Showing posts from December, 2015

A Brief History of the Internet in Northern Virginia

Earlier today I happened to see a short piece from the Bloomberg Businessweek "The Year Ahead: 2016" issue, titled The Best Places to Build Data Centers . The text said the following: Cloud leaders including, Microsoft, Google, IBM, and upstart DigitalOcean are spending tens of billions of dollars to construct massive data centers around the world. Microsoft alone puts its total bill at $15 billion. There are two main reasons for the expansion: First, the companies have to set up more servers near the biggest centers of Internet traffic growth. Second, they increasingly have to wrestle with national data-privacy laws and customer preferences, either by storing data in a user’s home country, or, in some cases, avoiding doing just that. The article featured several maps, including the one at left. It notes data centers in "Virginia" because "the Beltway has massive data needs." That may be true, but it does not do justice to the history of t

Domain Creep? Maybe Not.

I just read a very interesting article by Sydney Freedberg titled  DoD CIO Says Spectrum May Become Warfighting Domain . That basically summarizes what you need to know, but here's a bit more from the article: Pentagon officials are drafting new policy that would officially recognize the electromagnetic spectrum as a “domain” of warfare, joining land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, Breaking Defense has learned.  The designation would mark the biggest shift in Defense Department doctrine since cyberspace became a domain in 2006. With jamming, spoofing, radio, and radar all covered under the new concept, it could potentially bring new funding and clear focus to an area long afflicted by shortfalls and stovepipes. The new electromagnetic spectrum domain would be separate from cyberspace, although there’s considerable overlap between the two...  But the consensus among officials and experts seems to be that the electromagnetic spectrum world — long divided between electroni

Not So Fast! Boyd OODA Looping Is More Than Speed

The name "John Boyd" and the term "OODA Loop" are probably familiar to many of the readers of this blog. I've mentioned one or the other in 2006 , 2007 , 2009 ( twice ), and 2014 . Boyd was a fighter pilot in the Korean war and revolutionized thinking on topics like fighter design and military strategy. His OODA loop -- an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act -- is the contribution that escaped from the military sphere into other fields of thought. In a world that has finally realized prevention eventually fails , the need for a different strategy is being appreciated. I've noticed an increasing number of vendors invoke Boyd and his OODA loop as an answer. Unfortunately, they fixate on the idea of "speed." They believe that victory over an adversary results from operating one's OODA loop faster than an opponent. In short, if we do something faster than the adversary, we win and they lose. While there is some value to this approach, it