Podcast – Dave Blakey of Snapt on Radically Different ADC

Joining us this week is Dave Blakey, CEO and Co-Founder Snapt.

About Snapt

Snapt develops high-end solutions for application delivery. We provide load balancing, web acceleration, caching and security for critical services.


  • 1 min 28 sec: Introduction of Guest
  • 1 min 59 sec: Overview of Snapt
    • Software solution
  • 3 min 1 sec: New Approach to Firewalls and Load Balancers
    • Driven by customers with micro-services, containers, and dynamic needs
    • Fast scale and massive volume needs
    • Value is in quality of service and visibility into any anomaly
  • 7 min 28 sec: Engaging with DevOps teams for Customer interactions
    • Similar tools across multiple clouds and on-premises drives needs
    • 80% is visibility and 20% is scalability
    • Podcast – Honeycomb Observability
  • 13 min 09 sec: Kubernetes and Istio
    • Use cases remain the same independent of the technology
    • Difference is in the operations not the setup
    • Istio is an API for Snapt to plug into
  • 17 min 29 sec: How do you manage globally delivered application stack?
    • Have to go deep into app services to properly meet demand where needed
    • Immutable deployments?
  • 25 min 24 sec: Eliminate Complexity to Create Operational Opportunity
  • 26 min 29 sec: Corporate Culture Fit in Snapt Team
    • Built Snapt as they needed a product like Snapt
    • Feature and Complexity Creep
  • 28 min 48 sec: Does platform learn?
  • 31 min 20 sec: Lessons about system communication times
    • Lose 25% of audience per 1 second of website load time
  • 34 min 34 sec: Wrap-Up

Podcast Guest:  Dave Blakey, CEO and Co-Founder Snapt.

Dave Blakey founded Snapt in 2012 and currently serves as the company’s CEO.

Snapt now provides load balancing and acceleration to more than 10,000 clients in 50 countries. High-profile clients include NASA, Intel, and various other forward-thinking technology companies.

Today, Dave has evolved into a leading open-source software-defined networking thought leader, with deep domain expertise in high performance (carrier grade) network systems, management, and security solutions.

He is a passionate advocate for advancing South Africa’s start-up ecosystem and expanding the global presence of the country’s tech hub.

32nd rule to measure complexity + 6 hyperscale network design rules

If you’ve studied computer science then you know there are algorithms that calculate “complexity.” Unfortunately, these have little practical use for data center operators.  My complexity rule does not require a PhD:

The 32nd rule: If it takes more than 30 seconds to pick out what would be impacted by a device failure then your design is too complex.

6 Hyperscale Network Design Rules

  1. Cost Matters
  2. Keep Networks Flat
  3. Filter at the Edge
  4. Design Fault Zones
  5. Plan for Local Traffic
  6. Offer load balancers (to your users)

Sorry for the teaser… I’ll be able to release more substance behind this list soon.   Until then comments are (as always) welcome!




Getting cozy with “Adjacent Services”

I’ve had a busy week with Azure Training and Cloud Camp Seattle.  It’s going to take a few days to unwind specific posts about both, but I wanted to hit some shiny new thoughts.

Services helping each other

  • Adjacent Services are dedicated and/or public services (XaaS) that are offered along side generic public cloud offerings.   For a company like Dell (my employer), this could be specific brands of storage or databases (e.g. Oracle).  I believe these are much higher margin XaaS than IaaS.
  • Layer 7 Load Balancers represent a more intelligent link between load direction and the applications. I heard people using this term in multiple contexts.   For example,  In Azure, the apps can set themselves as “offline” and they will stop getting traffic then they can turn themselves online when they are ready for more.
  • Cloud Rollout/Migration is a rolling upgrade scheme where you can send traffic to 2 versions of your application at the same time!  You upgrade by zones and if you have >2 zones then you’ll have two active versions at the same time.  Your data models need to accommodate this.
  • We don’t have enough Agile Cloud programming books (like Dave Thomas’ RoR Intro).  We need a cloud programming book that STARTS WITH INTEGRATION TESTS and shows how to use all the adjacent services.  I may just have to write one (or three).

Thanks to many many at Microsoft for the great Azure training sessions.  I’ll add more names, but for now I have links to Steve Marx (Smarx.com) & Srirm Krishnan (Sriram Krishnan.com) .