The WLAN, or wireless LAN, sector is pretty hot at the moment, as user endpoints break free from their previously wired existence. A wireless LAN links devices together over a spread-spectrum or OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) network within a limited area: your home, school, or office building, for example. From their humble beginnings, when they were not very stable, WLANs have become a staple of our always-on lifestyle. We now have connected cities, in which you can walk from one end to the other and always be connected to a Wi-Fi link.
Recently, a number of marketing campaigns have seemed to be inventing complexity to try to give products the appearance of having some sort of competitive advantage. The invented complexity involves real-world items that many folks just do not use, or even care about, in order to make products look like something different. We have spoken about in-kernel vs. VSA in the past, but now we are seeing invented complexity within the mainstream storage world.
Every day, IT professionals live and breathe applications, yet our focus for operational tools is a single container, virtual machine, database, etc. How do these items map to the application in use? Even the monolithic-looking applications of yesterday were actually made up of services. Those services will be reborn as microservices within the applications of tomorrow. How do we make this transition? Is it possible with a container as a service model? Or should we scratch the past and start over?
Microsoft’s turnaround over the two years since Satya Nadella became CEO has been nothing short of phenomenal. During the Ballmer years, Microsoft had become increasingly sidelined and irrelevant, focused on aggressive and negative marketing techniques. Anybody remember the painful Microsoft Mythbusters video featuring then–Microsoft executive David Greschler and Hyper-V product manager Edwin Yuen? Not that you can find it anymore; all references I have located now link to the Microsoft store (even Microsoft is too embarrassed).
This is a continuation of my Security in Our Modern Times series, which can be found here and here. The story of the San Bernardino iPhone has gotten to the point where you just cannot make this stuff up. Let me give you a Reader’s Digest–type review of the story and then offer my opinion on the latest twist.
I, like most in the modern IT industry, have spent most of my working life installing, configuring, and maintaining Microsoft products, ranging from Active Directory and Exchange through Terminal Services and MSSQL Server. Most of these products have had extra layers of third-party software on top (Citrix MetaFrame, anyone?) or blended in to make them work better. In many cases, they were not a best-in-class product, although this has improved over time. Apache far outstrips IIS, and vSphere is still a good way ahead of Hyper-V, feature-wise. The gaps are closing, though, and Microsoft’s product set is maturing. Microsoft’s products often have been the more expensive option. There are numerous UNIX mail servers that outperform Exchange for raw message transport functions. However, there has always been one killer feature, one tie that has bound all of the systems together, making the Microsoft option the only option.