top speed is no longer the thing that auto manufacturers want to talk about. Top speed is great if you need it, but for the vast bulk of us, we’ll never need it. Since the flow of traffic dictates that too much speed is hazardous on the vast bulk of roads, automobile manufacturers have correctly moved the conversation to other things – cup holders (did you know there is a magic number of them for female purchasers? Did you know people actually debate not the existence of such a number, but what it is?), USB/bluetooth connectivity, backup cameras, etc. Safety and convenience features have supplanted top speed as the things to discuss.
The same is true of networking gear. While I was at Network Computing, focus was shifting from “speeds and feeds” as the industry called it, to overall performance in a real enterprise environment. Not only was it getting increasingly difficult and expensive to push ever-larger switches until they could no longer handle the throughput, enterprise IT staff was more interested in what the capabilities of the box were than how fast it could go. Capabilities is a vague term that I used on purpose. The definition is a moving target across both time and market, with a far different set of criteria for, say, an ADC versus a WAP.
There are times, however, where you really do want to know about the straight-up throughput, even if you know it is the equivalent of a professional driver on a closed course, and your network will never see the level of performance that is claimed for the device.
There are actually several cases where you will want to know about the maximum performance of an ADC, using the tools I pay the most attention to at the moment as an example. WAN optimization is a good one. In WANOpt, the goal is to shrink the amount of data being transferred between two dedicated points to try and maximize the amount of throughput. When “maximize the amount of throughput” is in the description, speeds and feeds matter. WANOpt is a pretty interesting example too, because there’s more than just “how much data did I send over the wire in that fifteen minute window”. It’s more complex than that (isn’t it always?). The best testing I’ve seen for WANOpt starts with “how many bytes were sent by the originating machine”, then measures that the same number of bytes were received by the WANOpt device, then measures how much is going out the Internet port of the WANOpt device – to measure compression levels and bandwidth usage – then measures the number of bytes the receiving machine at the remote location receives to make sure it matches the originating machine. So even though I say “speeds and feeds matter”, there is a caveat. You want to measure latency introduced with compression and dedupe, and possibly with encryption since WANOpt is almost always over the public Internet these days, throughput, and bandwidth usage. All technically “speeds and feeds” numbers, but taken together giving you an overall picture of what good the WANOpt device is doing. There are scenarios where the “good” is astounding. I’ve seen the numbers that range as high as 95x the performance. If you’re sending a ton of data over WANOpt connections, even 4x or 5x is a huge savings in connection upgrades, anything higher than that is astounding.
This is an (older) diagram of WAN Optimization I’ve marked up to show where the testing took place, because sometimes a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. And yeah, I used F5 gear for the example image… That really should not surprise you .
So basically, you count the bytes the server sends, the bytes the WANOpt device sends (which will be less for 99.99% of loads if compression and de-dupe are used), and the total number of bytes received by the target server. Then you know what percentage improvement you got out of the WANOpt device (by comparing server out bytes to WANOpt out bytes), that the WANOpt devices functioned as expected (server received bytes == server sent bytes), and what the overall throughput improvement was (server received bytes/time to transfer).
There are other scenarios where simple speeds and feeds matter, but less of them than their used to be, and the trend is continuing. When a device designed to improve application traffic is introduced, there are certainly few. The ability to handle a gazillion connections per second I’ve mentioned before is a good guardian against DDoS attacks, but what those connections can do is a different question. Lots of devices in many networking market spaces show little or even no latency introduction on their glossy sales hand-outs, but make those devices do the job they’re purchased for and see what the latency numbers look like. It can be ugly, or you could be pleasantly surprised, but you need to know. Because you’re not going to use it in a pristine lab with perfect conditions, you’re going to slap it into a network where all sorts of things are happening and it is expected to carry its load.
So again, I’ll wrap with acknowledgement that you all are smart puppies and know where speeds and feeds matter, make sure you have realistic performance numbers for those cases too.
The Whole Bare Metal Blog series:
- Bare Metal Blog: Introduction to FPGAs | F5 DevCentral
- Bare Metal Blog: Testing for Numbers or Performance? | F5 ...
- Bare Metal Blog: Test for reality. | F5 DevCentral
- Bare Metal Blog: FPGAs The Benefits and Risks | F5 DevCentral
- Bare Metal Blog: FPGAs: Reaping the Benefits | F5 DevCentral
- Bare Metal Blog: Introduction | F5 DevCentral
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
Nov. 26, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 900
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Nov. 26, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 946
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 26, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 547
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Nov. 26, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 783
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
Nov. 26, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 681
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Nov. 26, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,030
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,732
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
Nov. 25, 2014 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,777
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 25, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,736
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Nov. 25, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,691
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Nov. 25, 2014 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,660
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 2,049
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,781
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,145
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,995
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 2,170
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 2,108
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 2,176
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,895
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 2,133