The computer industry is a curious one, it loves to re-invent itself on a regular basis. The 1960’s and 70’s were dominated by the corporate datacenter, usually a room the size of an aircraft hanger, inevitably painted white, and very antiseptic.  These caverns were the home to large boxes emblazoned with the IBM logo.

The 1980’s and 90’s saw a move away from this, the PC arrived, computing power on your desk. For twenty years the PC ruled supreme. The corporate datacenter became a concept that seemed to have little more than historical significance. Of course they still existed, Bank of America, Visa, GM, in fact all of the big companies still had their aircraft hanger sized facilities that still contained those big boxes with the IBM logo on them, but no one cared. The only thing that seemed to matter was buying the PC with the fastest processor, and Intel and AMD have done a fine job of producing faster and faster engines to run our favorite computer programs.

The 2000’s have heralded a new wave in the computer industry, the return of the datacenter and centralization of  both information and computer power. We are still rushing out to our favorite computer store to buy the fastest engine, the biggest disk drive, and the most RAM, but do we need to?

Wired ( writer George Gilder has written an excellent article about the reemergence of the datacenter.

It is a ‘Brave New World’ (again!!!!!!!).

Simon Barrett

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