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August 15, 2004


Peter Quodling


Why is it that the word Enterprise instills in people a sense of scale and robustness in delivery of an application environment. People have become well attuned to the "failure" of corporate web servers etc where companies have not "capacity planned" their potential requirements.

It would appear that way too many "Corporate" Application developers have ignored the rules of good software engineering, that should be mandatory for any global information delivery.

This does not rest simply with the simplicity of the transaction, but also with understanding the latencies that may exist within the networks, and the myriad of other interdependencies, many of which are totally out of the control of the developer.

You will recall the "good old days" when at Digital, someone developed the ability to build 96 node clusters. Inherent in that, was building 96 node clusters and pushing them, until they broke.

Many are the businesses that have believed the vendor rhetoric on the scalability of the technology, and bet their business on the "numbers engineering" that has replaced the tried and true approach of understanding the internals, and pushing the edge of the envelope.

The underlying simplicity of design concept also espoused rings a bell that I think you once rang.. The SOFF (Separation of form and function) principle. Smaller and more modular, (and a good object structure) means simpler, and inherently more scalable (well, less inputs into the failure equation...)

The other mistake that seems to be made as a result of the lack of understanding of the "limits", is that things are overscoped. I worked on a DR project for a Telco once. They wanted a STM4 (622 Mbps) site to site link. I pointed out that database updates were already being "mirrored" into the telephone network over three 9600 baud lines. Too often, the corporate sector has no comprehension of their own "core business".

As discussed offline, I have Enterprise application ideas for PubSub technology, that will become dependent on adding in some extra functionality, but I won't even go there, until the "size of the envelope" is determined.

Peter Q

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