My son was bemoaning the fact that while his WoW (World of Warcraft, a.k.a. Digital Crack) character has "epic" shoulders (that still cracks me up), he's still wearing green shoes.

wow_epix-and-green-shoes Of course I asked what that meant because he made "green shoes" sound like some kind of digital disease.

Apparently in WoW (I am a gamer, but I stick to table-top games. MMORPGs hold little fascination for me) the power and effectiveness of items are represented by color. Green shoes are magical, but they're only one step away from "the shoes you left home to adventure in".

Worse, it seems that the shoes your character is wearing can drag down your effectiveness in general. So even though you have "epic" (very cool, very powerful) everything else, wearing green shoes drags you down.

It struck me that green shoes are like your network and delivery infrastructure; if that infrastructure is less than optimal and not up to the same level of "epic" as your application, it can drag down the overall effectiveness of that application. Even if you've got the killer application or site, if the network over which it is being delivered is congested, or drops packets, or unreliable, or just plain slow then that killer application isn't going to be as effective as it could be.

It's not enough to just build the application and make it available any more; you have to consider the underlying delivery infrastructure in order to ensure that it is doing its part in delivering effectively that application.

My son is hoping to get some more awesome shoes; one's with "gem slots" in them so he can add powers and abilities later on with gems. Yeah, he wants modularized shoes. That same concept works for your delivery infrastructure as well. If you ensure that your "shoes" (delivery infrastructure) can be upgraded/added to in a modularized fashion, that means you don't have to change your shoes (delivery infrastructure) when you want new functionality or powers.

Need acceleration (speed)? Add a module/gem. Need application security? Add a module/gem. Need optimization? Add a module/gem.

Just as it makes it really hard to be epic and effective when you have green shoes, it's really hard to deliver an epic application when it's wearing green shoes, a.k.a. a brittle, dumb delivery infrastructure.

So don't let your epic application get dragged down by wearing green shoes. Make sure you've got the shoes with gem slots in them so you can mod the heck out of your delivery structure as needed to ensure your application is as epic as it can be.

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