A distributed system is the one that prevents you from working because of the failure of a machine that you had never heard of

This quote is part of my tech quote explained series from Java One / Open World 2016. Actually it is the special edition for the OTN appreciation day ūüôā

Leslie’s Quote that I heard at Java One¬†2016:

“A distributed system is one that prevents you from working
because of the failure of a machine that you had never heard of.”

Leslie Lamport


The following explanation is mine, not Leslie Lamport’s.¬†Besides, yes, Leslie is the guy who is known for LaTex and his work on the Paxos algorithm.

There are many rather theoretical publications about distributed systems, but Leslie’s definition nails it. Distributed systems produce all kind of surprises! They are never boring. Latency issues or network failures may trigger¬†timeouts or split brain conditions.¬†System failures, availability zone outages or the complete failure of a data center region challenge your availability concept. If everything goes terribly, terribly wrong, you better have a good contingency plan within close reach.

Nowadays we offload some of these challenges to modern cloud architectures. On a PaaS or SaaS level you simply stop worrying about it, because somebody else solves the problem for you. On a IaaS level things are obviously more interesting. The popular circuit breaker pattern Рthe one that is now mentioned in seemingly every blog or presentation (I also wrote about it in my cloud book ) Рgoes back to the Netflix Cloud OSS and the research done in over 50 open source projects.

Antifragility means that you grow by doing the things that stress you. Like you when you grow your biceps when going to the gym. Modern cloud architectures run an armada of chaos monkeys, chaos gorillas and latency monkey that simulate system or data center failures in production environments and inject random latencies in networks. Due to this developers are challenged to write resilient code and architects architect for constant failure. The kind of failures Leslie mentioned in his quote.

Don’t miss the other quotes of this series, e.g. regarding app servers vs. monoliths, and about SaaS and Cloud APIs.

If you don’t have cloud APIs when connecting to SAAS it is not gonna work РLuis Weir / Oracle Open World 2016.

This quote is part of my tech quote explained series from Java One / Open World 2016.

Luis Weir’s Quote from Open World 2016:

“If you don‚Äôt have cloud APIs when connecting to SAAS it is not gonna work. Simple as that‚ÄĚ.”

Luis Augusto Weir, Principal Cap Gemini UK. @Luisw19


The following explanation is mine, not Luis’:

The number of APIs has grown exponentially over the last years. When a public API was almost exotic, strange and seemingly weird a couple years ago it has become the norm today. Do you still remember when you searched for a working implementation of a web service that you could access with a public WSDL just a while ago?

Nowadays there is a wide array of public APIs available. APIs give you access to Twitter, to Amazon Web Services, to your business partners, your Tesla or BMW car, to your home automation system and so on. No SaaS would make any sense without it.

The world has dramatically changed. Everything comes with an API and will continue to do so. This is why API Management becomes increasingly important and popular to manage such APIs. To understand more about this, including the evolution from REST and API Gateways to APIs everywhere, check out Luis API Management in 2016 presentation.



Don’t miss the first quote of this series regarding app servers vs. monoliths.

Using an app server does not mean you build a monolith – Mark Little / Java One

This quote is part of my tech quote explained series from Java One / Open World 2016.

Mark’s Quote from Java One 2016:

“Using an app server does not mean you build a monolith.”

Mark Little Red Hat. Lead JBoss Technical Direction / Research Develepment. @nmcl




The following explanation is mine, not Mark’s:

There is a lot of FUD about microservices these days. Some people assume that existing technologies such as application servers will be completely replaced by the new microservices trend. Sometimes application servers seem almost like an anti pattern for microservices, which is of course not true.

The dominant (and IMHO overused) example for a successful microservices architecture is Netflix. Netflix has been using Tomcat for many years as an web application server because they understood the importance of an abstraction for a “container” (obviously not in sense of a OS Linux/Docker container). Their former CTO Adrian Cockraft once explained that the “container” (again not in a Docker sense) you use doesn’t really matter, be it Tomcat, WebLogic or now a days Docker. What matters is that you have a unique abstraction that allows you to run and schedule your artifacts.

Mark has a blog posting talking about container-less development. I spoke about microservices at the OTN Latam Tour (see my trip report and Tim’s posting).

Technology Quotes Series: Java One and Oracle Open World 2016

Yesterday I touched down in Frankfurt and got off the A380 after this year’s Oracle Open World conference. Regarding the event I had quite some expectations¬†and to make it short most of them were fulfilled.

This year the whole event seemed even bigger to me and I spent considerable amount of time commuting from Java One to Oracle Open World and vice versa. There were just too many exciting sessions I attended to list them all here.

Some Background

There is dramatic change in technology happening right now and for those not able to travel to OOW, Java One or of course other conferences it is sometimes hard to follow.

Earlier this year, I designed a sticker. Surprisingly I received a lot questions about it. The kind of questions reminded me that some thoughts that keep me busy to a large percentage of my professional time not related to your daily business. Therefore often new trends, new tech and even new buzzwords are hard to understand.


The New Technology Quotes Series

Thinking about this inspired me for my new Open World and Java One 2016 quotes series. Instead of repeating the vendor announcements that you can read in other blogs, I decided to dig a little deeper on the presenters’¬†best quotes.

Why Quotes?

In a series of¬†postings I will quickly explain a quote each. So why quotes? I will talk about quotes, because they capture the essential, they are inspiring, amusing, challenging or simply surprising. They are related to somebody, not just a vendor slogan. It’s tech with emotion. Somebody said it who is passionate of about this tech bit, somebody who cares.

So will be about something that got stuck in my brain. As usual, I will avoid empty marketing phrases and instead focus on honest tech bits.

Every quote will be provided as best effort. Feel free to drop me an email if something is wrong about it.

… so stay tuned!

Win a Oracle WebLogic Server and a Middelware and Cloud Computing


At this year’s Oracle Open World I will be gifting a total of 4 review copies of my books. ¬†Opposite the official bookstore, right at the OTN Lounge.


Oracle Book raffle



To win: retweet the original Twitter announcement. I will pick a random retweet as the winner by Tuesday 13.00h and let you know. I suggest to follow me on Twitter so that I can inform you if you are the lucky winner. The winner can pick up the copy opposite the Oracle book shop at the OTN lounge at the following time only:

  • All books are given away in Moscone South,¬†Tuesday 15.15h, right at the OTN lounge. In case of doubt ask for the OTN manager Bob Rhubart (left on the picture below).
  • There will be free beer at the OTN lounge at that time, so pass by say Hello and join us for a drink and a photo.


This is not a lottery. No purchase required. The winner is kindly asked to write a short review an Amazon.com.