Guest blog written by Brad Mayes, HP System Engineer, Blade Business Development
The IT industry is continually changing, so as you read this blog, you may be asking yourself, “What’s new this time around?” or more likely, “What new acronym do I need to learn this week?” Well, while it seems we are still in “The Year of the Cloud” or “Everything to the Cloud”, there is much more coming from IT. And while change can often be incremental, it can also be monumental. So because of this, I’m initiating a series of blog posts that looks at the following IT Industry topics:
- The evolution of IT
- Where the IT industry road map
- What the end result will be in 5+/- years as well as the technologies that could alter that result
- What HP is doing to ensure IT has the tools to help you thrive in this “changing” world
Let’s look at a few of the changes that have occurred in IT over the years so that we can better understand where we are going.
In the beginning there was the mainframe and IT looked upon it and said “It was good”
Ah the glory years of IT! When companies would buy a mainframe, elevate the floor (to accommodate cabling) and glass off an area in the center of the office to proudly display to one and all that they had become part of the new data revolution. Then they put men in white coats to be the “Gods” of the data world. And Gods they were. They alone held the secret knowledge needed to bring forth the data. They controlled how the data was presented and who gained access to it. Long story short, mainframes were expensive and proprietary, and only a few understood their use, which led to…
The Rise of the Mini
The mini was everything the mainframe was, except smaller, which meant it was less expensive, less powerful, and had more suppliers, but it was based on the same model as the mainframe. The mini brought the ability to compute to more corporations and public institutions and helped prove the idea that easy access to data was valuable to all. Of course, the “priesthood” remained, which drove…
The Rise of the PC
The rise of the PC was different than the rise of the mainframe and mini because it was more like a revolution than an evolution. The PC came from below and pushed itself upward into corporate IT. And although IT resisted having to deal with the “toys” that were appearing on peoples desks, PCs were comparatively cheap, there were multiple vendors, they were flexible, and IT had no control of the data. As well, instead of depending upon the “priesthood” of data center operators, the end user could collect, correlate, and manipulate the data any way they wanted. This, of course, led to…
IT was shattered, traditional skill sets were rendered useless, and things like networks suddenly had value. With the rise of the internet, TCP/IP became the main networking protocol over SNA and IPX. But the very most important thing that occurred was that the data left the glass house. Changes in PC form factors led to laptops, which meant that not only was the data scattered across devices outside of the glass house, it was now roaming freely in the back seat of someone’s car. Something had to be done. IT moved to take control once more.
The Rise of the Distributed Mainframe
When I write mainframe, I am writing more about a management model than a piece of hardware. The idea of a mainframe is a centralized point of data ad compute management. The “Distributed Mainframe” is a model where applications are spread across low cost, originally PC based hardware, but they are centrally located for data and compute management. Access and manipulation of the data mostly occurs at the edge, but the management is centralized to ensure security and integrity of the primary data set. So why did we move to the distributed mainframe? It was an effort of IT to regain control of the data in a low cost manner.
At the same time that the “Rise of the PC” and the “Rise of the Distributed Mainframe” was occurring, another mostly unobserved trend was occurring as well. And that was…
The Rise of Embedded Compute
In a previous blog titled ‘It Takes a Village’ Theory and Compute Management, I wrote about how pervasive embedded compute has become. In it, I only briefly mentioned how embedded compute gave rise to…
The Rise of Mobile Compute
First, I must separate Mobile Compute from the PC world because although they tried numerous times to create a complete mobile device, they have yet to be successful. I believe this is because the PC world was optimized around 2 factors; price, and compute power. PC providers assumed that everyone wanted as much compute as possible for the lowest price possible. That works if your main purpose for the device is to create, but if your main purpose is to consume, then an entirely different model is in order. Today’s most successful mobile compute devices provide a rich media experience and an ease of use beyond any devices they have used in the past. This leads us to our next evolution in IT, which is…
You’ll have to read my next blog to find that out! Next time we will explore the industry’s future road map to see where trends are moving.