Is Google your next data center? – wrong question

Is Google your next data center? (link)

An interesting read talking about what Google, Amazon, and others are doing in a move beyond SaaS (from the likes of  Sun’s own John Dutra is quoted many times talking about how Sun IT sees the role of the CIO and IT changing, but sadly mentions very little about Sun’s own $1/cpu/hr and $1/10GB/month programs that were available 2-3 years ago already. is our wave of the future in this space but the article scarcely gives it a nod.  I’m wishing John had talked more about (or at least been quoted more about) those offerings than how Sun IT sees the future for everyone else.

But I think the question isn’t “is Google your next data center?” but rather “is your cellphone your next computer?”  Scott McNealy has been talking about grid-computing, cloud-computing, whatever you want to call it, for years and years… he called it “net-tone”, which was the worst name ever (no wonder it didn’t catch on).  His point was that computing should be a utility, like your phone.  You never think about it, you just pick it up and expect dial-tone every single time.  Why should we own our own and operate compute infrastructure?  In the old days companies had their own electric power plans, then that became a utility.  Companies too had their own phone infrastructure, then that became a utility.  We don’t build and operate our own, we just use the utility.  Computing is going that way, but it’s not IT and big-business that’s driving it – it is you and your parents and your kids, using cell phones.  

More and more people experience the Internet every day via their phone.  They text, they email, they send pictures, they listen to music, they read news, they check scores, they watch videos.  The cell phone is just a tiny mobile monitor and keyboard, but the majority of the computing goes on somewhere else – it’s a utility.    Thin (client) is in!

Today I shared half a dozen photos of the tree-removal process going on at my house.

Ailing trees

Ailing trees

Tree removal underway

Tree removal underway








I took the photos on my phone, uploaded them over the cell network onto Twitter’s twitpic service.  Friends and followers all over the world got to see what was going on at my house.  Not because “my back office is someone else’s front office” but rather, because my phone *is* my computer – it’s my gateway to the world.

Over the past few weeks I’ve chronicled our move to a new home, subsequent redecorating, and even Freddy’s wedding this way.  My home computer is still in a box, along with the cables and bits that I need to get photos off my camera.  But I didn’t need all that stuff to be able to share what’s going on. All I needed was my phone (and someone else’s compute services).

Too bad it’s just a lowly RAZR2 and not a sexy iPhone!

~ by brianherman on August 7, 2008.

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