[FoRK] An interesting offshoot from the iPad discussion

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Mon Feb 1 13:28:41 PST 2010


--- On Mon, 2/1/10, Bill Stoddard <wgstoddard at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/1/10 3:11 PM, Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo wrote:
> > The iPad announcement has sent this guy in a different
> direction.
> > 
> > http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=30259&tag=col1;post-30259
> > 
> > On yet another tangent, is this
> personal/private/public cloud stuff all just Back To The
> Future? Why does the talk about clouds and virtualization
> and thin clients make me think we did all this with
> mainframes and minicomputers and we're just doing it all
> again for the third time? Or still doing the same thing with
> a slightly different mix of technologies? Am I wrong? 
> Significantly wrong?  How/Where am I wrong?
> > 
> >       
>    ...ken...
> >    
> 
> We're not talking 3270 thin and it's a lot easier (or will
> soon be a lot easier) to provision apps in the cloud and
> grow the cloud incrementally as compared to same on classic
> mainframes.  History doesn't repeat but it rhymes.
> 


I'm not sure I agree with the last statement. It stands to reason that as the various technologies themselves progress we should be able to do more stuff and do it more easily and in better ways. That means the sysadmin stuff as well as the user stuff. But have the basic models really changed significantly? 

E.g. does the fact of a stack of blades in the computer room instead of a mainframe box full of processors change anything? Really? Especially if you do virtualization on either?

E.g. if you think about how a 3270 terminal relates to it's "host" environment versus how a thin client (browser) relates to it's "host" environment, can you articulate any really significant difference at the level of the basic computing model? In both cases it appears to me that all the really useful bits are on/in the host and the client part is just a way/place for the user to access (output and input thingies) the good stuff from some location that is physically different from the host. Yes?


> ...   I just can't imagine
> persistently keeping bits that form the backbone of your
> business outside the firewall.
> 


You're just not cynical enough. Just give the beancounters and non-technical managers in the C-suite the opportunity. Show them how it will improve the "bottom line" or juice the quarterly numbers that the market analysts revere and there won't be the slightest hesitation.

Many companies already outsource the whole operations side. It's not a big step from handing over control of all the good stuff to a data centre like EDS to giving it to a more "public" service provider. "Security" differences between the two are only a very small difference of degree in both reality and perception.

Many companies are already moving email and "desktop computing" apps into the cloud ... think Google Apps. In many organizations these are, or contain, mission-critical functions and data. In some cases they realize it. In some, not.

This is not an issue of a computing model. It's the long-standing, ongoing tussle over outsourcing. That's a financial debate, not a technical issue. Even though the geeks like to think it is, 'tain't.

          ...ken...


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