Saturday, 26 January 2013

Clouds - nothing new under the Sun?

I have had it confirmed by Microsoft (in a round about way) that we are returning to the age of the mainframe!

I attended a talk on 'Cloud computing' this week which was very informative but illustrated to me that we are indeed returning to the age of mainframe computing. Bring it on I say!

The talk was run by a Microsoft Partner organisation and the aim was to present the advantages of using Cloud computing in a business environment. Of course - the talk focussed on a Microsoft infrastructure that enables the 'Cloud' for you - and its very slick!

However, there were echo's from the past throughout;

  • The description of the Cloud server end of things sounded very much like an old mainframe computing centre to me. Stand alone building containing a mass of computing power being cooled by some enormous plant. Looking to position these centres in places like Iceland to aid the cooling! Who remember the Cray cooling iceberg,
  • The description of the IT support provided with the Cloud services. They load your  applications and manage data allocation for users. Sounds suspiciously like Job Control Language wording to me.
  • You only pay for the Cloud service as you use it - well on a monthly basis anyway - and only for what you need. Paying for access was part of mainframe datacentre life - you couldn't afford to do anything else. Better make sure your code was as clear of bug's as possible or your allocated hour of use would go in a flash!
  • On the Cloud data side - loads of the stuff produced 'big data'. There was lots of big data produced in the mainframe era - this was stored on dinner plate sized data discs - piles of them - if that isn't big data I don't know what is! All your data stored remotely and safe of course - just like in the Cloud!
  • And finally, the Cloud is accessed by a 'dumb client' that sounded exactly like a 'green screen' monitor.

There is hope yet then. Onward and upward ....

No comments:

Post a Comment