Thursday, July 16, 2015

If Data Center is Operating System, WAN is the Data Bus

Sam Johnston, who just left his job as Equinix director of cloud and information technology services, describes a modern data center as an operating system for an enterprise.

In that analogy, as enterprises might run apps on desktop or mainframe operating systems, so they can connect to services like Office 365 and AWS.

Others at Telx might have used the shopping mall analogy (Johnston says has used that analogy at times, as well), where the data center becomes the place where software as a service is obtained.

“For the enterprise CIO, they should look at the data centre as an operating system, only rather than installing best-of-breed applications like Office and Photoshop, they simply connect to services by installing best-of-breed applications.

If the data center is the operating system, then others might therefore liken the global backbone network to the bus, which connects all the internal components of a computer, such as CPU and memory, to the motherboard.

The cloud analogy of course then becomes an external, wide area bus, replacing the
internal data bus (local bus).

At some level, that illustrates the fusion or blurring of the lines between information technology (computing) and communications. At a physical level, the global wide area network has become the data bus, in part.

The cloud data centers assume the function of operating systems, to an extent.

Parenthetically, Johnston is off to a new venture involving the “consumption and application of information technology to solving business problems.”  

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