Updated: 3 days ago
It's now January of 2021 and over two months post election day.
We find ourselves in Covid-19 lockdown territory which in My humble opinion also defies much common sense.
My mother has fallen victim to the effects of a strain of the bat bug corona and spends her final days in a hospice in George in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
She had a very sudden drop in health in November and COVID-19 appears to have got past her brain barrier somehow very rapidly indeed.
That is what we can surmise after a myriad of tests for everything else drew a blank at any rate.
She speaks like she just had a massive stroke but there is no evidence of such in any of the many scans or blood tests she has had.
Earlier in 2020 I experienced a few brief moments of panic myself about mid May through July amid this COVID driven mayhem as to futures before I got a grip and realized everyone everywhere is suffering the same problems and that this ridiculous COVID circus has to shutter it's tent at some point in time.
My chess rating also plummeted through the floor in this period and my brain was definitely impacted by what felt like a wet blanket.
I have since recovered, winning a Gameknot chess tournament in the Grand Master section in early October of 2020 and my rating has rocketed back into the top 100 players getting to no 61 by November 30th 2020.
I can feel the sole surviving synapse is working better than before my bout with Covid-19 actually, so that has been a big unexpected plus.
COVID-19 vaccines are also starting to appear but many of them are not what they seem to be and stock market manipulations and spin are the game of the moment with biotech companies delving deep into this science and opportunity seemed to have swelled in ranks with a lot of charlatan types among them, it would seem.
I obviously had too much medical training in the course of my life combined with added work experience in my various quests working for various biotech companies like Chiron Corp (Now part of Novartis) who specialize in flu vaccines and blood testing.
This did pique my curiosity about the exact science of that business and how it works exactly while with each of them.
I had many observations on the wave of what I learnt from Chiron et al behind the virus thang we are currently faced with in relation to flu vaccines and blood testing of various human maladies.
I had many learned research scientists at Gilead and Novartis who imparted knowledge to quench my never ending curiosity that I must admit has left me somewhat skeptical about most so called "cures" for near anything some of these biotech's claim.
The Theranos debacle being a case in point to arm my conclusions on this subject fully with dire skepticism baked into the eyes looking at the data.
So far, the only vaccines that make sense to me re COVID-19 are based on the Gilead work and the Pfizer stuff looks very solid so far as well.
The Astra Zeneca thing driven by those Oxford folks is an interesting approach but seems to fall short in many ways but we do have many potential avenues to dealing with COVID-19 right now it would seem.
The folding at home project was instrumental in our amazingly fast response here by the way - it has proven invaluable as a tool that cut around an estimated 37 years off the research cycle.
It really has been that radical.
The stuff that has and is coming out of that folding at home effort is going to be near miraculous as they go through the normal verification process for other human use cases as we go forward.
The Gilead work on ebola and the work the German biotech companies did with Gilead are also helping us out a lot.
The thing that still baffles me about COVID-19 is understanding what the fuss over such a low statistical threat is and has been about exactly?
There is more going on here globally re the COVID-19 over-reaction than what meets the eye, obviously, as statistically it makes no sense.
I am not alone in thinking this.
Most of the people who worked on these various vaccines who I know in these great Biotech corporations and major universities hold this view themselves.
The argument about flooding hospitals all at once is a valid argument though but I suspect they are forgetting a lot more people have been exposed to COVID-19 than what they are telling themselves is the case.
There is no "solid science" based on the contradictory statements and views from very learned and capable scientists on the subject that covers the entire 360 degree spectrum on the matter either.
You would think it cut and dried but alas it is not.
I still look at the COVID stats every day and scratch my head in total amazement at what the world is doing with its economy and my conclusion is the financial bite is far, far worse than what the COVID bite has brought or could ever bring to the equation.
It's almost as if we are deliberately attempting to maximize the damage to ourselves at any cost to prove some bizarre and meaningless point.
I am having a great many WTF moments as a result of this analysis process going on inside my own sole surviving synapse.
The fact that mindless bureaucracy (is there any other kind?) seems to be purposely damaging ourselves 3000X more than what just COVID-19 could ever bring.....
It's totally fascinating on a whole spectrum of levels actually.
To me this has confirmed my suspicion that politicians should definitely not be running the show under any circumstance, like ever, as their collective IQ globally seems to be on a level of that of your average long dead ferret.
I fear I am being too kind with this statement!
This debacle has in fact strengthened my view that the sooner we replace the lot of them with a Neural Network AI capable of learning and fixing errors sans corrupt influence the better off we will all be.
Pronto Maximus Por Favor!!
The problem here, as we can see with this voting software farce is that the corruption of man is much deeper ingrained than what even I had suspected.
They don't call me Marvin the Paranoid Android for nuthin folks!!
Anyway, right now, here in the USA, we are looking at critical healthcare workers getting the first wave of vaccines and then it will be the 80 million essential workers and then the rest of the planet and poor countries in several waves after that who have not negotiated first dibs on vaccine batches.
Its probably going to take 3-5 years to reach everyone though.
The thing is we cannot allow even the poor countries to not get these vaccines as we will re-create a new problem with a new strain if we let them languish too long.
A COVID mutates less rapidly than a flu does but it does not stand still.......
This is a rare test case for humanity to take care of all of humanity, not just those at the top of the pecking order.
I will watch in total fascination as this one plays out realizing we are all collectively in new territory with this one.
I am still struggling with how the species I belong to has dealt with COVID-19 and I marvel at the multitude of "logic free" actions and behaviors that have come with COVID-19 as displayed by the diaspora of totally unfit politicians everywhere.
You don't have to fret about which ones are fit and which ones are not by the way, they are sadly all unfit.
Nothing to think about at all on that one.
And to think that we voted them in to take care of problems the fleas on the average wild coyote have more chance of dealing with, in a far superior manner too I suspect - what were we thinking??
The astounding array of terrible decisions I have seen in 2020 still makes me leap backwards in total amazement at their shortcomings and zero grasp of logic and natural consequence of their bad actions.
In fact I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure I am not in a cartoon or another virtual reality programmed for ultimate bad decisions as it seems to me this is so bad that this construct which we call reality must be something purpose made to demonstrate cause and effect of terrible decisions.....? I am convinced this has to be the case at any rate!!
We all just have to deal with this flood of zero logic and influence the "logic free" ones as patiently as Job did back in the day.
Turns out this process can be great fun as well if you have the spare time.....and a lot of patience....... Sanctify yourselves!
One of the impacts to me of COVID realities has been the crazy work hours I put in these days vs being on the road.
The Nutanix product portfolio and capability is very strong, and almost custom tailored to said COVID-19 data center working realities in terms of simplicity and sheer ease of use.
There are now many more bona-fide compelling reasons for customers to sweep all of their old legacy 3 tier architectures out the door and go with a Nutanix only data center.
Bye bye SAN, Bye Bye NAS, bye bye FC networking nightmares, bye bye complexity, and hello Simplicity and easy street!!
Saving up to a staggering 80% on OPEX costs is not to be sneered at folks!! This is what Nutanix brings to the table!!!
I have not even started talking about the power and cooling reduction the small but deadly footprint leaves behind as one of its many fabulous bonus points either!!
Semper Molto Dolce!!
I have, amid these "other" distractions of 2020, mentioned above, focused my efforts on Nutanix AMD EPYC related technologies and various other forthcoming Nutanix attractions based on EPYC Powered HCI shenanigans so as to better win business in the Sacramento Valley and East Bay regions.
The commercial space is an interesting one, nestling between SMB and Enterprise as you get a vast range of solution architectures that can fit any bill effortlessly with a varied range of challenges that come with each opportunity served up.
The key challenge here being customers keenly understanding the capabilities envelope and the awesome solution they are getting with Nutanix and penciling the boundaries around the solution with it's performance floor and ceiling notations.
I can tell you from my experience of free-diving and scuba antics around the South African coast and in Tahitian waters, that the understanding of limitations and capabilities when you partake in these activities is a life and death envelope journey of discovery well worth making.
I have found that customers buying HCI cluster technologies also do better if they understand the envelope of capabilities of what they are getting and the limitations they gave up when "budget sizing" the solution if they executed any of these antics.
You cannot expect to buy a budget airplane for $23,000 and expect it to perform like an F18 Raptor....
Likewise you cannot buy a Top of the Range Lamborghini Evolution and expect to start winning Formula one Grand Prix events with it unless you know what you are doing with said exotic equipment and are able to persuade Formula one to let you race....
Nutanix flexibility and capability ranges from the Citroen Deux Chevaux up to the UFO Beamship class type solutions, and each solution architecture capability depends on what you put into meeting the requirements without compromise and understanding the compromises if you indeed made any!
This all became a totally EPYC experience in 2020 which translates to less dollah in exchange for molto power, in my humble opinion.
In fact this EPYC flavor has made "right now" a Golden Age for Nutanix based HCI.
I have run into some customers on both ends of the "want to have" spectrum in this regard and it has been interesting to observe and interact with the wide range of reactions to what they get to deliver their IT miracles with on any fabulous Nutanix platform.
I tap into my channel partner days of total disbelief often with the more incredulous customers pressing my vast sense of humor reserves into overdrive on occasion.
Fortunately, I myself can (still) vividly recall my own disbelief of Nutanix HCI glory when I first evaluated Nutanix back in 2013 as I go through these challenges from some customers entrenched deeply into old school 3 tier architecture hell.
In fact it was not until 2015 that I myself was suddenly a very woke HCI evangelista but from that moment on I have set about making all my previous work in the 3 Tier server and storage space completely obsolete.
With somewhat of a vengeance too I might add!!
As I said, in the first rendition of this posting, some interesting items to watch in 2020 will be PCIe 4.0 capable nodes, merging Optane goodies with PCIe 4.0 ready CPU's and the 100 GB Ethernet Networking side of the equation as it pertains to Nutanix related HCI.
Did you know that the Intel Optane group is forced to buy AMD CPU's to test their new PCIe 4.0 Optane based SSD stuff?
A marvelous twist and Irony as Chipzilla still has ZERO true PCIe 4.0 capable CPU product right now and will not have until the end of 2021 (if they are lucky).
They are stuffing Optane goodies into PCIe 3.0 servers but not telling anyone this is totally pointless........Chipzilla ain't got a PCIe 4.0 capable CPU yet......
In fact they could not even pull off their new 7nm chip fabrication ambitions which has experienced a massive setback of 18 months and longer while they retool and go back to the drawing board to fix the problems.
This is public information by the way (in case you were wondering)..
I in fact read about it on many of the online IT information sources (el reg, ZDNET et al) and cross checked with my contacts in the business in terms of public knowledge on these points.
In the meantime AMD are tooling up for 5nm Zen 4 glory.............Heaven 2.0 is what I am calling that delicious "semper molto dolce" prospect!!
Nutanix Clusters, Xi LEAP, Calm, Beam and Nutanix Karbon for Kubernetes action is also going to be my focus area for 2020 as well as promoting the joys of seamless integration of Public cloud into Nutanix Private Cloud solutions here, there and everywhere.
I will also be renewing my channel relations and bringing them into the action wherever I can as well.
I have already begun with Groupware, eVolve, Dasher, SHI, Presidio West, Kovarus, WWT and others as I get deeper into this new adventure.
Nutanix has become available on a great many more hardware platforms over the last year as well by the way - the HCL list is now pretty impressive.
As of now you can get Nutanix for Nutanix platforms (NX), Dell (XC), Lenovo (HX), HPe (DX), Cisco (UCS B & C) series, and various other Telco rugged formats (Klas Telecom) as well.
There is more....
Nutanix is also available for Inspur, Fujitsu and IBM Power platforms as well.
The last one I mentioned may raise eyebrows in a skeptical vein a tad but its true.
Nutanix for IBM Power platforms is a reality. I have had three companies get into those solutions but they are holding out for pending IBM Power 10 CPU action.
The Power 10 stuff looks like Dark Arts Magic compared with the current generation Power 9 stuff.
There are also droves of OEM Server companies flocking to get their hardware certified and onto the Nutanix HCL.
The Nutanix AMD EPYC journey with HPe and Lenovo as the first EPYC platforms certified for AOS has also begun (August 2019) and I personally am very excited and thrilled about this as I am unashamedly a big AMD bigot and AMD CPU fan boi.
These are now available on single and Dual socket EPYC servers from Dell, Lenovo and HPe, but when you see how many cores you get with EPYC, why it is just totally EPIC!
The one thing I did learn about Ryzen and EPYC CPU ZEN 3 architectures by the way, which is a major XEON killer, is how AMD chips can throttle their GHz from a base frequency of 2.2 GHz to up to 4.4 GHz with no problem at all.
My Chess Engine AI running dual 64 core EPYC 7742's inside a Lenovo SR665 armed with 32 x 128GB Samsung DDR5 RAM slots was able to have a constant frequency when loading all 128 Cores of 3.8 GHz and it would run at a consistent 4.1 GHz when it needed to clock the barstewards very heavily.
When the clock dropped it cheerfully went to 2.2 GHz which is its idle clock @ 45 degrees C.
Temps at 3.8 GHz are 72 degrees C and at 4.1 GHz are at 79 degrees C.
This no XEON can do!!
4TB of RAM on this thing also impressed me greatly. These EPYC CPU's love these big 128GB DDR RAM chips a lot. Why, it's just EPYC!!
A Glitch in the BIOS reported RAM as 8TB but it was in fact just 4TB. I did the math stats and double checked. Don't believe the BIOS was my takeway!!
I also half listened to the Lenovo guy (Chris R) who was talking about the new Samsung DDR4 256GB DIMM modules and the fact these boxes will happily support 8TB when that launches.
I am getting one in March to benchmark when those 256 GB DDR4 Modules come the way of the Lenovo HPC guys.
I was actually pretty sad that I had to give the last SR665 back!!
The HPe DX385 dual core EPYC boxes for Nutanix AOS launched on Thursday 8/27/2020 by the way!!
The HPe DL325 single core EPYC processor platform is a pretty sweet starting point for a starter Nutanix Cluster in my professional opinion, on paper at any rate.
I have since discovered a 4 node DL325 single EPYC CPU based cluster is ideal for SQL shenanigans.
On average, core for core these EPYC CPU's are 19.1% cheaper than XEON and in my opinion are worth 500% more, so they are a fantabulous bargain when you bake what you actually get here into the solution pie and you are getting a lot of worry free compute power here!
No burnt DIMMs, massive I/O, Full PCIe 4.0, CPU turbo boost, solid reliability, fantasmic performance, 4TB RAM!!
Whack the 64 core EPYC Rome or better CPU in each Node with from 512 GB RAM and 8 x 8 TB HDD Drives with up to 4 x 7.68TB SSD and you have yourself quite the 2U x 3 Power Package to be your new Data Center (Just add switches).
This brings some memory per core challenges to the table for dual and quad socket EPYC CPU systems though but the motherboard designers have got very creative...lets just hope 8TB RAM per dual core node becomes the Novel standard for now!
I will have a new blog all about them beasties shortly.
Most of my work in FY21 is going to be on new EPYC stuff and a lot of that will be on the DX385 platform.
The DX325 single processor in a 4 node starter cluster has a lot of options as does the DX385 with a single processor.
As an ex Microprocessor specialist myself (HP PA RISC McKinley series) I have a lot of respect for AMD platforms and I myself have six workstations in my home office that are all new gen AMD 5000 Ryzen or TRX40 based systems.
I now have four ThreadRipper rigs, and two newly updated Ryzen 5950X rigs.
The thought of Nutanix nodes bearing 5nm AMD EPYC Genoa series processors sends my brainwaves into all sorts of exotic waves of cerebral cortex pleasure dome conniptions.
I call these EPYC-Nutantgasms and all I can say is there are no words in known languages bar Sanskrit that could possibly come close to describing the blissful joy....
What makes this even more fantasmic is the four threads per core technology with SMT4 on these EPYC Genoa, Zen 4 architectures that is getting served up in the 2021/2022 time-frame....
OMG, I need to go cool my head in a deep bucket of ice somewhere quick....my sole surviving synapse is ascending to a higher dimension and frequency of nerd joy!!
Making for Christmas joy for me this year was my decision to replace my personal 15" Macbook Pro Retina with the new MacBook Air M1 after bench-marking one.
The performance was nothing less than completely unbelievable. I'm still rubbing my eyes in disbelief on that one....If you are doubting it's suitability, you would be wrong.
I too was firmly in that camp before I got my grubbies on one!!
Happy Hanukkah to all!!
I am focusing on the more advanced features and portfolio products Nutanix offers these days, specifically Frame, Citrix driven Nutanix solutions and ERA DBaaS stuff while getting dragged into the automation capabilities of all the Nutanix core platforms.
In fact it would be useful if we could knock the planet into a new orbit around old Sol that had 30 hours in a day with 10 months in a year like it used to be (December is latin for Decem which is 10, not 12)......see latin for decade = decem annis (10 years).
I am going to fly more and golf more the next 6 months to balance it all out and ponder the meaning of life, the universe and well.....everything.....
2021 has to be better than 2020, but it is going to be the year of tough-outing things as we go.
May I wish you all a year of good health and superb mental wellness as we go forward into the unknown armed with determination, grit and bulldog tenacity by the bucket load!!
If I don't see you through the year, I will no doubt see you through the window or through a camera lens running Zoom!
The only thing better than lofty goals are loftier ambitions!!