Neuroscientists have shown that well-established routines may expend a fraction of the energy of doing things for the first time.
That's why you might travel home sometimes and not remember any of the journey. Your brain runs on a sort of cerebral autopilot while your conscious efforts are directed elsewhere.
Anyone involved in web-scale IT would recognise the findings. A relatively new concept, web-scale IT is based on the idea of building a better production process. Anyone who helped Facebook or Google build their datacentres will tell you how painful it was at first, because everything was new.
Every decision on how to fit this chunk of computing power into a space with that storage device and those networking boxes was difficult. But the more times you do a puzzle, the quicker you get at solving it.
Web-scale builders started to automate the more predictable bits of the process. Those stressful decisions that you have to make when building a datacentre may be rationalised.
Companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook have a voracious appetite for data, so the challenge is to build an infrastructure that won't collapse, no matter how heavy the demands of the datacentre.
In our case, this meant creating building blocks that integrate processing power, networking, and storage in the quantities you might want them. One of the hardest parts is creating a foundation that will support rapid scaling up without compromising the longevity of the system.
Spinning up servers is now measured in minutes, thanks to virtualisation. People involved in software development began to expect quicker results, yet the actual building of the infrastructure was still a slow process.
Web-scale IT means the hardware side of a web-scale project can keep pace.
Once the infrastructure is built, the next task is to adapt it for each application. Generally that has to be done manually by the IT operations people.
A system that manages a datacentre like a single machine might transform the industry, giving a capacity for automated self adjustment that enables cost reduction.
Steve Kaplan is vice president of channel and strategic sales at Nutanix
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