Ponder this: traditional data center may rise again, thanks to cloud

Ponder this: traditional data center may rise again, thanks to cloud

Summary: Data centers were originally designed to efficiently run and protect core systems. Will cloud clear away two decades' worth of clutter?

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TOPICS: Cloud, Data Centers
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Industry analyst and author Judith Hurwitz points out that many of today's data centers are collections of platforms, operating systems, and networks, much akin to a garage that gets used as a storage space for household goods -- and can no longer accomodate cars.

Data Center NASA Photo credit NASA

However, cloud computing may once again help clean up the data center garages and return them to their original purpose -- "a fit-for-purpose environment to manage and protect systems of record." Systems of record include ERP, CRM and anything else that requires "low latency, tight control and governance, and  high levels of security."

Cloud computing, on the other hand, will support "systems of engagement" -- applications with requirements that rise and recede as the business changes. Judith doesn't mention examples of systems of engagement. But these could include non-core-business services requiring elasticity, such as storage, mobile access, email, collaboration, development, and testing.

Systems of record for on-premises traditional data centers versus systems of engagement for cloud solutions -- a demarcation line to consider. Will cloud computing sweep all the extraneous activity out of core enterprise data centers, so they can again focus on a few core applications? Another potential boost for data centers -- many organizations, including non-tech companies, are becoming cloud providers themselves, and need to maintain capabilities to extend or share services with customers and partners.

(Photo credit: NASA Office of the CIO.)

Topics: Cloud, Data Centers

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4 comments
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  • If you want magic, go play a fantasy game.

    Wow. This is totally meaningless.

    Data centers *ARE* the cloud. That's what "the cloud" runs on. The "cloud" isn't magic - it runs on hardware. And that hardware lives in data centers.

    THE CLOUD IS NOT MAGIC. If you want magic, go play a fantasy game. Otherwise, get your head out of the clouds and your definitions straight.

    Amazing.
    CobraA1
  • So let's go over this.

    "Industry analyst and author Judith Hurwitz points out that many of today's data centers are collections of platforms, operating systems, and networks,"

    So is "the cloud." There's actually no such thing as "the cloud." It doesn't exist as an actual entity. It's a generic term used to describe software running on servers somewhere, usually located in a data center.

    "However, cloud computing may once again help clean up the data center garages and return them to their orginal purpose"

    No, it can't. A generic term does not have any sort of power. It's a description, not an actual entity.

    "Systems of record include ERP, CRM and anything else that requires 'low latency, tight control and governance, and high levels of security.'"

    Wrong. "systems of record" according to the Wikipedia is thus:

    "A system of record (SOR) is an information storage system (commonly implemented on a computer system), which is the authoritative data source for a given data element or piece of information."

    "low latency, tight control and governance, and high levels of security" are desired traits of systems of record, but they are NOT the definition of "systems of record." You can certainly have a system that has low latency, tight control and governance, and high levels of security without being a system of record.

    "Cloud computing, on the other hand, will support 'systems of engagement' -- applications with requirements that rise and recede as the business changes."

    So does anything else that manages requirements, I imagine. Not that that sentence has anything to do with anything.

    "Judith doesn't mention examples of systems of engagement."

    Probably because the definition you propose is so vague that my cat could be called a system of engagement. After all, she has requirements that rise and recede as she dictates =).

    "Systems of record for on-premises traditional data centers versus systems of engagement for cloud solutions -- a demarcation line to consider."

    If Amazon.com uses their own data center, does it stop being "in the cloud" because it's on their premises?

    Don't be absurd. They have to be on *somebody's* premise. This idea of a "traditional data center" being different from "the cloud" is a completely arbitrary definition in order to fit the "cloud" religion.
    CobraA1
    • The demarcation he is suggesting

      is that critical and low latency systems be placed on premise and the non-critical systems can go to a utility provider. We already see some of this with email. Thanks for the rant though. Cloud is a set of computers that run in a manner that is similar to the old mainframes, where each client has a separate run-time area and time is rented from the provider. This is nothing new, just the latest buzz words. what can be seen as different is the attempt by the industry to standardize on cloud technologies, where with the mainframes, it was IBM owning the market.
      happyharry_z
    • Points taken...

      My response, here:
      http://www.zdnet.com/every-cloud-has-a-data-center-behind-it-7000011099/
      joemckendrick