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Doug's Mailbag: Return of the Mainframe?, Dell's Business Model

Doug asked you if IBM's plan for '100,000 VMs in one big box' is a sign of the return of the mainframe. Here's some of your responses:

The IBM 360/370 was a great machine back in the day. Multiple partitions, virtual memory, etc.

And overall, the trend in IT is moving back to centralization -- Cloud computing is part of that trend.

But the bigger question is how to centralize? One big machine to me sounds like an expensive, single point of failure. I like the Google model where thousands of simple, off-the-shelf machines are plugged into a networked machine. And, while the Google model solves a simple key-value table database structure (Big Table), it does demonstrate that a networked OS is possible.
-Andrew

Microsoft should tie up with IBM to explore the possibilities of taking its Windows Operating System to truly enterprising levels. I know Windows has an enterprise-class, Data-centre edition that can support great hardware.  But running Windows on a Mainframe is something which I would like to see and something that could put Windows on a level playing field with RISC-based solutions.
-Umesh

So what is the fail-over path?

When your "One Big Box" goes down then 100,000 applications go with it. And if not, what is the redundancy scheme?
 -Donald

One reader shares his thoughts on Dell's shady past:

Years ago, I remember that Dell was caught putting used parts back into machines that were sold as new.

Maybe it's just a cultural problem with Dell where they feel they can make their own rules.
-Andrew

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to [email protected] Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on July 30, 2010 at 11:53 AM


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