Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 71
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Yes - I have just been trying this as they offer a deal for BT broadband users of 3 months 'subscription' free (it's not actually a subscription, it's access to a basic package of games normally £6.99 a month) with BT not counting any bandwidth used for the system off your monthly allowance until Jan 2012.

First impressions, surprisingly good even on the decrepit PC I'm using at the moment. You can also get a dedicated 'console' for £70 which is basically a simple streaming box with the ability to accept a joypad as all the processing is done in their datacentre somewhere on the interweb and streamed to you.

This could definitely shake up the games console industry. You essentially have the capabilities of a top-end gaming PC with no need to faff around with anything so long as you have a basic computer/their cheap STB and a decent broadband connection for the streaming. Obviously the likes of BT sense an opportunity to get you to pay for a suitable Broadband package which is why they are offering the free deal at the moment, I guess a large part of the likely success/failure of the system will depend on how ISPs react.

Plus, it's a ready made streaming TV/ movies/ sports PPV service. Could really hit the likes of Sky if they get a lot of subscribers signed up and start offering actual TV content as well as gaming.

I can't imagine that the suppliers of the current home boxes will be pleased though. Essentially, you're having a time share on hardware, which is more efficient use of the hardware, compared to it sitting unused for much of the time. However, the hardware suppliers probably don't want this - they want as many boxes shifted as possible. IMO, this is why this sort of service hasn't been pushed much, as there are a lot of counter VIs.

The hardware to play videos and take input is simple though, so I can certainly see why it should work on even old hardware and/or built in TV options.

Edited by Traktion
Link to post
Share on other sites

just a reminder that sun coined the phrase "the network is the computer"

tho dont know if they are still going ... so an early version of the cloud concept .

When I was first working in IT the future was X-terminals connected to servers which did nothing but display the output of the programs running on those servers. Then everyone realised that doing the computation on your desk was far more convenient. Now we're all going back to dumb terminals over the Internet. Seems that IT goes through the same fads every twenty years or so before people remember just why they abandoned the fad last time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was first working in IT the future was X-terminals connected to servers which did nothing but display the output of the programs running on those servers. Then everyone realised that doing the computation on your desk was far more convenient. Now we're all going back to dumb terminals over the Internet. Seems that IT goes through the same fads every twenty years or so before people remember just why they abandoned the fad last time.

Maybe it is because the computers moved to the home, before the networks between homes could match the performance of the LAN? IMO, we needed fast, independent machines when the Internet was slow, but now the original ideas of dumb terminals is feasible again, but on a WAN scale.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine that the suppliers of the current home boxes will be pleased though. Essentially, you're having a time share on hardware, which is more efficient use of the hardware, compared to it sitting unused for much of the time. However, the hardware suppliers probably don't want this - they want as many boxes shifted as possible. IMO, this is why this sort of service hasn't been pushed much, as there are a lot of counter VIs.

The hardware to play videos and take input is simple though, so I can certainly see why it should work on even old hardware and/or built in TV options.

Actual content providers will love it though. It's long been the dream of the owners of music/movies to retain complete control over their product (i.e. make money every time you listen to some music or watch a film) which they can't do if they have to physically sell copies to you. This will allow games producers to do likewise - you can't sell your game second hand and you can't pirate it.

If the content producer wants they could go with rental or pay per play options too.

I can see Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo really fighting it though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it is because the computers moved to the home, before the networks between homes could match the performance of the LAN? IMO, we needed fast, independent machines when the Internet was slow, but now the original ideas of dumb terminals is feasible again, but on a WAN scale.

How exactly do you benefit from using a quad-core ARM that's hundreds of times faster than an old X-terminal to run a word processor in a web browser rather than running it locally? No-one is stopping you from saving the documents to a remote server if you think that's a good idea.

The problems with X-terminals were high latency, poor performance when fifty people were trying to work on a single server, and the inability to get any work done when the server was down or someone used a piece of video cable to connect their computer instead of proper Ethernet cable and killed the LAN; one server out and fifty people are twiddling their thumbs.

IT staff don't like users having local workstations because they can't easily control what the users do on them, which is why there's the perpetual demand for 'dumb terminals for dumb users'. But pushing all the work onto a remote server you don't control is no solution to that.

Those problems apply just as much to 'cloud computing' , and there are massive new problems when you don't even own the server you're running your systems on. Storing your data 'in the cloud' can introduce massive security and liability problems; for example, a US company storing personal data on a server in the EU without reading EU data protection laws, or an EU company storing their documents on a US server where the US government can access them for industrial espionage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Actual content providers will love it though. It's long been the dream of the owners of music/movies to retain complete control over their product (i.e. make money every time you listen to some music or watch a film) which they can't do if they have to physically sell copies to you. This will allow games producers to do likewise - you can't sell your game second hand and you can't pirate it.

If the content producer wants they could go with rental or pay per play options too.

I can see Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo really fighting it though.

Yes, I agree with your points there. It will be interesting to watch this unfold.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How exactly do you benefit from using a quad-core ARM that's hundreds of times faster than an old X-terminal to run a word processor in a web browser rather than running it locally? No-one is stopping you from saving the documents to a remote server if you think that's a good idea.

The problems with X-terminals were high latency, poor performance when fifty people were trying to work on a single server, and the inability to get any work done when the server was down or someone used a piece of video cable to connect their computer instead of proper Ethernet cable and killed the LAN; one server out and fifty people are twiddling their thumbs.

IT staff don't like users having local workstations because they can't easily control what the users do on them, which is why there's the perpetual demand for 'dumb terminals for dumb users'. But pushing all the work onto a remote server you don't control is no solution to that.

Those problems apply just as much to 'cloud computing' , and there are massive new problems when you don't even own the server you're running your systems on. Storing your data 'in the cloud' can introduce massive security and liability problems; for example, a US company storing personal data on a server in the EU without reading EU data protection laws, or an EU company storing their documents on a US server where the US government can access them for industrial espionage.

No one is forcing you to use a dumb terminal either. Clearly, there are cases where it isn't suitable (such as the cases you state).

I use the cloud where it suits me and I can imagine that many home (and office) users would rather someone else managed their machine.

Edited by Traktion
Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember something called the Paperless Office. That must have scared the life out of the paper industry.

Didn't happen, though, did it?

Something did happen. Remember typing pools? Remember secretaries for that matter - now almost everbody in organisations does their own paperwork, reports, filing, except it is all on screen with paper copies spat out the other end.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just about thin client stuff. Cloud computing is extremely efficient. Each server is always fully utilised maximising computations per unit currency. Most of the potential computing power bought in the world is wasted. Part of it right now is hype but there's some big things to come from it. It will drive down the cost of computing services. It'll definitely enable new rivals to people like Google and Microsoft.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am reading a really interesting book about cloud computing

I am sure many of you are doing jobs that didn't exist ten or more years ago.

What's the name of this fascinating tome? Written by a VI?

Which jobs will be surplus to requirements?

Those problems apply just as much to 'cloud computing' , and there are massive new problems when you don't even own the server you're running your systems on. Storing your data 'in the cloud' can introduce massive security and liability problems; for example, a US company storing personal data on a server in the EU without reading EU data protection laws, or an EU company storing their documents on a US server where the US government can access them for industrial espionage.

+1

This is why the public sector won't be rushing to buy cloud. Their data needs to stay in the UK.

These kind of risks can be fatal to an organisation's reputation. Once your biggest customers lose trust, you're finished.

What worries me about cloud is the magnified risk of lost productivity to the economy as a whole. For example, say.some of the internet "falls over" and lots of businesses using these providers can't function because all their data and apps are on-line rather than on their laptop. Whereas before they could carry on but just not send email and browse the web.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This is why the public sector won't be rushing to buy cloud. Their data needs to stay in the UK.

These kind of risks can be fatal to an organisation's reputation. Once your biggest customers lose trust, you're finished.

On the contrary, the public sector is flocking to cloud solutions, especially the NHS.

For example, many NHS hospitals no longer have any on-site IT servers, etc. - it's all cloud based, a 3rd party provides the domain management, e-mail, medical records, X-ray imaging, etc.

It's slow, unreliable and has an unknown level of security - but the managers seem to love it. As a user, it's fecking terrible (some navvie cuts through a cable with a JCB, as happened a few months ago, and the hospital goes back to the dark ages for 24 hours at a time - except it's worse now, as all the medical records disappear too).

As a plus, it works when there is a power cut. However, the local IT bods forgot to put all the network infrastructure on UPSs/generator power, so having the servers survive wasn't particularly useful (true story).

Edited by ChumpusRex
Link to post
Share on other sites

On the contrary, the public sector is flocking to cloud solutions, especially the NHS.

For example, many NHS hospitals no longer have any on-site IT servers, etc. - it's all cloud based, a 3rd party provides the domain management, e-mail, medical records, X-ray imaging, etc.

It's slow, unreliable and has an unknown level of security - but the managers seem to love it. As a user, it's fecking terrible (some navvie cuts through a cable with a JCB, as happened a few months ago, and the hospital goes back to the dark ages for 24 hours at a time - except it's worse now, as all the medical records disappear too).

As a plus, it works when there is a power cut. However, the local IT bods forgot to put all the network infrastructure on UPSs/generator power, so having the servers survive wasn't particularly useful (true story).

Sounds like another case of someone trying to push everything onto whatever the latest buzzword is.

These days local processing power is cheap and easily available. There aren't many situations where many people, or businesses for that matter, will need anything else. The dumb terminals of the past were a result of processing power being expensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Those problems apply just as much to 'cloud computing' , and there are massive new problems when you don't even own the server you're running your systems on. Storing your data 'in the cloud' can introduce massive security and liability problems; for example, a US company storing personal data on a server in the EU without reading EU data protection laws, or an EU company storing their documents on a US server where the US government can access them for industrial espionage.

We looked at Microsoft 365 for Exchnage and Sharepoint, for EU customers the servers and data are located in Ireland and Holland, so our data would never leave the EU. However we have medical data that can't leave the UK under current rules. The laws havn't kept pace, I expect they will catch up soon though once the big IT companies start to lobby the politicians.

We're investing a lot in what could be termed a private cloud, this is where larger companies will lead the way, so for the original question, the cloud is just as likely to create a boom in the industry for people with the skills.

As "cloud" technology grows and becomes less tecnical, smaller companies will start using it ... on-site themselves, want exchange? download a preconfigured exchange server. So the philiospohy of Cloud will work, only I see it as private clouds in large companies, and eventually 3rd parties providing the virtual devices that smaller companies will download and host themselves.

The Public cloud will be used predominatly by the public, and very small companies with no IT skills.

Question, would "dumb" smart phones fix the poor battery life? the apps could run continuously in the cloud, your phone just connects and displays a screen when woken?

Edited by Snagger
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell all this to the customers of amazon and vmware when their offerings went bang.

Amazons platform in particular has been very poor. Even when its up the performance just hasn't lived up to what it should be, some major websites though they could use this to scale easily, they ended up bringing the service back locally as it just couldn't do what local machines can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We looked at Microsoft 365 for Exchnage and Sharepoint, for EU customers the servers and data are located in Ireland and Holland, so our data would never leave the EU. However we have medical data that can't leave the UK under current rules. The laws havn't kept pace, I expect they will catch up soon though once the big IT companies start to lobby the politicians.

We're investing a lot in what could be termed a private cloud, this is where larger companies will lead the way, so for the original question, the cloud is just as likely to create a boom in the industry for people with the skills.

As "cloud" technology grows and becomes less tecnical, smaller companies will start using it ... on-site themselves, want exchange? download a preconfigured exchange server. So the philiospohy of Cloud will work, only I see it as private clouds in large companies, and eventually 3rd parties providing the virtual devices that smaller companies will download and host themselves.

The Public cloud will be used predominatly by the public, and very small companies with no IT skills.

Question, would "dumb" smart phones fix the poor battery life? the apps could run continuously in the cloud, your phone just connects and displays a screen when woken?

download a preconfigured exchange server?...whats the point, it more or less configures itself as it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

download a preconfigured exchange server?...whats the point, it more or less configures itself as it is.

The hardest thing about exchnage used to be the hardware, scaling it right, storage, clusters, HT/CAS etc, but with virtual devices no new hardware required. MS built Exchnage 2010 specifically with virtulization in mind, so it only make sence that it will become available as a preconfigured virtual machine (in fact MS and HP have already done it with dedicated physical hardware "Exchange in a Box") The leap to virtual is small.

We're already using downloaded virtual devices, VDR only comes as a virtual device option, Kace provide their devices either in hardware or as a virtual device, Cisco switches are available, and a whole catalogue of pre-configured open source servers and applications are free to download, and have been for a few years now. The library of such things is growing every day and commercial offerings becoming the norm.

In the future private clouds will make it easier for even small companies to host their own services, with minmal in house IT skills. Installing new services may become as simple as dowloading an iphone app.

Edited by Snagger
Link to post
Share on other sites

The hardest thing about exchnage used to be the hardware, scaling it right, storage, clusters, HT/CAS etc, but with virtual devices no new hardware required. MS built Exchnage 2010 specifically with virtulization in mind, so it only make sence that it will become available as a preconfigured virtual machine (in fact MS and HP have already done it with dedicated physical hardware "Exchange in a Box") The leap to virtual is small.

We're already using downloaded virtual devices, VDR only comes as a virtual device option, Kace provide their devices either in hardware or as a virtual device, Cisco switches are available, and a whole catalogue of pre-configured open source servers and applications are free to download, and have been for a few years now. The library of such things is growing every day and commercial offerings becoming the norm.

In the future private clouds will make it easier for even small companies to host their own services, with minmal in house IT skills. Installing new services may become as simple as dowloading an iphone app.

+1 - thats what we do - we have "insourced" cloud, we can provision quicker and cheaper than any current cloud provider and deliver services to our group anywhere in the US/EU - even globally via t'internet.

Not only is it cheaper but we can be 100% assured we KNOW where the data is and who has access to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OpenSuse has OBS appliances preconfigured (almost) and ready to deploy out of the box. There's a disk image, CD ISO or VMWare image

http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Build_Service_Appliance

This doesn't mean that it will work in a production environment without some expertise and maintenance. From my own experience, a poorly optimised build farm will lead to a severe decline in production when compared to local building and that's with a dedicated team looking after it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for a company that's flogging 'cloud computing'.

Tbh, it's nothing new, it's just a buzz word. The pricipals remain the same as dumb terminal computing 20/30 years ago. The only real advantage of the hosted servers we off is far cheaper processing power, you don't have to spend £20k buying a server for something and then go about hosting it and maintaining it, u just hire a virtual server and that's it. Proper cloud computing 'using aps hosted else where) will quickly fall by the way side when offices realise that there office is effectively shut down should they lose their network connection, slow connectivity and the reliance on a 3rd party company when things go wrong!

It's a good addition to have, but I wouldn't rely upon it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't mean that it will work in a production environment without some expertise and maintenance. From my own experience, a poorly optimised build farm will lead to a severe decline in production when compared to local building and that's with a dedicated team looking after it.

It's still early days, which is why it's really only large companies that can build their own private clouds and have the in-house skills to do it well, but give it a decade, and even small companies will be using cloud type infrastructure.

Then there is the possibility of a "hybrid cloud", buy your own hardware, connect to a cloud service provider, and have your servers and apps deployed and supported by the provider but on your local hardware ... they will probably even be selling you the hardware. Two blades and shared storage in a single chassis, sold all pre-configured with a hypervisor installed of some sort ... would probably be sufficient for most small businesses. You may even be able to sell back unused resources to other cloud users.

Edited by Snagger
Link to post
Share on other sites

I work for a company that's flogging 'cloud computing'.

Tbh, it's nothing new, it's just a buzz word. The pricipals remain the same as dumb terminal computing 20/30 years ago. The only real advantage of the hosted servers we off is far cheaper processing power, you don't have to spend £20k buying a server for something and then go about hosting it and maintaining it, u just hire a virtual server and that's it. Proper cloud computing 'using aps hosted else where) will quickly fall by the way side when offices realise that there office is effectively shut down should they lose their network connection, slow connectivity and the reliance on a 3rd party company when things go wrong!

It's a good addition to have, but I wouldn't rely upon it!

Are you kidding. As one example - the instant and invisible scaleability is new, as is the world wide distribution. I can have one application being served from different continents for example. And the resources it uses can be instantly increased and decreased based upon demand, and I only pay for what I use. This is what Cloud offers and why it is so radically different. It's seperating the underlying hardware from the software and then also from the user experience. I don't need to know or care about the layers below me, the resources will simply be made available, anywhere in the world.

Sure its grandparent could be said to be a mainframe in nature but the difference is huge and several generations separated. Otherwise let's just agree everything is like a Babbage difference engine, they all just crunch numbers after all.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like all great ideas, it just moved the goal posts.

More centralization = less small problems but more larger ones

The issue is that it is almost impossible to price the 'value' of huge issues, but easy to price manpower. Ask anyone who has been involved with citrix migration, saves vast sums of money, until it breaks and you have 3k people sitting on their arses unable to do any work. Management will always see the 200k a year staffing costs, but cant see that 2 hours total downtime costs much more.

As ever, the best solution is a mix of both fat/thin local/cloud.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you kidding. As one example - the instant and invisible scaleability is new, as is the world wide distribution. I can have one application being served from different continents for example. And the resources it uses can be instantly increased and decreased based upon demand, and I only pay for what I use. This is what Cloud offers and why it is so radically different. It's seperating the underlying hardware from the software and then also from the user experience. I don't need to know or care about the layers below me, the resources will simply be made available, anywhere in the world.

Sure its grandparent could be said to be a mainframe in nature but the difference is huge and several generations separated. Otherwise let's just agree everything is like a Babbage difference engine, they all just crunch numbers after all.

Spot on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.