APIs, and Clouds: Please Explain the Joke!

Some people have asked what the sentence on my laptop sticker means. I was gifting some of these stickers at the OTN Tour Latam 2016. Maybe it is a bit of a academic / nerdy joke. So let me explain.

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The Posh (and boring)

Once upon a time there were people rich in money but poor in humor driving around in their second cars (typically a small Mercedes, a small BMW or a small Audi) with a sticker on it saying that their first car is a huge Mercedes, Porsche or Bentley. Let’s not waste too much time talking about these people here.


The cooll stuff as often started in Down Under. Some people with a lifestyle instead of a job came up with a cool car sticker, that basically said it is much nicer to have a small boat and go to the sea for diving than wasting money on a second car. E.g. see here for a rather fun version.


Then (to the best of my knowledge) Google made fun out of it, riding the cloud computing wave with a sticker that said “My other Computer is a Data Center“. Meaning that if you use the cloud you can have a whole data center.

Cloud Computing and APIs

Let’s get a bit more specific: What I pointed out half decade ago (yes, that time when everybody was just laughing about that topic) in my Cloud Computing book is the following: The true beauty of cloud computing is not that you access a compute instance in somebody else’s data center – this is what you could simply get by outsourcing. Guys, it’s more that your whole data center is software. Your whole data center is an API!

With cloud computing the difference of placing a cloud instance in Sydney or Frankfurt is just one single parameter in an API call – that comes at no extra cost. Same for placing it in datacenter 1 in Frankfurt or datacenter 2. So you get geo-redundancy for free! Now go and try this at home.

Also there is no difference in using 100 instances for 1h or using 1 instance for 100h. So you have a massively parallel, distributed supercomputer at your fingertips for a few pennies. Try this in your DC.

I guess now you get an idea what sticker means and why it says API. At the end it is all about APIs. And we haven’t even started to talk about the possibilities of PaaS, SaaS, HaaS, or API Management 🙂 Btw, sometimes I think most marketing people do a really bad job causing FUD instead of promoting tech.

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Let me know if you spot more of these stickers out there and send me pics :-)!

Cloud Survey: Computerworld Quotes

Update as of Nov 2014: You can get the whole survey now from here (registration required though).


Cloud is more popular than ever. Even the slower, more traditional software vendors now pick up the concepts I wrote about back in 2011. Keep going!

Find attached some quotes from the Computerworld magazine.

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Cloud Computing Workshop 2011: Oracle, Rackspace and Amazon

This year I really kept the best until the end! Last week I was running a 2-day cloud computing workshop with a 2-hour hands-on management presentation the night before the workshop for Contribute in Belgium. Contribute is an Oracle Platinum partner and being surrounded by Oracle Fusion Middleware experts, DBAs, application architects and senior level management the technical level of the workshop was very high with many interesting discussions.

We covered Oracle Public Cloud (OPC), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Rackspace (RS). OPC is not available yet, but the overall functionality including its limitations for the first release is more or less known and quite interesting compared to let’s say running WebLogic on AWS.

To prove the point I was running WebLogic 12c on AWS cloud with 30GB of heap on a high-mem 4xl instance with 8 cores. Proving the point cost me a bit more than US$2.

Typically I expected that the more tech savvy audience prefers AWS over Rackspace, yet this time people were impressed by the easy setup of Rackspace and the way they handled a minor problem with their web console file-upload feature during a live chat session.

Among hundreds of other details we looked at the I/O performance. The performance of Amazon’s EBS is known to be interesting (you may want to read this as ‘difficult’). See Adrian’s posting for a thorough explanation, some benchmarks here, and some more details there.

The out-of-the-box performance looking at Rackspace Cloud is more consistent and there is a surprisingly high throughput which is almost independent of the data size. Here is some data comparing a local laptop disk, to the disks attached to the Rackspace Cloud servers to my brand new consumer SSD (not sure if a 512 GB SSD still qualifies as ‘consumer’). All numbers refer to a READ-benchmark with increasing data size.

Laptop HD (500GB SATA): 80 MB/s

Laptop SSD (Crucial m4): 281 MB/s

Rackspace (SAN): 302 MB/s


I am only posting the screenshot for one of the Rackspace I/O measurements since quality isn’t perfect. There is some older data with graphs available in a previous post of mine.










Now I am still curious about the dip on the left part of the graph which is consistent over several instances and measurements. Any comments?