18 August 2009

It was a Cloudy day, not a Sun was in the sky

Well, mangled Paul Simon a bit there, but this tid bit (via O'Reilly) from one Carl Hewitt set off the "The Thought Leaders Have Finally Figured Out the Obvious" bell:

As Jim Gray noted in "Distributed Computing Economics" (MSR-TR-2003-24) there is a growing imbalance between the computation power of billions of cores in aggregator datacenters and the relatively feeble fiber optic communications coming out of aggregator datacenters. This problem has now become so severe that Amazon has been forced to introduce a commercial service that lets users of their cloud import and export data through the post--as in, put it on storage devices and ship it by land, sea, or air.

For those who haven't been following along, I am among those who've been calling bullshit on the whole "we'll put our data in the (Amazon/Google/Microsoft/Grace L. Ferguson) cloud, save lots of money, and not have to worry about the annoying data any more" crowd. One needs to consider the bait and switch tactic of hucksters. Just because Google's motto is "don't be evil" doesn't mean they aren't. They are young and naive, and quite greedy. Their corporate clients are just greedy, and generally stupid. Witness the meltdown they have caused.

It used to be that business schools taught from a prime directive: don't buy (or outsource, same difference) your core competence. The same is true of your data. It is the life blood of your business (or life, if you are just a person). The dumbest thing you can do is hand it over to "the others". There will be hell to pay for those that do.

Read the article, and the comments. Some are intelligent, others very much less so.

An Update:

here is today's next step along the way to dissipating the Clouds so we have just the sky. The argument boils down to what those of us who were around when Service Bureaus (the real first one was created before my time by IBM) were all the rage: you can't have it both ways. You can't have interchangeable resources and anything like performance and security specific to each client. They all have to accept lunch as "Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, no Coke, Pepsi", no hot dogs or quiche. And Cloud will fail for that reason. Well, it is failing in the sense that those who would be providers continue to backpedal. And they will keep doing it. Suits are such knuckleheads. How DID they get to make decisions?

Update II:
TheStreet.com has a story on 3 September about Boeing. Toward the end is this:

As far as the extensive 787 program outsourcing to suppliers, [CEO Jim] McNerney was asked whether he would do it the same way again. He said he would not.


Roboprog said...

It's been about 5 years since I had to deal with this, but I remember the dilemma working for a services vendor: get the 10 GB file via an all night upload, or the big stack of 3490 tapes.

At least the cloud vendors are giving their client's a choice, vs mandating the saturation of a line.

Point made though: don't put a bunch of stuff you need far away.

Robert Young said...

There is a famous comment:

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.
-- Andrew Tanenbaum

But if you're moving that much data, one should ask the basic question: why is the data not already where it's going?

Roboprog said...

Well, we had a factory full of printers, envelope stuffers, postal sorting and compliance software and the staff to run it all. The clients didn't, or no longer cared to maintain such a facility.

Having opened my mouth, though, I realize the main thrust of the referenced article was about privacy / security, not just the sheer volume of data.

Data security is a *big* deal for my current employer, since I'm now working in a "Saas" (or whatever it's called this year) company, instead of a manufacturing company.

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