Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Valley Ain't What It Used To Be

Important interview in the SF Chron with hi-tech maven, Judy Estrin, where she warns about lagging innovation in the Si Valley and the USA. She is quoted as saying:

"That all sorts of forces, from Wall Street's quarterly profit pressures to worsening government deficits, have undermined support for the forward-looking research on which future products will depend."

I've certainly been complaining for a long time about the excessive influence of Wall St. on shortening capacity planning horizons. Estrin also claims that the environment for innovation in Silicon Valley and the United States has already changed for the worse. Whether you agree everything she says or not, I think her comments are important because there seem to be precious few figureheads who are prepared to stand up and tell as it is.

Updated on Thu Aug 28, 2008: Case in point from Slashdot regarding Alcatel-Lucent (née Bell Labs) yanking the financial plug on basic science "like yer startin' a mower!" (to quote Elaine Benes). As I've said before , the Edison model is dead.

Applying the USL Model to Multivalued Data

A reader was having trouble applying the USL model to his data and asked me to take a look at it. I can't discuss his data because it's private, but I can show you what I did using some simulated data that has the same properties. The data was collected off a production system not a controlled load-test platform, and this brought to the surface two aspects of applying the USL which I had not faced previously:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's the PLANNING, Stupid!

The phrase "It's the ECONOMY, stupid!" helped boost Bill Clinton's election prospects in 1992. In 1999, when was having its "CNN moments" (as we called them, back then), I declared that capacity planning seemed to be an oxymoron for many pre-bubble-bursting web sites. They were prepared to throw any amount of money at lots of iron, which presumably meant they understood the "capacity" part (capital expenditure). It's the "planning" part they didn't grok. Planning means thinking ahead. Planning requires investment in the future. If the Financial Dept. can do it, why can't IT?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

GCaP Book Availability

Guerrilla graduate, Greg Rogers, alerted me to the fact that is showing my GCaP book as being "Temporarily out of stock". Sideways, this turns out to be good news. I know some of you will be thinking ahead to Xmas gifts, so don't be dissuaded. :-) I contacted my editor at and here's what's going on.

Back in April, I was busily directing the attention of the GCaP course attendees to the Guerrilla Manual booklet inserted in the back cover when, to their surprise and my chagrin, they discovered that their copies did not have the booklet. Mine did, but it was an older copy. What the ...!? Turns out, it was a production error in the latest printing, which is now in the process of being corrected. The misprint versions have possibly been "recalled" and that's why it is temporarily out of stock. I'm sure Amazon will still be happy to take your order. Thanks, Greg.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Scalability Theorems Paper Now Available

As promised, my paper containing the proofs that the universal scalability law is equivalent to the synchronous throughput bound of a machine repairman model of a multiprocessor with state-dependent service rate, is now available from the arXiv preprint server under the title "A General Theory of Computational Scalability Based on Rational Functions," and covers the following topics: