The adventures of John Williams

Data Jungle Book


Adventurer John Williams knows the jungle only from the tales he has heard, but he is captivated by them. The variety of species and the endless blaze of color fascinate him so much that he embarks on a journey to explore the land of his dreams. Arriving in the jungle, he quickly notices that the jungle is not only beautiful but can also be challenging. Weak from thirst and starving, John is nursed back to health by the inhabitants of a small village. Having regained his strength, John’s journey takes a completely new turn that will change his life. Together with Fuji, the village elder, he sets out on a voyage of discovery to get to know the jungle better. They wander through Storage Valley and to Server Falls, among other destinations, and come across interesting plants such as the rainbow tree and cacao fruit. The two companions even find an elaborate rice terrace system and visit a Japanese garden – and all the while they are surrounded by a mysterious power that lies waiting to be discovered...

The data jungle is real!


A place of longing, a place where dangers lurk

Adventurer John Williams was overwhelmed when he first heard stories about the jungle. Explorers spoke of unknown animal and plant species and a unique climate.
John also listened to the successful tales of people who had traveled the globe to seek their fortune – and found it. He knew instinctively: this was where he belonged, this was where his future lay. And so he boarded a ship and set out to reach this promised land.

It wasn’t more than a few days after his arrival when John discovered that this jungle was more than just a place of riotous color, rich with life. He immediately set off to explore the jungle. But far from the familiarity of urban surroundings, it wasn’t long before John lost his way. After three days, he ran out of water; his food was already long gone. John did not know where he was or where he should go next.

Weak with exhaustion, John had the good fortune to stumble upon a small village one morning. The villagers looked after him lovingly. Once he had regained his strength, he told them what had brought him there: “I love the jungle and would like to live there but I don’t seem to have found the right place for myself yet.” Fuji, the village elder, offered to guide him through the jungle and show him everything. “I think I already know somewhere you might especially like,” smiled Fuji. “Let’s go to Storage Valley.” And so the two packed their backpacks, checked their compasses, and studied the maps for their trip. Well prepared, they set out on their journey...

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Getting to Storage Valley

The path to Storage Valley was not so difficult. The two were able to use good walking trails for the most part. Fuji knew his way around here well and the journey passed quickly. Yet, the closer they got to Storage Valley, the rougher the paths became, until these too disappeared completely and they had to rely completely on Fuji’s sense of direction. At first, they couldn’t tell any difference in their surroundings from the part of the jungle where they had been roaming for the last few days. Then – for the first time since they had set out – John heard the sound of a river. They followed the noise and soon came upon a wild torrent of water. The surface glistened with a magical appeal. Was it possible that this river played an important role for the vegetation of this unique jungle area? After some refreshments and filling up their water bottles, the two adventurers continued downstream. The river flowed downhill for a while before the dense vegetation began to open up a little. What then greeted the two men took their breaths away. John had already discovered the variety of life in the jungle when he arrived, but this sight outshone anything he had seen so far. Plant species that would otherwise be several thousand kilometers – or even continents – apart seemed to grow together in one place here. It was Fuji who tore John from his daze: “According to legend, a mysterious power is said to surround this place. And this is said to be the reason for the special vegetation.” John pointed toward a type of forest with especially tall trees. After talking it over, the two men made their way there. POWERFUL GIANTS Close up, these giants seemed even more overwhelming. “Impressive, aren’t they?” asked Fuji. “These trees can be up to 20 meters in diameter. This is outdone only by their height, since they can grow up to 100 meters tall. What’s more, they keep their needles all year long.” John was also fascinated by a colorful herd of the most diverse animals on the move through this corner of the forest. Fuji said this was because the redwood – as the tree is called – offers protection and a home for many plant and animal species. When he added that redwoods could be up to 2,000 years old and are resistant to fire, John’s respect for these unique trees grew immensely. ALL COLORS OF THE RAINBOW John could scarcely tear himself away from the fascinating plants, but Fuji urged him to go on, saying that there was still much more to discover – for example, trees with bark that resembles a rainbow. John agreed and after carefully checking the compass, Fuji led him out of the redwood forest. The vegetation changed quickly and it wasn’t long before John could guess what Fuji had hinted at. Before them lay a new, completely different forest than the one they had just left. And while the trees were not tall here, they were wildly beautiful. Their bark shimmered in a blaze of different greens, reds, and yellows that really did remind John of a rainbow. “The trees look magnificent, but do they have other special properties?” asked John. “Everything that grows in this valley and along the adjacent lake is special,” responded Fuji. “You will come to realize that, John. These trees grow exceptionally quickly, for example.” The regenerative energy of the rainbow tree is also said to be the reason for the appearance of the bark. This tree can grow up to a four meters in one year and stores large quantities of water. When asked how the tree does this, Fuji simply answered that it was because of “the power.” This mysterious answer left John clueless. He just had to see the adjacent lake Fuji had spoken of. He asked Fuji about it and Fuji agreed. But first they wanted to explore other types of trees in Storage Valley. THE TEMPERATURE WAS BEGINNING TO RISE... Fuji and John continued their journey after a short snooze. “The next marvel will amaze you even more.” – “Really,” laughed John, “what else could surprise me now?” Fuji simply smiled and asked John to follow him. First they walked away from the river for some distance. The vegetation changed visibly. The dense, green vegetation thinned out and then disappeared almost completely. Slowly the nature of the soil underfoot changed too: The dark, damp jungle soil gradually gave way to light, dusty sand. And John noticed something else: While the humidity declined, the air temperature increased significantly. “Where are we? And what are those strange pillars back there?” Fuji stopped and turned to his companion. “You didn’t believe that I could show you something even more incredible. And yet already you are amazed. We are still in Storage Valley. And those are not pillars back there, they are baobabs – the “tree of life.” As they moved closer to the group of trees, the soil darkened slightly again and some small plants covered the terrain. “We are moving toward the river again,” explained Fuji. The baobabs fascinated the widely traveled John from the very beginning, since these giant, pillar-like trees could absorb water in large quantities. “They can store the river’s power,” says Fuji, while pointing in the direction of the water, which could now be heard clearly again. The tree’s thick bark offers protection from the intense heat. Fuji recounted how the course of the river would often almost dry up above ground at this point and that during these times, the resilient baobab would draw on its enormous water reserves. John was once more overwhelmed by the unusual trees that grew in Storage Valley. “There is another special tree very close by that also withstands the adverse conditions here,” explained Fuji. “We call these dragon blood trees.” AMONG SURVIVAL ARTISTS “Dragon blood tree?” repeated John. “That sounds a little sinister.” Fuji laughed. “Quite the opposite! These trees are a symbol of life in this part of the valley. You will soon understand what I mean.” The dragon blood trees grew just a stone’s throw from the place where the two explorers were now standing. The trees looked a little like oversized umbrellas. Their fruit was very popular with the birds. But what was that? There was a man standing a little further back at a dragon blood tree. “He seems to be scratching something into the tree,” whispered John. “I will speak to him,” said Fuji as they approached the man cautiously. The man looked up at them briefly and then looked back at the spot he had scratched. He held a small container underneath, which collected the liquid as it spilled out. Fuji spoke to the man. Afterwards, he explained to John that the local people successfully use the resin of the dragon blood tree as medicine. He also learned that these trees can grow for many centuries despite the adverse conditions.

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A hint of Asia in the middle of the rainforest

Fuji looked at his compass, pointed in a direction, and off they set on their journey once more. However, this time John could see from afar where the path would lead them, because the horizon resembled a huge bright red cloud. John knew this sight but still – or rather because of it – could hardly believe his eyes. The entire area was laid out like a Japanese garden: Stone lanterns and carefully laid paths guided both the direction and the gaze of the two visitors. This perfect scene left Fuji and John in awe. At the same time they felt a blissful sense of calm spread through them. The trees, Japanese maple trees, were likewise normally native to Japan. Their leaves were the source of the red “clouds” that John had seen from afar. This was exactly the right place for a little refreshment. And so the two adventurers settled down for a while at the banks of the river. The calm surrounding the pair was only interrupted by the flapping of numerous birds, which all seemed to be drawn in the same direction. Curiosity eventually overcame John and Fuji, and they followed them. Finally, they saw what their feathered friends had gone in search of – an abundance of red fruits that they were now ravaging. “I know what this tree is,” says John. “These are cherries.” Fuji knew all too well and introduced the 30-meter tall trees as sweet cherries. “This cherry variety bears the first fruits especially early in the year, much to the delight of the birds. But you should see these trees in the fall when the green leaves turn a bright shining red. It’s truly a magnificent sight,” concluded Fuji. Remembering that cherries are healthy, John picked a couple and ate them.

Sweet Cherry of the data jungle: Hyper-converged Infrastructures (HCI)

The special power

John’s brain was buzzing. He had gotten to know so many new types of trees, each with their special abilities. John thought about all everything he could achieve if he could use all these trees for himself. But one thing bothered him. “Fuji, the power you keep mentioning: Can it only be found here? Can I take it with me?” Fuji considered for a while whether he should reveal his knowledge of the power to his companion. Finally, he explained to John: “The power is present all over the world. It is everywhere. You just have to be able to use it. This is possible, for example, with the right combination of trees and the quality of the soil and its nutrients, just like they grow here.” Fuji also explained that the trees in this region were connected to each other in a different way than in other places. “They form a vast network that they use to exchange messages with one another. And this is something all trees do here, regardless of their type.” John did not quite believe what he was hearing, but at least he could see it with his own eyes. Now he wanted to know precisely: “I noticed something else: Many of these trees have lianas although they are not really supposed to have any.” “Hmm, that is not so easy to explain. But by interacting with the lianas, you can control the growth, spread, and even self-healing powers of the different types of trees. Some day I’ll show you how this works. But you should also get to know the fruit of Server Falls,” smiled Fuji. “Come on, I’ll show you.”

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Off to Server Falls

John could hardly believe his ears. There was even more fruit to be found? And a waterfall, too? He didn’t need to be told twice. The two hoisted their backpacks onto their shoulders and began to follow the course of the river again. They could hear the waterfall long before they reached it. What is more, there was an indescribably sweet fragrance in the air – scarcely perceptible at first, then stronger and stronger. When the two arrived at the waterfall, they were able to survey the entire basin, including a large lake. Similar trees had once more become established here and there, just as in Storage Valley. The only difference was that all of these trees bore fragrant fruit. John wanted to head straight down into the basin, and so they began their descent. BROWN GOLD “What kind of fruit is this?” called John as he continued walking. “That’s cacao fruit,” replied Fuji. John had not imagined the origin of this sweet drink to be quite so large. He knew that the fruit, which were the size of sugar beets, had to undergo a long process before they became cocoa powder. “There are two main basic varieties, but these include around 20 different species of cacao,” said Fuji. He also explained that each cacao tree produces thousands of blossoms. THE RECORD HOLDER AMONG FRUITS Unlike Storage Valley, the different groups of trees stood closely together here around the lake. This made it easier to discover them all, and allowed Fuji to focus on describing the fruit. And that’s exactly what he did. “Right here is the record-holder among fruit – the jackfruit,” he began. “First of all, there’s its weight. A single fruit can weigh up to 50 kg, and one tree, in turn, produces up to 700 of them every year! The jackfruit tree can grow up to 20 meters tall; it bears its fruit from the trunk and strong branches, and this allows the fruit to be picked more easily. It actually grows in the tropics, but everything is possible in this special place.” John had already noticed this. Fuji continued: “Its fruit pulp tastes like a mixture of mango, bananas, and pineapple. The entire tree is also used by the area’s locals in a variety of different ways: as feed for farm animals and as glue for furniture, while the seeds can be used for chips or flour. They are also popular as vegetables in different cooked dishes ...” “Just a moment,” laughed John. “Now I understand what you mean when you say this fruit is a record-holder.” Excited, they continued on to the next group of trees. ON TO THE SUPERFOODS The next group of trees looked rather inconspicuous compared with the sweet cherries and rice plants. But Fuji could state for a fact that this was by no means the case. “Appearances are deceptive. Although these green fruits are not sweet-tasting, they are all the more nutritious. You should try these avocados. They are even called superfood here.” John listened to the words of his guide, cut into one of the fruits with his knife and tasted it. Meanwhile Fuji explained: “Avocados have the highest fat content of all known fruit and vegetable varieties. These fats are extremely valuable, since they are very beneficial for your health.” John thought about the different ways an avocado could be prepared and about the fact that the oils in this fruit are much better for consumption than the ones he had known to date. TOWER OF STRENGTH The next plants were the source of the wonderful fragrance that they had been able to smell when they entered the area. The fruit was already familiar to John, too. “These are mangoes, aren’t they?” he asked. Fuji nodded. “Yes, mangoes are also very healthy in their own way. They contain lots of beneficial nutrients. And they also taste amazing. We call them the fruits of the Gods because of their special sweetness. “These trees,” adds Fuji “can live for up to 300 years and bear fruit.” “This makes them the perfect snack to fortify us before we head back,” decided John. “That was the last group of trees, if I am right.” They packed several mangoes into their backpacks to eat on their journey. The two hikers then settled in for the night, since it was getting dark. The next day they would return to Fuji’s village. John stayed awake the whole night. He thought about it and came to a decision. Even before he and Fuji got ready for the journey back, he said: “Fuji, I want to thank you. You showed me the place where I will settle down. There is everything here that I need to live the life of my dreams. I’m going to come back as soon as possible and start my new life here.”

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Rice terraces at the waterfall

They had scarcely set out the next morning when Fuji and John came across an area that looked like an oversized set of naturally-occurring steps. But the individual steps were simply too uniform to have grown naturally. “Where are we?” asked John.

“Oh, these are rice terraces. The villages in the area use them to grow rice. The elaborate system of terraces together with bamboo cane, channels, and small ditches means that the rice is constantly supplied with the necessary resources, such as water and nutrients.

All the people here can cultivate as much rice as they need in the terraces. It doesn’t matter how much or little rain falls or how much or little rice is grown – the rice always has precisely the resources it needs to grow optimally – no more, no less.

The community takes care of maintaining the rice terraces so that the individual villagers don’t need to. Everyone can just concentrate on growing rice. Rice terraces are an impressive example of how food can be cultivated sustainably without harming nature.”

John was astonished once more and delighted to hear so many new ideas and about such progressive use of resources. Full of anticipation of his future life in the jungle, he set out to accompany Fuji to his village.

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