Getting ready for a future of loving IT

Something's never seem to change but even in video conferencing and databases Nick Booth finds the world is not once as it was

After much deliberation, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and have the operation. I’ll be away for a few days but when I come back from my holiday, I will be a new person, with a new outlook, because a very important organ will have been removed and replaced and some of the internal workings, er, re-configured.

When I come back, I will have a new name. I will no longer recognize anyone who addresses me as @Ohthisbloodypc. (Although for business reasons, that will still appear on documents). Instead, I want to be known as @Phwoarrr!LuvIT!

That’s right, thanks to a couple of understanding vendors, my computer is going to have an Agenda Reassignment operation. Things will be different. Angry rants about lost data will be a thing of the past, thanks to a new SSD I bought from Kingston Technology. (Whipping out the old hard disk was surprisingly easy!) and with the patient help of Parallels, I am coming to terms with being a PC trapped in a Mac's body.

I should point out here that Parallels also helps people to make the transition into the cloud but that’s a step too far for me at the moment.

Still, who’d have thought that one day we’d be putting our valuables up in the cloud? That impresses me. Isn’t it marvelous to see how much attitudes to computing have progressed over the years?

But some things, sadly, never change. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Videoconferencing. Databases. Number crunchers. All that lot. The foundation of Databases haven’t changed fundamentally since the 1980s since the days when people envisaged there would only be five mainframes in the world and if we went beyond a thousand transactions per second the world would melt. These days Facebook alone is trundling through a million transactions per second. OK, they’re all pointless, but that’s not the issue.

Videoconferencing (VC) is even worse. Ever since the 1950s, when Bell Labs introduced the first prototype, we’ve been promised that VC would change the world. We’ve had decades of warnings that business trips abroad were a thing of the past (don’t tell IBM as they’re taking me to Vegas next month).

Still, perhaps things are changing. This week Deutsche Telekom’s announced a new cloud-based VideoMeet service to the UK through distributor Imago. The ‘All You Can Meet’ plug and play service sells at £1,500 a month for a year and its main selling point is a high quality service that takes care of all the hideous standards conflicts created by competitors like Polycom, Cisco and Lifesize at the high end and bottom feeders like Skype, Microsoft Lync or Google Talk on the desktop.

“This is the first time that companies can enable all of their employees to have access to reliable video conferencing at an unbeatable price performance level,” Ian Vickerage, Imago Group’s MD, promises. Who’d have thought that video conferencing would be just another cloud service that the channel can sell? I will be impressed when someone works how to project the image of the person we’re talking to onto a cloud.

Meanwhile, the Big Data conundrum continues. The consensus of opinion seems to be that the only way to deal with Big Data is get a bigger number crunching machine and build a bigger data centre.

Surely this is madness. If you have a garden that’s being over run by Japanese Knotweed, you don’t just keep buying a bigger garden do you? All you would be doing is postponing the day when you had to tackle the problem at root. And yet that seems to be the logic of the In-Memory data grid vendors, who collectively will collect $1 Billion a year by 2016, on the promise of handling the data gardening problems for their clients.

Ha! They should be ashamed of themselves. Shouldn’t they redesign the fabric of the database, like proper professionals?  No, seems to be the answer from Gartner:

"The relentless declines in DRAM and NAND flash memory prices, the advent of solid-state drive technology and the maturation of specific software platforms have enabled IMC to become more affordable and impactful for IT organisations," says Massimo Pezzini, a Gartner Fellow. I should cocoa!

"Organisations that do not consider adopting in-memory application infrastructure technologies risk being out-innovated by competitors that are early mainstream users of these capabilities," said Mr Pezzini.

Oh, innovation is it? I would call it chucking hardware at the problem. It’s not exactly the Hadron Collider is it?

However, some companies like NuoDB, Actian and IBM do seem to want to think about new ways to tackle the problem. They all have stories worth paying attention to – as long as they’re not over a video conferencing line that’s ruined by a dodgy laptop that keeps playing up. As I’ve said many times in the past @ohthisbloodypc – although I won’t be saying that when I come back. 

Toodle pip!

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