I was just watching Bytes by MSDN where Billy Hollis interviews Ron Jacobs, Sr. Technical Evangelist for the Microsoft Server AppFabric platform. Billy Hollis asked him if it’s a big cliff to start using this awesome power that is AppFabric. Here’s what Ron said:
It’s not a big cliff. It’s similar to what you do now. I would say, the biggest thing is, first of all, you’ve got to get workflow. I know a lot of people look and they are like : “Workflow?” Trust me, it’s great! And once you get your grip on workflow, if you can write apps that work on Windows Workflow, on a local machine, you can throw that thing in the cloud, it will desume.
I have no idea what ‘desume’ is, but I guess it means ‘it will rock’ or something like that! And I agree!
But I don’t really have a clue to why you’d have to throw it in the cloud. I understand that Microsoft is betting big on the cloud and want all their evangelists to push the cloud into our brains. But what Ron Jacobs is talking about isn’t possible in the cloud right now, or at least not with AppFabric. Windows Server AppFabric and Windows Azure AppFabric might be more aligned in the future, but right now they’re definitely not.
I think we’ve got some great new opportunities when using Windows Server AppFabric for hosting our applications. In the past I had some major issues with WF3 while I did not even know the technology that well. My concerns were
- Hosting your workflows
- Monitoring your workflows
- Persisting your workflows
These three have all been solved by AppFabric. But how about that massively scalability that Ron Jacobs is talking about? When I first tried to look up what it took to get a cluster of AppFabric servers up and running, I could not find a lot of information on what to do. Until I discovered I actually did not have to do anything! Just make sure every single server is pointing towards the same database, has the same version of the workflows and you’re done!
So as the title says, it doesn’t take a genius to build a massively scalable system. Doesn’t mean you can brainlessly start building workflows and expect AppFabric to solve it all. You just don’t have to be a genius anymore.
It’s been six weeks since my last blogpost. And although people could’ve kept up with the current situation via my Twitter account, I’ve decided to make one more post on what happened in the previous weeks, since people asked for it in comments and via other channels.
The past weeks have been very, very hard. The fact that my wife could die (which was enough stressful on its own), organizing a lot of help, talking to hundreds of people over the past few weeks, dealing with a lot of kind people offering help but also a lot of idiots, etc, demanded a lot of me. This resulted in that I did not have a single moment for myself to take my mind off of what was happening. My children were also very upset about what happened and tested me way beyond my limits. Which is very understandable, but doesn’t mean it was fun. I found out what it was to have your body and mind running on adrenaline and having the adrenaline run out. But so far about me…
Last Monday it was exactly 6 weeks ago and this Tuesday my wife was formally discharged from the rehabilitation center. She won’t receive any outpatient treatment either. The part of her skull which they removed still has to be put back, but that’s about it. In 4 weeks we’ll have an appointment with the rehabilitation specialist about how things are going and to see if we think we still need some help. How about that?
And to think that the hospital asked me to bring a photo-camera on the Wednesday after it happened; they brought our daughter to her mother and advised me to take pictures of them both. So that when my wife would never wake up again, our daughter would have pictures of herself and her mother for when she was grown up. Believe me, that message wasn’t received well by me. And the pictures aren’t nice either, because my wife was still in induced coma and got mechanical ventilation. Afterwards I heard they gave her a 5% change of ever waking up and some doctors were certain it would never happen at all. They came very close to not operating her at all, because of the prognosis.
Before the first week was over they removed the mechanical ventilation. When I came onto intensive care that they, she immediately spoke to me and asked where I had been. I can tell you, that was about the happiest event ever for me. After that she pushed herself really, really hard to get out of bed and do things herself. Before 4 weeks were over, she had already taken a shower and dressed herself before the nurses came in to help her.
She was on the waiting list to get into Rijndam for (inpatient) rehabilitation, but we asked if she could stay at home while waiting for her rehabilitation. When she got into Rijndam almost everyone asked themselves why she was there, that’s how good she was doing. So after a few days and some observation the rehabilitation specialist asked us if we were okay with the fact that she actually didn’t need any help at all anymore. There’s no physical loss in any way and also cognitive there seems to be nothing wrong.
So now she’s at home and we’re trying to pick up life again where we left it, almost as if nothing has happened. Of course it’s nothing short of a miracle. The neurologist and nurses who are working for dozens of years on neurology haven’t seen anything that comes close to what happened to my wife. They can’t explain how it could’ve happened that she recovered so well, especially with the severity of the two intracranial hemorrhages she had. All I can say is that a lot of people prayed for her and that I’m more certain of it than anything else in life that He has listened. He showed us that miracles still do happen.