Cloud Computing Smack Down

I’m a bit of a fan of rich client computing, so all this recent cloud buzz has left me a little cold. Sure I can see significant benefits in some areas, but I do get the feeling that those benefits are somewhat oversold, both is magnitude and applicability. And perhaps the cost and loss of control are maybe skipped over a little too lightly for my liking

Great then, to read this dose of reality.

have a good weekend



6 Responses to “Cloud Computing Smack Down”

  1. JP Says:

    Don’t forget the added “benefit” of having access to your data cut off when THEIR server goes down!

  2. Charles Says:

    It always seems to me that the yield curve economics of producing a PC processor (ie cost per unit is an inverse function of production volume) defeats cloud computing:

    the cost/Mip and cost/GB of producing a PC is lower than the cost/mip and cost/GB of producing a supercomputer or load-balanced mega-server farm. And thats before you figure in the bandwidth costs.

    Thats why the PC killed the Timesharing market.

    Thats not to say that there is no room for big iron or cloud computing but …

  3. Simon Says:

    JP, I wasn’t going to take a cheap dig at Googles most recent outage – but now you mention it…

    Charles, good point about timesharing, mind you thats been relaunched a few time recently (and failed).

    I don’t know whether the whole cloud thing is just an elaborate long con to snare dumb VCs? Or whether those pushing it really think most of us will move a significant part of our computing need to the cloud. I must admit I keep thinking of it as an offsite back up option.

  4. Harlan Grove Says:

    Timesharing died off due to software and inadequate network connections, not hardware capabilities. To the extent hardware had anything to do with this, it was due to monopolistic pricing and intentional design incompatibilities with other manufacturers devices. This is why the exponential rise of PCs in the late 1980s and early 1990 nearly killed off IBM.

    Software was more plentiful, flexible and powerful on PCs than mainframes/minis, and mainframe/mini hardware was grossly overpriced.

    Today sever hardware isn’t overpriced even though it’s more expensive than individual PCs on straight cycles/RAM/disk space measures.

    As for software, IF you include all flavors of Terminal Servers (TS), pretty much everything other than games that can run individual PCs can also run on servers.

    TS and company networks in general are the new timesharing, and they are beginning to kill off individual business PCs. Where I work, e-mail client and browser are the only foreground applications most people run locally on a regular basis. Pretty much every other canned application is run through TS.

    The cloud is something different. It’s for individuals or very small businesses at the moment. I don’t see that changing soon unless netbooks take off with business users (or IT/IS departments: laptops have enough disk space for stupid users to use to store sensitive data, but netbooks don’t, so which would cause less grief when stolen?) or some college/university students come up with really clever AND RELATIVELY SIMPLE ways to use the cloud, then I could see the End of Days for individual PCs. I think can see the End of Days for fully loaded business laptops.

  5. Dick Moffat Says:

    “I think can see the End of Days for fully loaded business laptops.”


    I agree, not because I think it’s progress necessarily, but because I think the TS is a great way to deliver all the functionality of a PC with the huge advantages of Server management and performance. I think corporations will more and more go that route because it solves so many problems for them (not JUST because it give IT back control – although that is a BIG factor).

    There are technologies being touted by MS (Direct Access I believe is the name) that runs server-driven software on your PC locally in it’s own environment that it looks like MS is hotter on than their TS offering. To MS TS is old technology (huh ??).

    Am I cyncal to think that maybe they realize that Citrix has taken over the TS concept and so they have to promote something else whether it makes sense or not.

    This new techology IMHO gives you the worst of both worlds – you run the software locally (which means when you connect back to the network (often over the Internet) your performnce will SUCK if you are any distance from the Server. But it runs NOT in your local copy of Windows – rather in some kind of sandboxed mini-OS. Then the corporation STILL has to maintain and manage multiple Servers anyway to manage all this. Why not just offer them Terminal Services?

    It’s the dummest thing I’ve heard in a long time.


  6. Dick Moffat Says:

    To spell “dumbest” wrong is pretty dumb, eh?


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