Search Results for: infrastructure

Catherine Liao

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I got my start in tech at 19, as a systems engineer for one of the first Internet conferencing services in the 90s. Since then, I've architected application infrastructures and managed 24x7 operations for both dotcoms and enterprises. The most memorable work experience came from being part of the team that scaled the web infrastructure for the World Health Organization (WHO) to support the 20X growth of web traffic during the SARS epidemic. I'm completely fascinated with Internet-centric innovations and their implications on how we work and live. In addition to having a technical background, I also hold an Executive MBA from Imperial College London Business School where I focused on go-to-market strategy and entrepreneurship. My dissertation on mobile app revenue models and go-to-market strategies can be viewed here. I love doing business development & product strategy work, and believe that successes are built on 1/3 intuition + data, 1/3 hard work, & 1/3 luck. During the day I represent Riverbed in my role as Sr Director, Platform Solutions Marketing. During the off hours I like to spend time dabbling in wine and technology projects. Back in 2010 I combined my passion in wine and technology and launched Corkbin, a mobile wine app for wine lovers to easily remember and share the wines. Check out the video below to meet Corkbin and the team behind it.  Corkbin is now part of Hello Vino, a fabulous app that helps consumers to easily choose and buy wines. Want to get in touch? Connect with me via LinkedIn or Twitter.  


With Google incorporating a "website speed" factor into site rankings, it has created renewed interests in rendering performance of web sites/apps. As a techie who has spent most of her career around web app delivery & performance, I'd like to highlight some (known) techniques and offer a few insights.

Browser-Side Optimization

Steve Souder identified 14 rules in his book for optimizing the performance of any given web page:


Having spent years running 24x7 internet-facing production systems, I find that the monitoring element of an application delivery environment is often the last item to be addressed and built outside of the application delivery architecture. As we continue to build our application delivery infrastructure in the cloud, having a good monitoring strategy will allow us to arm ourselves with the information we need to make intelligent decisions. So exactly what should be monitored?


Amazon's new Relational Database Service (RDS) has generated quite a bit of buzz as of late. This move propels Amazon forward into the application services provider in the cloud computing arena. I've briefly written about different types of cloud services in an earlier post and outlined differences between Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (Saas), and IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). As cloud-based services gain maturity and adoption, the lines between different "as-a-Service" offerings to blur as providers evolve their service offerings.


With over 12,000 attendees, VMWorld 2009 was definitely impressive. It was great to be there as part of the Cisco data center team and see Cisco continue to make progress into the server & virtualization space. A few exciting technology showcases & announcements that were exciting to me: VMWorld Data Center chose Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to virtualize and reduced an environment of 37,728 physical servers using 2,483 racks and 25,329 KW of power to 776 physical servers in 28 racks using 528 KW of power.


The etherspace has been busy with highlights, tips, and expectations of VMWorld 09 taking place at the Moscone center in SF starting August 31. I'd like to chime in and highlight technology areas that I'll be focusing on while I'm there next week. Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Cisco's entry into the server computing realm by providing a platform that unifies network, compute, storage access, and virtualization resources. A "wall of UCS" at VMWorld will showcase 16 racks containing 64 chassis, 512 blades, 4096 cores, & 24 TB of memory. This is where the VMWorld labs are run out of and it is expected that ~1500 users will be accessing the UCS systems at any given time through VMware View.

Wanted to share my thoughts around the launch of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and my thoughts around what Unified Computing means to me... Unified Computing Vision: server virtualization using stateless servers with virtualized adapters, riding on top of unified fabric, provisioned through a single domain of management Virtualization today:

  • Memory & GigE connectivity limiting the # of VMs a given physical host can accommodate.
  • The “quick fix” approach is increasing the # of GigE ports connected to a physical host. It’s not uncommon to see a physical host with 2 x HBAs & 6+ x GigE (separating out mgmt, vmotion, prod traffic).
  • Result of “quick fix” = increased connectivity infrastructure cost (ie. 48-port GigE linecard = 8 servers!) plus operational cost around managing each NIC.
  • 10GE starting to make more sense, take a step further into unified fabric --> simplified cabling infrastructure & cost, 1 x CNA + 2 x CNA cabling per physical host