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The Information Factories (Cloudware) November 6, 2006

Posted by mark in : Design, General, Networks , trackback

George Gilder’s article in Wired magazine describes how the cloud computing model (ie. servers ’somewhere on the Internet’) moves processing away from the desktop to massive server farms (Google, etc). It mentions historic quotes “The network is the computer” (Sun) and “global computing market of five mainframes” (IBM) and some interesting numbers.

In every era, the winning companies are those that waste what is abundant – as signalled by precipitously declining prices – in order to save what is scarce. Google has been profligate with the surfeits of data storage and backbone bandwidth. Conversely, it has been parsimonious with that most precious of resources, users’ patience.

Unfortunately that strategy means massive energy cost/waste (cooling, replication), and few locations will be able to provide enough (cheap) electricity as the need scales up. Fortunately “semiconductor and optical technologies are on the verge of a new leap forward” and the current economic advantages of a ‘centralised’ solution will decrease.


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