WE THINK OF computation in terms of its consequences.
The big MapReduce job returns a large result.
Web interactions display information. Enterprise
applications update the database and return an answer.
These are the reasons we do our work.
What we rarely discuss are the side effects of doing the
work we intend. Side effects may be unwanted, or they
may actually cause desired behavior at different
layers of the system. This article points
out some fun patterns to keep in mind
as we build and use our systems.
As we build systems, we come across
a bunch of layers of abstractions. The
datacenter provides power, networking, cooling, and protection from rain.
The server provides DRAM (dynamic
random-access memory), SSD (
solid-state drive), network, computation,
HDD (hard-disk drive), and more. The
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One system’s side effect is
another’s meat and potatoes.
BY PAT HELLAND