[LINK] Green web servers with netbook components

Paul Brooks pbrooks-link at layer10.com.au
Wed May 20 22:20:02 AEST 2009

Adrian Chadd wrote:
> Anecdote: when i was first visiting the US, I took a trip to the VALinux
> offices and had a chat with some of the guys hacking on a window manager.
> The anecdote is that before the author had up to date hardware and
> was developing on an old Pentium-100 or so (in 2000), the WM was lightweight,
> and fast. Once he was given new accelerated graphics hardware, a new CPU
> and dual screens, his window manager became more bloated, slower and used
> up more screen real estate.
> My feeling is that this current "green" movement in IT is ignoring where
> the most savings would be - fixing the OS and applications - because its
> probably the hardest. Whilst application developers build software on
> high end microcomputers, its going to run crap on anything else.
This reminds me of a similar situation in a different dimension.
Several years ago the global company I worked in developed an in-house 
client server application that was to be deployed world-wide.
I went over to the development office  in the US to check it out, and it 
worked marvelously.
When the software was deployed in Sydney, it was completely unusable.
It didn't take long at all to point out that during development the 
programmers were sitting on the other side of the wall from the server, 
so had built the 3-tier database middleware thingummy without any 
consideration of network latency.
The client and middleware ended up generating several hundred round-trip 
interactions between client and server for each key press - so when the 
client and the server were separated by a planetary diameter it 
performed glacially. After several weeks of trying to explain 200+ 
millisecond delays and the speed-of-light to the developers I ended up 
having to fly three of them down to Sydney, where it took only 10 
minutes of trying to use their own software for them to declare failure 
and start re-architecting the entire system.

to paraphrase Adrian - Whilst application developers build complex 
network software with clients and servers in the same building, its 
going to run crap across a real WAN.


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