On “Geek” Versus “Nerd”


To many people, “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, but in fact they are a little different. Consider the phrase “sports geek” — an occasional substitute for “jock” and perhaps the arch-rival of a “nerd” in high-school folklore. If “geek” and “nerd” are synonyms, then “sports geek” might be an oxymoron. (Furthermore, “sports nerd” either doesn’t compute or means something else.)

In my mind, “geek” and “nerd” are related, but capture different dimensions of an intense dedication to a subject:

  • geek – An enthusiast of a particular topic or field. Geeks are “collection” oriented, gathering facts and mementos related to their subject of interest. They are obsessed with the newest, coolest, trendiest things that their subject has to offer.
  • nerdA studious intellectual, although again of a particular topic or field. Nerds are “achievement” oriented, and focus their efforts on acquiring knowledge and skill over trivia and memorabilia.

Or, to…

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Comparing Clouds: “Day 2” Management Operations

Richard Seroter's Architecture Musings

So far in this blog series, I’ve taken a look at how to provision and scale servers using five leading cloud providers. Now, I want to dig into support for “Day 2 operations” like troubleshooting, reactive or proactive maintenance, billing, backup/restore, auditing, and more. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to manage (long-lived) running instances at each provider and see what capabilities exist to help teams manage at scale. For each provider, I’ll assess instance management, fleet management, and account management.

There might be a few reasons you don’t care a lot about the native operational support capabilities in your cloud of choice. For instance:

  • You rely on configuration management solutions for steady-state. Fair enough. If your organization relies on great tools like Ansible, Chef or CFEngine, then you already have a consistent way to manage a fleet of servers and avoid configuration drift.
  • You use “immutable servers.”

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Comparing Clouds : IaaS Scalability Options

Richard Seroter's Architecture Musings

In my first post of this series, I looked at the provisioning experience of five leading cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers. No two were alike, as each offered a unique take.

Elasticity is an oft-cited reason for using the cloud, so scalability is a key way to assess the suitability of a given cloud to your workloads. Like before, I’ll assess Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure, AWS, CenturyLink Cloud, and Digital Ocean. Each cloud will be evaluated based on the ability to scale vertically (i.e. add/remove instance capacity) and horizontally (i.e. add/remove instances) either manually or automatically.

Let’s get going in alphabetical order.

DISCLAIMER: I’m the product owner for the CenturyLink Cloud. Obviously my perspective is colored by that. However, I’ve taught three well-received courses on AWS, use Microsoft Azure often as part of my Microsoft MVP status, and spend my day studying the cloud market and playing with cloud…

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