Appliances not the enemy

The `fridge’ won’t take your job


When HP CTO Russ Daniels blithely talks about the Neoview data warehouse appliance being the size of a big fridge not toaster it is easy to miss the point in the dismissive quip. In essence, what he is talking about is some fiercesomely complex data management software being shipped in on a pallet and dumped in an appropriate corner of the datacentre.

For applications developers, this has the potential to be one more marker along a trail that is leading developers away from their reason for existence and on to …..where, exactly?

That box is an example of an important trend that I feel we may see a lot more of in the coming months and years, for it packages up and removes a whole raft of work from the IT department job schedule that would normally fall to developers. When their employers decide upon the installation of a data warehouse, everything from initial commissioning and tuning of the application through to on-going management and support of the system in the production environment would normally fall largely in the development team’s lap.

Now, HP engineers will turn up with their pallet looking for three connections – the mains, the company network and the Internet. The latter will be needed because HP will be managing the system remotely as well. From a business user’s point of view I can see it makes an interesting sales message – the potential for quick and clean installation of an important business tool that can be earning money much faster, with (one assumes) fully trained rocket-scientists supporting it from the word go. Finally, there is also the benefit of having one clearly defined backside to kick if it fails – HP’s account manager.

This approach to delivering applications functionality, either as a physical appliance like the Neoview or a virtual software appliance, is going to appear a lot more. This means that developers may find their traditional jobs disappearing over time.

What it can also solve, however, is the long-standing complaint about the amount of IT resources devoted to maintenance and support, coupled to the pittance that is available for innovation and real development work as a consequence. Such machines could, in fact, be the liberator of many a developer’s potential as a real creator rather than an artisan of road-mending.

It will be only the most parsimonious and narrow-minded business managers who see this as an opportunity to claw back on the IT budget. Instead, the trend towards appliances should free up resources for the real role of developers – developing: and developing at a level of abstraction that exploits the appliances as functional process components rather than bits of `technology’.


Other stories you might like

  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading
  • GitLab version 15 goes big on visibility and observability
    GitOps fans can take a spin on the free tier for pull-based deployment

    One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has announced version 15 of its platform, hot on the heels of pull-based GitOps turning up on the platform's free tier.

    Version 15.0 marks the arrival of GitLab's next major iteration and attention this time around has turned to visibility and observability – hardly surprising considering the acquisition of OpsTrace as 2021 drew to a close, as well as workflow automation, security and compliance.

    GitLab puts out monthly releases –  hitting 15.1 on June 22 –  and we spoke to the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, about what will be added to version 15 as time goes by. During a chat with the company's senior director of Product, Kenny Johnston, at the recent Kubecon EU event, The Register was told that this was more where dollars were being invested into the product.

    Continue reading
  • To multicloud, or not: Former PayPal head of engineering weighs in
    Not everyone needs it, but those who do need to consider 3 things, says Asim Razzaq

    The push is on to get every enterprise thinking they're missing out on the next big thing if they don't adopt a multicloud strategy.

    That shove in the multicloud direction appears to be working. More than 75 percent of businesses are now using multiple cloud providers, according to Gartner. That includes some big companies, like Boeing, which recently chose to spread its bets across AWS, Google Cloud and Azure as it continues to eliminate old legacy systems. 

    There are plenty of reasons to choose to go with multiple cloud providers, but Asim Razzaq, CEO and founder at cloud cost management company Yotascale, told The Register that choosing whether or not to invest in a multicloud architecture all comes down to three things: How many different compute needs a business has, budget, and the need for redundancy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022