Great system architecture rant below.
Good startup ideas are not counterintuitive, but in fact obvious, if you talk to users and develop a better model of the world (Startup L. Jackson/Startups and S**t) http://www.techmeme.com/141109/p1#a141109p1
Improve small job completion times by 47% by running full clones. http://highscalability.com/blog/2014/11/3/improve-small-job-completion-times-by-47-by-running-full-clo.html
There was a good article in Communications of the ACM about how to deal with large latency variations a few months ago if you are interested in reading more.
Below is an interesting article that explains some of the motivation behind white box networking.