Ladies and gentleman. In tonight’s show the role of Application Delivery, normally played by Load Balancer will be replaced by ADC. We hope you enjoy the performance.
I studied Theatre in college and have spent a good amount of time in and around the performing arts. The telling of a engaging story and the creativity, imagination and spontaneity of a great live performance is something I truly enjoy. Most of my life, when I think of the term performance, I think of the performing arts – acting, dancing, singing and the rest. When you pay good money for a show, you expect a great performance. Actors embodying the characters, musicians merged with their instruments, singers feeling every note, dancers moving to the tune. When we perform ourselves, we want to give it our all, have good energy, be prepared, engage our audience and tell a good story no matter if it’s vocal, musical or movement. And if we nail it, there’s no better feeling when you hit every note, lived the character or let the music take your body. With Method acting (Stanislavski/Strasberg/Actors Studio) you try to create, in yourself, the thoughts and feelings of the character and often rely on emotional memory to generate, for instance, tears. Remember how you felt when your first dog died. Hoffman, De Niro, Pacino and Baldwin are some that practice this technique. William Gillette, an actor/director/playwright in the late 1800’s talked about ‘The Illusion of the First Time.’ That, no matter how many times you’ve done this, you need to make it seem/feel as if it is the first time that the character has ever heard or encountered whatever is occurring. This gives true responses, reactions and behavior, within the character itself, to the many conflicts within the story. The other important facet to this is, it is the audience’s first time seeing it so an actor should not ‘telepath’ a response.
Just what the heck does this all have to do with application delivery? As part of the 50 Ways to Use Your BIG-IP series, this week we cover performance. How the BIG-IP system helps improve performance and what are some of the variables that can impact the performance of an application. Again you may ask, what does acting have to do with application delivery? ‘Method’ application delivery might be things like caching and data deduplication – I know I’ve seen his before so let me pull from memory and deliver the content. What is this character user trying to accomplish and I can get them there. Session persistence might be another area. I remember you from an earlier meeting, remember that you were doing this particular thing and it made you happy or more productive. I remember that if users are requesting access from a particular geo-location, then send them to that data center.
The illusion of the first time also connects well with application delivery via context. The ADC might have seen this user hundreds, maybe thousands of times, but this time, they are coming from a unrecognized network or from an unknown device and the ADC needs to make an instantaneous decision as to how best handle the request…since it is the first time…within this context. Just like a character, the ADC absorbs the information, processes it and answers with the best possible response at that moment. I can tell you, there have been a few times where I did forget my line but so immersed in the moment, that when I opened my mouth, the actual written words just came out. ADC’s need to perform at their best every moment of every day, not just 8 times a week on an Equity stage. They need to remember certain pieces of information but also, receive information for the very first time and make instantaneous, intelligent decisions. They need to adjust depending on the conditions and star in that strategic point of control within the data center stage. They don’t sign autographs, appear on the front page of the National Enquirer or show up at red carpet events, but can help deliver all the Tony, Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Obie award(s) data.
As a director/actor once said in one of my acting classes, a true artist is someone who cannot do anything else, but their craft…if there is anything else that you can do with your life, do it. Hello Internet circa 1995, I’m Peter.