Passengers are pushing from behind as I stagger across the filthy floor in socks while holding up my trousers with bleeding fingers towards the machine that goes “bleep”.I am forced to stand akimbo with my arms outstretched while a man physically molests me in plain sight. Only the akimbo stance is preventing my trousers falling down, so my Personal Molester has a good rummage around inside each pocket to ensure that they have been pushed down sufficiently to reveal my arse crack to all and sundry.As usual, nothing is found and no-one seems to care that the machine went “bleep” when I walked through it. The machine is not designed to detect things. It is simply designed to go “bleep”.A security man tells me to hurry up and collect my things as he thrusts the plastic crate holding my laptop down the rollers so that it slams into the metal buffers at the end with a crash, followed by my other possessions. One crate spills onto the floor. I grab what I can, still trying to keep my trousers held up with one hand, and eventually retrieve my wedding ring by crawling under the X-ray machine.
Everything back in its place, I stride towards the exit, still trying to thread my belt, and I am accosted by a smiling man who invites me to press a button.I look down and see what appears to be an infant’s electronic toy featuring four large buttons marked with cartoon faces representing a concise range of human emotions: Happy, Expressionless, Unhappy and Pissed Off. Above it is a legend: “How was your experience of airport security today?”I punch Pissed Off in his little fucking plastic face and storm off but I am called back by the smiling man. He wants to know what I am unhappy with.“All of it,” I tell him, “the whole bloody thing, the very fact I have to go through this unpleasant and humiliating ritual.”But everyone has to pass through security, he says, it’s the law and it’s for my benefit.“This much I agree,” I agree. “But after being forced to undress in a public space, watch strangers chuck your possessions around like tin cans, and have someone try and shove their finger up your rectum under the guise of checking for inside pockets (in jeans?), then be shouted at and finally kicked out, half-dressed, bleeding and missing my wedding ring … after all this … I am expected to walk up to your stupid, childish, insult of a dipshit, fuckwit little cunting customer response gadget and press the Happy face?”
The man is no longer smiling. In fact, he is starting to look like Pissed Off. But just as I walk away in triumph, another limping, harassed, half-dressed passenger staggers by and presses Happy.DockerCon EU Linux container wrangler Docker rounded out the first day of its DockerCon EU conference on Thursday by unveiling three new services that represent the next steps in Docker's transition from toolset to full-fledged platform."We're incubating a series of projects separately from the core runtime," Docker cofounder and CTO Solomon Hykes explained during his Thursday evening keynote. "The core runtime is focused on stability. These new projects, these new tools, are focused on attacking a new problem in an independent, orthogonal way."The trio of services are designed to make it easier for admins to provision and orchestrate distributed applications made up of multiple services running on independent Docker containers, which Hykes said was the one feature most requested by Docker customers.
The first of the three, dubbed Docker Machine, automates the process of provisioning the Docker Engine onto any host – whether it's a local laptop, a data center VM, or a cloud host – eliminating much of the manual configuration and scripting that was previously necessary to get Docker running in production.Initially, Docker Machine will ship with drivers that facilitate creating Docker hosts on Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, IBM SoftLayer, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Hyper-V, OpenStack, Rackspace, VirtualBox, and VMware, with more targets to come.Further building on those capabilities is the next service, Docker Swarm, a native clustering service for containers. Docker Swarm can create a resource pool from multiple Docker Engine hosts and then automatically schedule workloads according to their resource requirements. It can also automatically rebalance workloads in the event that hosts fail.Hykes hastened to add, however, that Swarm would not be the sole clustering option for use with Docker – which he described as Docker's "batteries included, but batteries removable" philosophy.
"The goal is not to create the clustering solution that does out of the box everything for everybody," Hykes said. "Instead, what we're trying to provide a standard default implementation that's good enough to be really sweet to use out of the box, and then make it really easy to swap out that default backend and bring in your favorite backend."As an example of that, Hykes added, Docker is partnering with Mesosphere to make Mesos a first-class citizen within the Docker ecosystem.Nowadays we take blade servers for granted, but a lot of moving parts had to come together for us to get where we are today. Tracing their history can help us make better judgments about how the technologies of tomorrow will evolve.The development of VMEbus architecture in about 1981 was perhaps the beginning of technological approaches that would evolve into blades. VMEbus involved plugging multiple boards into a backplane.This approach was built upon over the years until the Cubix-ERS (Cubix Enhanced Resource Subsystem) was born in 1995. The Cubix was the first attempt to design a system that met the same goals as a modern blade system but it wasn't quite there.The biggest issues were that hot-swap capabilities were somewhat limited and many resources were not capable of being shared. It was in many ways closer to today's "unblade" systems such as the Supermicro FatTwin. Steven Foskett has a great write-up on it here.
Ultimately, it was the development of various standards – notably CompactPCI – that enabled the commercial adoption of bladed servers. Incorporation of technologies such as hot plugging into CompactPCI allowed systems to overcome many of the limitations that plagued its Eurocard-based VMEbus predecessor.The original CompactPCI bus allowed for the creation of a chassis-based computer in which individual cards could be added and removed in much the same way as with VMEbus but using standard PCI signalling.You could think of these cards as not dissimilar to a PCI card in a modern server, with the chassis being the server. The difference was that the PCI cards were designed to come out without a lot of fussing about.It was not until the PCIMG standards body released version 2.16 of the CompactPCI specification that the modern blade server emerged. The CompactPCI packet switching backplane allowed Ethernet to be used to interconnect cards in the chassis.
This meant a server controlling a set of pluggable cards could evolve into an administrator unit overseeing a set of independent networked servers.For quite some time blade chassis simply dropped the PCI signalling component of CompactPCI (and its successor, CompactPCI Express) entirely, as the interconnect that mattered most was typically Ethernet.In an interesting twist, as Ethernet is increasingly seen as a bottleneck in today's flash-driven data centre, PCI Express signalling may experience a resurgence in the next generation of Compact PCI Express chassis buses, making for an A3Cube-like inter-node communications capability.The standards development process was long but most of the elements that would be in the final version were known well in advance of its official ratification in September 2001.Christopher Hipp and David Kirkeby applied for the blade server patent in 2000. They pushed out the first blade server in from their company, RLX technologies, within a month of the CompactPCI standard being ratified and were granted the patent in 2002.