I was listening to a popular weekly technology podcast (hint hint) when they mentioned how Intel has made a chip for a Gateway PC which, when you need to, you can upgrade in place with a $50 upgrade card. According to PC Magazine (here), the card is used to unlock hyper-threading and additional cache. While the first reaction may be, and was on this podcast, 'wait a minute, why aren't they giving me all the capability?', one of the participants quickly added: '..wait a minute, this is a really good idea... think of the costs savings, extending the life of the processor and...'. OK, obviously I paraphrase, but you get the point. Capacity on Demand has come to the desktop.
While reading many of the news items related to this clearly shows the initial confusion reflected in the podcast I listened to, others are starting to realize the implications. How long until we have extra processors available to turn on? When do we finally get raid devices for disk that ensure we don't ever lose things on these sometimes fragile home systems? Will we ever get to the point where our desktops get dynamic snapshots to enable variable leasing schemes? ....or the ability to turn on more power for temporary periods of time?
My peers and I joke about how we have been cheating for decades by knowing about large systems and watching those capabilities stream down to distributed platforms. Now, maybe, we're able to talk about and share some tech insights with our kids or grand-kids!
"All right Grandpa, turn up the computer and turn down the thermostat, the grand-kids are coming!"
Enterprise Class Innovation: System z Perspectives
Matching: capacity X
Just got back from Innovate 2010 and I encourage you to view the Keynotes; they will fire you up on innovation, the future, systems of systems and the future-- fer sure!
Take a look at the current IBM System Magazine to learn, among other things, how tape is far from dead -- 29.5 B bits per square inch demonstrated (44x today's capacity)??
The mainframe mag, zJournal, is now at the mainframezone, and the current issue has an article on mashups and Web 2.0 with the mainframe. (have you looked at CICS support for PHP?)
...and IBM has demonstrated a Graphene transistor based chip at 100Ghz -- as in single layer of carbon atoms exceeding cut off frequencies of silicon chips with the same gate length, is getting involved in more auto systems with Daimler, and there is a nice retrospective on Disney and IBM (with videos!) here.
So, I ran across a couple of interesting articles recently that, as a architect working with large systems and large enterprises made me stop and think.
First, in the Financial Times from June 8, a nice bit of thought on outsourcing, governance, and a reminder how key tech is and the importance of managing technology correctly!
Secondly, in the current issue of Strategic Finance (oops, sorry the specific article is for IMA members only it seems..) a good discussion on how to handle Idle Capacity Costs (pg 55). Without going into the detail, the point is execs at your enterprise are looking at these things.
And... what system helps manage resources to minimize excess capacity, maximize utilization?
... and oh by the way have you looked at moving to or consolidated non-System z systems on z lately?
Or would rather wait for your manager to ask why not?