Milliseconds and Nanoseconds: TIBCO feels the need, the need for speed

TIBCO appear on fire at Tucon this week, reinventing IT buzzwords aplomb with Enterprise 3.0 speak and now Warp speed messaging with TIBCO FTL, claiming that they’ve reduced message latency to mere nanoseconds now.

“TIBCO FTL is designed to support content-based distribution and to speed development of new messaging based applications to ensure greater flexibility. Discarding the practice of simply sending binary objects (BLOBs), TIBCO FTL aims to support structured data at speeds significantly higher than existing technologies.”

The problem i have with this fanfare (apart from limited understanding on the infrastructure side) is put simply as this:

No matter how fast the messenger is, if the worker isn’t thinking at the same speed what is the advantage ?

Admittedly nanoseconds will add up to an advantage at some point in the future when decision engines and humans catch up and the applications exist but the issue remains (for now) that data and content will be analysed and acted upon a lot slower than the delivery method. Think of it as a digital relay race, the first guy is off the blocks like Ben Johnson only to hand the baton over to Rip van Winkle (and the team coach is fired for his selection)

No doubt an organisation will have to buy TIBCO products wholesale to take advantage of this speed breakthrough or to build the applications themselves so I’d really be interested to see some real ROI figures when it’s deployed finally. I can understand the minute advantage it can mean in a share dealing scenario (just how much will be interesting to measure)

I don’t mind being shot down for this, it’s not my strong suit and I suffer from my own brand of latency: my brain can’t fire the message off quick enough to stop my mouth from opening….maybe I do need FTL after all.


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