[FoRK] Cloud

Benjamin Black b at b3k.us
Mon Oct 5 15:18:16 PDT 2009

Adam L Beberg wrote:
> Benjamin Black wrote on 10/4/2009 12:19 PM:
>> so glad there aren't opaque credit bureaus and medical records bureaus
>> etc., into which we have no visibility, which have vast influence over
>> our daily lives, and which are regularly breached.  that's all new to
>> the cloud.
>> oh, wait...
> Hey, I'm not knocking the business model, it's one of the best. Just
> some truth in advertising to replace a word that now means nothing and
> has no competitive advantage.
> We've all been through this enough times now to know this term has both
> feet in the grave and people are shoveling dirt on it. All I know
> already is that whatever it's called next, they were doing it back in
> the 60's and most people I know do it now.
> Do the marketing guys not know how hard it is to s/xxx/yyy/g a codebase
> and recompile every 4 years? If we didn't keep rewriting EVERYTHING in a
> new language all the time, how would we eat?

i understand the logic that leads people to this conclusion, but i don't
agree with it.  there are clear challenges and solutions in what people
call 'the cloud' that were simply not present in any interesting form
before, much less in the 1960s.  yes, there are similarities with
mainframe bureaus, especially in terminology.  there are at least as
many differences, and they are not merely differences in degree.

full-auto infrastructure management and capacity scaling horizontally?
not a part of the mainframe world.  distributing computation to the
massive datasets over which it is operating _and_ moving data
geographically closer to users?  no real analog in the mainframe world.
 dealing with the thorny problems of massive scale, geodistributed
caching?  you get the idea.

marketing folks are calling everything cloud as a way to convince people
their products are relevant.  old folks claiming cloud is just
mainframes all over again do it for the same reason.  there are probably
still bell heads who will tell you the internet is just a telephone
network with some marketing sprinkled on it.


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