Our friend Jason Fenske (Engineering Explained) recently took a deep dive into all things Hyundai Veloster N. The automaker invited a number of folks to the Nürburgring to test the new performance machine on a grand stage. One of things that Fenske discovered is that this Veloster isn’t just snapping, ...
I riffed on this a bit over at twitter some time ago; this has been sitting in the drafts folder for too long, and it’s incomplete, but I might as well get it out the door. Feel free to suggest additions or corrections if you’re so inclined.
If your data is in RAM you can get it in about the time it takes to brew a pot of coffee; this is how long it would take a world-class athlete to run a mile to bring you your data, if they were running backwards.
In comparison, platter disks are delivering your data by horse-drawn wagon, over the full length of the Oregon Trail. Something like six to twelve months, give or take.
Network transactions are interesting – platter disk performance is so poor that fetching data from your ISP’s local cache is often faster than getting it from your platter disks; at two to three months, your data is being delivered to New York from Beijing, via container ship and then truck.
In contrast, requesting a packet from a server on the far side of an ocean might as have been requested from the surface of the moon, at the dawn of the space program – about eight years, from the beginning of the Apollo program to Armstrong, Aldrin and Collin’s successful return to earth.
If your data is in a VM, things start to get difficult – a virtualized OS reboot takes about the same amount of time as has passed between the Renaissance and now, so you would need to ask Leonardo Da Vinci to secretly encode your information in one of his notebooks, and have Dan Brown somehow decode it for you in the present? I don’t know how reliable that guy is, so I hope you’re using ECC.
That’s all if things go well, of course: a network timeout is roughly comparable to the elapsed time between the dawn of the Sumerian Empire and the present day.
In the worst case, if a CPU cycle is 1 second, cold booting a racked server takes approximately all of recorded human history, from the earliest Indonesian cave paintings to now.
I spent all day Saturday at the Toledo Jeep Fest, a huge gathering of Willys, Kaiser, AMC and Chrysler-era Jeeps in the heart of a city that’s been building these off-road beasts for over 75 years. The machines I saw there were incredible, but it was one full-size Jeep exhibit that stole the show.