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Links for January 11th

A little something extra…

I’ve noticed people using the phrase “commodity hardware” a lot recently. While “insiders” may know what this means, what’s more important is clearly spelling out the intention of what you’re getting at when you use that phrase. It’s almost like using the phrase “open source” without explaining why that matters: it both leaves it too vague and open to, perhaps, unhelpful conclusions and generalizations.

Generally, I find people mean a handful of things when they use “commodity hardware”:

  • Cheap – or “affordable” if you prefer.
  • Flexible – because it’s general purpose, it can be morphed into other needs and evolved.
  • Scale-out – rather than relying on high performance processors (or storage), etc., you just “throw more hardware” at it.

There are others, to be sure, but those seem to be them. When you’re using that phrase then, try to explain what you mean by it and, more importantly, what you’re hoping to achieve by using “commodity hardware,” the “benefits” as it were.

The Links

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