The Perils of Driving Too Fast

Yes that is exactly who you think it is, the future Richest Man in the World, Richie Rich++, the One and Only Mr. Bill Gates when he was booked into the Albuquerque City Jail on December 13, 1977! Was he caught robbing an old lady on the street? No, he was busted for speeding of all things!

I was living in Albuquerque at the time and might have seen him burning rubber on Central Ave for all I know. In 1979 I went to work for MITS, at the very same place where he and Paul Allen worked, but he and Paul had moved to Washington to start Microsoft by then. What did I do for MITS on the old Altair 8080, you ask? Why, I wrote diagnostic test code in 8080 machine language, that's what! Once a tester always a tester I suppose.

But I digress, back to the topic of driving too fast. If you drive your Web app too fast you will end up exactly like you will if you drive your Ferrari too fast - you'll either crash or run out of gas. From our point of view the app has become very, very slow, but from the server's point of view it is going as fast as it possibly can!

And what do you think it would take to bring a high end server to that point, or even an entire cluster or farm of high end servers? It could take lots of computers, that's what. How many depends on the size of the infrastructure, a case where size definitely DOES matter.

That's where cloud computing comes into play, and right now that means the Amazon EC2 Elastic Cloud. Don't get me started on what a wonderful thing it is or I'll never get back to the subject at hand. But at the click of a mouse I can now spawn as many virtual computers as I like, use them in a large scale performance test, and shut them down when I'm through with them. If that doesn't sound very interesting to you, then you are at the wrong blog - try one of the links on the right!

Coming next - a view into the Cloud!

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