Coastal Stuff, Innovation

Sensors at Devil’s Slide

04.18.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Sensors at Devil’s Slide

Yesterday, my commute home took 100% more time than it took a mere few weeks ago. Was this an anomaly? I wish. Recently, Highway 1, 50% of the access from my home to the rest of the Bay Area was shutdown indefinitely due to storm damage.

An interesting side effect of this is a remote sensor project that has been in place for sometime that alerts CalTrans when the slide begins to move. Now with the closure, CalTrans is extending the sensor network (picture below.)

These sensors are installed in holes drilled 150 feet below the roadway. Sensors are indeed everywhere and their use is ever increasing. From a Network Services perspective, that’s a good thing because the more access to telemetry we have of various flavors, the more value we’ll be able to add to users of our services. I haven’t yet worked out how slide sensors play into our plans however……

Technology & Science

Pandemic Patches

04.13.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Pandemic Patches

You may not think of it as an epidemic, but our customers surely do. Patches, patches, everywhere and why should I care?

Here’s why: we’ve done some research that shows that for each 50mb of system software change per month, one “9” of availability is lost on the platform in question. All the sudden, it becomes clear that you don’t want to patch for patching sake, you want to patch for effect.

State of the art today is to look at metadata describing the change match to a system or set of systems and then work to apply them, sometimes semi-automatically sometimes manually. Here’s the catch: in an analysis of Linux and overall UNIX patches, we’ve discovered that 22% of the metadata is WRONG!

This presents a large risk to customers who are relying on vendors to ensure that the changes they introduce in their environment are accurate and necessary. For those of you who wonder why we purchased Aduva, here’s the answer. They’ve got technology that actually inspects the proposed change, compares it to the targeted systems, and determines in advance what changes will actually be made and dependencies in advance of applying the change. The accuracy level increases dramatically.

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve had a chance to talk about this with numerous customers in large events and intimate 1:1 settings. I’ve yet to find one customer who isn’t greatly excited by the prospect of what we can do to help solve this set of problems.


Back in the USA

04.11.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Back in the USA

OK, so it doesn’t quite have the same ring as “Back in the USSR,” but I digress. After 17,000 miles in the air last week, some 200 customers to visit (in big groups, not individually, though 15 or so were individual visits,) and 3 distinct cultures (Israel, Sweden, and Ukraine,) I find myself back home.

It never fails to amaze me how quickly we can transit cultures and countries. Imagine it was a mere century ago – the trip I completed would have taken a minimum of 2 years. Now it’s able to be completed in a week.

Just 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to keep touch like I was able to on this trip. Mobile phone, VOIP from the laptop, email, websites, blogs – it’s really mind boggling when we think about how different the experience of traveling is now.

For instance, in Amsterdam’s airport, I was able to get the latest traffic information at home which saved me an hour due to the closure of my route home. That’s pretty amazing stuff. The participation age is just beginning, it’s fun to imagine what we might be able to do 10 years from now……


Hello from Kiev

04.07.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Hello from Kiev

Thursday I arrived in Kiev as a continuation of the 100 city roadshow tour. It’s a city with much potential. I’ve met with a couple of customers, one of which as added 3M subscribers to their business in a single year. The event went well, though my Russian (and Ukrainian) language skills are weak. Thank you Valery and Katya for the fantastic hospitality and handholding!

This evening, I’ve just returned from dinner with one of Sun’s larger partners in Ukraine, Kvazar Micro. This is a dynamic and high growth company that is clearly making headway in the emerging economies of the region.

Packing now to head home in a few hours, I’ve learned alot on this trip and will share more soon.


Surf Goteborg

04.05.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Surf Goteborg

Today I find myself in the friendliest city in Sweden, Gothenberg (or Goteborg.) I’m here representing Sun in our Powering the Participation Age Tour and had the chance to present our message about the Participation Age and how Sun is contributing to community, innovation, and solving the tough business issues of today and tomorrow. A total of 53 customers, potential customers, and partners were present and actively engaged.

It’s a little chilly at 1 degree centigrade water temperature, but apparently, people do surf around Goteborg, Sweden.

Participation isn’t about surfing literally, but figuratively. Even more important than the passive consumption of information from the net is the active participation, the social transformation that is occurring as people far and wide *contribute* to the overall content and value of the network.

The community here received the message loud and clear, they get it, they think it’s the way the world is going, and they were pleasantly surprised at how Sun can help them succeed in the participation age with our 4Ss (software, storage, services, and servers.)

Sweden is a great country, I hope to be invited back to visit sometime (hopefully in the summer!) Sven, Peter, & Ewa, thank you very much for your hospitality!

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