A few years ago, we replaced all of our windows in our home (I’m talking about the panes of glass you look through, not the operating system). We, of course, talked with a few different companies who stopped by, went through their product portfolio and brought along samples. One demonstration stuck with me. The sales person, placed his sample window flat on the ground and stood on it, demonstrating the strength of the window. I immediately started thinking, “That was totally wicked” and “I wonder if it has ever shattered before”.
As the practical part of my brain kicked in, I began to wonder when I am ever going to need to walk on my windows. Is Batman stopping by and going to climb up my house? Is this unique to this particular window? Not knowing much about windows, I wondered if my old windows were just as strong.
Demos are meant to impress us, but we need to ask ourselves if the demo really demonstrates everyday life.
And this was the goal I set out to achieve when I was trying to see how much of a benefit to the user experience would the new RAM Cache with Disk Overflow feature provide. I wanted a demonstration that showed a very typical user.
A typical office user, like myself, uses a Windows desktop with the following
- Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Word
Even with the apps defined, you can still have quite a difference in the workload depending on the websites you visit or the type of document you create. Instead of visiting a website going overboard with multimedia, Citrix.com was used as it resembles a simple, common site.
Instead of creating a large, document, multiple pictures, different aspect ratios and 3d rendering, the demo creates a small document with a single paragraph and a simple chart.
With this simple workload, would we see any noticeable difference in the user experience? And by noticeable, I’m not talking about an application take a 1/2 second longer to load. I’m talking about a “WOW, anyone who sees this will definitely be able to notice the improvement”.
In this very simple demonstration, with a minimal workload, I saw 2 major things
- A drastic drop in disk activity
- Very noticeable change in the user experience
Try it for yourself. Flip the switch
From the virtual mind of Virtual Feller