Reactions to the beer cache hierarchy

During my talk “The Quantum Physics of Java” at Oredev, @holly_cummins tweeted about the beer cache hierarchy. It is an analogy with which my former colleague, Richard Thompson, came up to describe the differences between memory access times. This tweet hit a nerve with more than 1.500 Retweets and more than 900 Favorites. It also inspired quite a few people to extend the analogy to other areas. Here are some of my favorites:

This is the tweet with which it all began.

 

And shortly after @holly_cummins added the missing piece.

 

Immediately some people extended the analogy to other access times…

… registers …

 

… remote direct memory access (RDMA) …

 

… SSD and tape …

 

… network …

 

… database requests …

 

… more SSD …

 

… and more tape.

 

Some people quickly pointed out that the analogy for disk access was way off (to my defense, it was just the part of a joke). 🙂

 

But what amazed me the most was how people extended the beer cache analogy.

 

Some focused on the actual act of drinking of which the following was one of the family-friendly one.

 

I always knew that beer and out-of-order execution are related, …

… but that you can even explain prefetching with the beer cache analogy was a surprise.

 

Enjoy your weekend!

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