Monkey Business

Monkey eating bananaMaybe you have heard the story of the Monkey Experiment. It is about an experiment with a bunch of monkeys in a cage, a ladder, and a banana. At a certain point one of the monkeys sees the banana hanging up high, starts climbing the ladder, and then the researcher sprays all monkeys with cold water. The climbing monkey tumbles down before even getting the banana, looks puzzled, wait until he’s dry again and his ego back on its feet. He tries again, same result, all monkeys are sprayed wet. Some of the others try it a few times until they learn: don’t climb for the banana or you will get wet and cold.

The second part of the experiment becomes more interesting. The researcher removes one of the monkeys and replaces him with a fresh, dry monkey with an unharmed ego. After a while he spots the banana, wonders to himself why the other monkeys are so stupid not to go for the banana, and gives it a try. But when reaching the ladder, the other monkeys kick his ass and make it very clear he is not supposed to do so. After the new monkey is conditioned not to go for the banana, the researcher replaces the “old” monkeys, one by one, with new ones. Every new monkey goes for the banana until he learns not to do so.

Eventually the cage is full of monkeys who know that they are not allowed to climb the ladder to get the banana. None of them knows why – it’s just the way it is and always has been…
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Greenplum links and resources

Converted to resource page, please follow this link:
Greenplum links and resources

Thin Provisioning

Some customers ask us – not surprisingly – how they can reduce their total cost of ownership in their information infrastructure even more. In response, I sometimes ask them what the utilization is of their storage systems.

Their answer: often something like 70% – you need of course some spare capacity for sudden application growth, so close to 100% is probably not a good idea.

Overallocating storage

Overallocating storage

If you really measure the utilization you often find other numbers. And I don’t mean the overhead of RAID, replication, spare drives, backup copies etc. because I consider these as required technology – invisible from the applications but needed for protection and so on. So the question is – of each net gigabyte of storage, how much is actually used by all applications?

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Desktop security: Application data got blurred

In the old days, when I started messing around with computers for fun as a young geek guy, computer security was pretty simple.

Amiga 2000

Amiga 2000

In those times we were using 8 or 16-bit PC’s with MS-DOS (for the poor guys) or, for the wealthy like myself, Commodore Amiga or comparable computers with real magic inside (who else around 1988 had 4-channel 8-bit stereo sound, 4096 colors, coprocessors for audio and graphics, true multitasking, a mouse-driven GUI handling multiple screens and windows, capable or running a word processor, graphics editor, sound tracker and some other stuff, all at the same time in 512 KB RAM?) Read more of this post


Wow I am feeling a bit excited – pushing the button “visible to everyone” on the blog admin area.

Although I have written some articles, emails and internal blog post for EMC before, this is the first time I go public – sharing my knowledge and experience with everyone instead of colleagues and some customers.

Let me introduce myself first.

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