BOFH: Explain? All we need is this kay-sh with DDR3 Cortexiphan ...

Year 2015 - Episode 5

Episode 5 The PFY has crossed the line. Even though he knows better, he's attempted to explain something technical to management.

I don't know why he did it – he's aware of the risks, and yet he still did.

"KAY-SHING – not CASHing" he says, speaking slowly so the Boss can understand.

"But surely it's the same thing?"

"It IS the same thing, but if we use the KAY pronunciation it'll stop anyone thinking there might be money involved."

"What money?" the Boss asks, suppressing excitement.

I could honestly write a flowchart of the Boss' thought processes. It wouldn't be big:

"What he's trying to say" I blurt, deciding to help the PFY, "is that sometimes it's good to keep things close to you – for efficiency."

"How do you mean?"

"Well in your case you might keep a couple of stale lard sandwiches in your top drawer to save you driving home to get your wife to rustle up a culinary delight every time you get peckish."

"Oh, I just use the vending machine downstairs."

"Not the point," I snap. "But to explain further: if you have something that you use often it's better to keep it close than having to do all the work of going and getting it. You know – like how your wife keeps a copy of the book 'Coping with disappointment' on her bedside table instead of in the bookshelf."

"Or how you might keep cash in your wallet, because it's quicker to pull your wallet out instead of going to the bank every time you need to pay for something " the PFY adds, interrupting the Boss' thought processes before he gets offended.

"I... see."

"So in our case, while we might put all our data into the cloud somewhere what we're also doing is KAY-SHING our data locally. That way we have a local copy on the fast network as well as a backup – and remote access copy – in the cloud."

"So it would be quicker than waiting for the cloud?" the Boss asks hesitantly.

"For our on-site users, yes. Off-site users would use the cloud, which would probably end up being faster for them."

"So is our copy of the data called a 'near side cache'?" the Boss asks.

"No, it's just called a cache."

"But it's near us," he whines.

"It is, but most all caches are near – so the whole 'near-side' crap is what we call 'operationally redundant'. It would be like saying acne-ridden deep fryer operator, because all deep fryer operators are acne ridden. Or saying Idiot Boss because al-"

"Or money-grabbing, lying, pre-sales person" the PFY says, again interrupting. "So in the end we have this cache and it stores all the data we use most commonly – and because it's near it means that we won't be slowed down with accessing our data from the cloud – AND if there's an internet outage we can keep on working."

"Internet outage?!" the Boss gasps.

The PFY is on a roll today and I realise there was a line missing from my boss-brain-flowchart between what's-in-it-for-me and lunchtime:

"..I thought we had redundant internet?" he asks

"We do have redundant internet," I say, "but every now and then there's a possibility that a particular outage would be common to both of them.”

"Is there another internet?"

"Yes," I say, "but you need a bunch of Cortexiphan to make use of it."

"Cortexiphan?" the Boss asks. "Should we be getting hold of that? Is it a type of network cabling?"

Around about now I feel that I should leave the PFY to it – him being the person who opened Pandora's Box in the first place.

"Yes" the PFY lies. "And it's included in this server which I'd like you to sign off on."

"I thought you said that this was a KAYSHE thingy."

"It is a cache thingy, and if you look at the memory spec you'll see that it's been configured with DDR3 ECC – Extra Cache Cortexiphan. With this in our server it'll bypass network outages by having a backlink to online content."

The Boss is teetering on the edge of dummy-mode but he just needs someone to plant the boot of a tier-3 technical topology buzzword on his arse and give him a good push.

"It's tier-3 Cortexiphan we're looking at so obviously it's topology redundant with multiple backchannels and has the full dual Dunham processor architecture behind it. With a 2 Teraflop Bishop Gating protocol, obviously."


"You know, I think I heard that somewhere," the Boss says, scratching his signature on a piece of paper.


Later, in Mission Control, I consider suggesting that the PFY might want to arrange a tragic workplace accident before the kit arrives and is deployed but then realise that everything I just thought was, as they say, operationally redundant. ®