By Ron Fuller
Ron Fuller is a staff engineer in the Network and Security Business Unit (NSBU) focused on NSX for VMware. He has 21 years of experience in the industry, and has held certifications from Cisco, VMware, Novell, HP, Microsoft, ISC2, and SNIA.
Multicast – the very mention of the word sends chills down the spines of many network engineers. While this often misunderstood technology isn’t as widely deployed as was once hoped, it is most certainly out there “in the wild.” Multicast is running critical applications in financial networks, providing heartbeats to load balancing systems, and also providing “on hold” music for many customers. Multicast is also seeing a resurgence in modern data centers where customers house their most mission critical applications and where a simple mistake can cost untold amounts of financial losses. What use case is causing customers to consider adding to, or building new multicast capable networks? The answer is an emerging protocol called Virtual eXtensible Local Area Networking (VXLAN).
VXLAN is an industry standard protocol described in RFC 7348 that is designed to address some very specific challenges associated with large L2 networking domains. Customers have fought with the restrictions and considerations with having broadcast domains that span vast swaths of their data centers. They have tried technologies like the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) guard mechanisms (BPDUGuard, RootGuard, LoopGuard, etc) with varying levels of success. They’ve evolved their data center networks to minimize STP with protocols like virtual Port Channels (vPC), and many have eliminated STP with technologies like FabricPath. All of these tools have pros and cons but the ultimate goal for many is a fast, scalable, L3 routed fabric. So why not just deploy that and pass out high-fives all around? Server virtualization and the requirement for workloads to move around the data center. This single requirement is what drives many customers to keep their large L2 domains – until recently that is. Read more »
Whether it’s a developer writing code, an accountant assembling a spreadsheet, or a rock climber ascending a route, we all strive to find that moment when we are at one with our task, our “flow state.” These scenarios, experienced individually, can be powerful and rewarding. However, if you can collectively enter a communal form of flow state by working simultaneously with your colleagues, then that’s like lightning in a bottle.
As a manager of a distributed software engineering team based in Boston, I enjoy being able to work with a diverse array of colleagues located in places like Oregon, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Dublin. We work together and collaborate regularly through a mixture of Google Hangouts, chat, and GitHub PR’s, but there is value in sometimes getting together to work with each other in person. We’ve seen the team grow significantly over the last year, and many of these new Safarians who have worked together on the same projects have never met face to face.
Descending on Boston from many far-flung locations
Last month we decided to try something new. We invited a number of individuals from our Engineering, Infrastructure, and Business Intelligence teams to get together for a week in the new Boston office that we share with O’Reilly Media. We wanted the week to be for special projects, so we threw around some ideas:
“Hackathon!” some suggested. “24 Hour Hackathon!” the more extreme among us chipped in.
Eventually we found a compromise between the two: “How about a 24-Hour Hackathon re-defined as occurring over three 8-hour days!” (We are grownups, after all.)
Instead of using the term “hackathon,” we settled on a new phrase: Build A Thing, a product hackathon spread out over five eight-hour days. In order to make the “things” happen, we started by soliciting project proposals from the product teams. The criteria were as such: the project had enough details to support immediate work (i.e. don’t burn more than a few hours in the beginning debating on what you will build), and the project was achievable in three days. That’s it! We then gave all the participants 100 votes, and let them decide what they wanted to work on. Read more »
How have we made Safari more valuable to you in the past 30 days? Let’s take a look.
New Publishers, Acclaimed Titles
This past month, we were thrilled to announce the addition of two new publishers. Harvard Business Review Press added to Safari over three hundred books and two hundred videos/webinars, including classics like The Innovator’s Dilemma. Paul Michelman provides more details and links in his post.
Smashing Magazine was another terrific addition to Safari in September. We on the product and design teams can’t wait to dig into new titles such as A Field Guide to User Experience. Check out Chris Simpson’s post for a closer look.
A Brand New Video Experience
Variable speed video/audio playback has been among the most highly requested features. In September, we made it happen. Now you can watch videos faster (or slower) in Safari’s new video player. Here’s a screen shot of the player, taken from an OSCON 2015 conference talk (a favorite from our team), “Freedom and Responsibility @ Netflix: Centralized Team in a Decentralized World.”
This new player also includes new features like thumbnail previews and a source selector. We’ve also updated the interface to show transcripts and supplemental course materials, when available. See Introduction to Java 8 for an example.
Read more »
When it comes to the survival skills that your organization needs to navigate today’s volatile and competitive landscape, curiosity may not be the first one that comes to mind… or the last one, for that matter.
Whether you see it as a skill or characteristic, curiosity is a powerful mindset that can be developed and nurtured. And increasing the curiosity quotient in your company can keep your business ahead of the curve with tangible benefits such as:
- innovative solutions to complex challenges and opportunities
- more and better ideas for products and services
- faster time in filling skills gaps with the team you have
Here are three ways to cultivate curiosity in your workplace:
According to the authors of The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators from Harvard Business Review Press, it’s the relentless questioners who are most successful:
‘Innovators ask lots of questions to better understand what is and what might be. They ignore safe questions and opt for crazy ones, challenging the status quo and often threatening the powers that be with uncommon intensity and frequency.’
While a barrage of questions — and working through the answers — can feel threatening or seem like a waste of time, it can very well lead to a breakthrough, solution or new idea that takes your company from surviving to thriving. Encourage your team to start asking away about the hows, whys, what-fors and what-ifs. And, remind everyone to leave their ego at the door when it comes to asking and fielding questions. Here are some great ideas from Brad Aronson to improve your question-asking skills. Read more »
by Sander van Vugt
Sander van Vugt is a Linux trainer from the Netherlands working with customers all over the world. Sander has recorded both the best selling RHCSA and RHCE Live Lessons video courses and he is the author of the Red Hat RHCSA/RHCE 7 Cert Guide.
The Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam is among the most popular IT certifications available today. It is a hands-on exam in which the test takers perform real-life tasks on an authentic installation of Red Hat Linux. Unfortunately, many people fail on their first attempt. So how can you make sure that you pass on the first try?
First, make sure you practice as much as you can. It really doesn’t make sense to try to learn the exam by heart since it is a hands-on experience. You will take your place behind the exam computer and start working on the assignments. At that point is where many people find trouble because they will start working immediately without reading what through all of the instructions. Before hitting the keyboard, make sure you truly understand what you are being asked to do in the exam. Read more »
by Carol Vallone Mitchell
Carol Vallone Mitchell is the author of the new book “Breaking Through ‘Bitch'” from Career Press. She is the cofounder of Talent Strategy Partners.
Five of the 23 female CEOs in the Fortune 500 work at technology-sector companies. Two of the five women run a company in the Silicon Valley. These statistics are surprising for an industry that has been regularly labeled a ‘boy’s club’ and spotlighted for its dearth of women in leading roles.
But, it’s not surprising when you review the culture of the companies helmed by women. The culture is one of innovation, where risk-taking and openness to new ideas leads to the creation of new products, markets, customers, and opportunities.
Studies indicate that women are more likely than men to have the type of competencies needed to thrive and lead in this culture. Successful women leaders use a collaborative leadership style that is infused with the characteristics of emotional intelligence and encourages talented people to be creative. My research on gender differences in leadership style, which resulted in the women’s leadership profile of success described in my book Breaking Through “Bitch”: How Women Can Shatter Stereotypes and Lead Fearlessly, confirms these findings. Read more »
We are very pleased to welcome Smashing Magazine as our newest content partner at Safari.
Smashing Magazine is a website and book publisher providing practical and valuable resources for web developers and web designers.
Content is already available in Safari, including:
Read more »
As we approach National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we kick off our Author Q&A series with Courtney Bowman, John K Grant and Ari Gesher, who along with Daniel Slate, authored The Architecture of Privacy, published this month by O’Reilly Media. In this practical guide, the authors describe how software teams can make privacy-protective features a core part of product functionality.
On October 6, Safari will host an author talk in Washington, DC with Bowman, Gesher, and Grant. If you’re in town and can join us, RSVP in the link below before all the spots get filled:
Architecting Privacy: Responsible Design for Information Systems Author Talk
Before our Q&A, the authors had a few words on how privacy architecture relates to the concept of information security: Read more »
by Laura Ippen
Laura Ippen is a consultant with Sustainable Business Consulting, a firm that helps organizations realize the business value of sustainability. She works with organizations to fully integrate sustainability into their operations to enhance environmental and social impact, improve financial performance and strengthen brand value.
You’re looking to cut your company’s energy use to save money while lowering your environmental impact at the same time. So, where do you start? You would likely turn to your facilities team to look into efficiency upgrades for your office buildings.
You may want to look at your IT department first. Read more »