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The IT Appliance World Has Multicore Problems Too

Rational Security has a great post on the challenges of multicore for vendors of security boxes.  You’ll recall that the Multicore Crisis comes about because the impact of Moore’s Law on microprocessor performance has changed.  We no longer get a doubling of clock speed every 18 months, instead we double the number of cores.  The problem with this, and the reason its a crisis, is that conventional software isn’t designed to make use of more cores.

There are a heck of a lot of different IT Appliances out there performing every imaginable task.  Cisco has made a tremendous business as have its competitors selling a variety of them.  Inside the black box one often finds a computer running software.  It should come as no surprise that:

  1. Performance and throughput matters to these black boxes.
  2. Since they’re just computers, they can run afoul of the multicore crisis too.

Apparently the majority of these boxes are built on software that’s at least 5 years old.

It seems the multicore crisis will find its way to every corner of the computing ecosystem before too long.

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