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Thin is in. Or is it?

By joshgingold ·
For the past year or so I've been thinking that cloud computing would usher in a whole new era of thin clients since people can now access information and applications any time, anywhere, on any device and therefore won't need so much heavy hardware. Being somebody who has reasonable access to a lot of really smart people from leading companies who work on these sorts of things every day, I started mentioning it around and asking if, as I believed, thin would soon be in since everything is now available online as-a-service. Funny thing is that nearly all deny thin is in and actaully get quite upset when I bring it up in our conversations. Despite their spirited efforts to correct my perceptions, however, I still can't escape the idea of a world where computing is more like television. Afterall, how many people carry around a television in their bag?

I can understand how packaged software manufacturers might see it. Certainly computer-makers too. Nevertheless, as the popularity of netbooks, tablets, and smartphones continues to rise I have to wonder how anyone can deny the trend toward increasingly thinner and thinner devices. For me personally, the hardware just isn't all that important and it's really all about the access to information and applications. I'm basically getting that now with cloud computing and move pretty freely every day between several devices. Of course, the demand for high perfomance workstations and data center hardware will continue to grow but for the life of me I still don't understand how so many IT professionals can deny the rise of thin computing.

What am I missing?

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Which thin are you asking about?

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Thin is in. Or is it?

If you mean a smaller, lighter, and thinner computer to put in your bag and carry with you - YES, thin is in. Just look at how well netbooks have taken off in certain quarters.

If you mean thin client access to applications stored on servers and accessed over the Internet, then it's not going to happen in our lifetimes for a few simple reasons to do with security and legislation. One airline recently lost the computer network for a couple of days. They lost many millions in business and clients are threatening to sue for disruptions to their flight plans. An Internet Cloud Application is so susceptible to be unavailable for so many reasons only an idiot would base their business plan on it.

Then again, any information transiting the Internet is able to be intercepted and later decoded, no matter what you do - ask the NSA about that. Because of this there are laws about how certain types of information must be handled. Once you have the legal requirement to manage that in house, why incur more expense by not doing the same with your other data and applications.

I can see Cloud computing and thin client being used more often within a business network, provided nothing goes outside the corporate perimeter. I can also see students using it for college assignments etc. But that's all.

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Thin has been about for decades

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Thin is in. Or is it?

lots of reasons why it didn't take off, the private cloud might address some of them, but basically it's cash flow.
I need a faster PC to do something, not a big cost, especially if my old one can go in to the appliance pool. Give me or get me more time on a private cloud....

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I am at GMT plus 8

by santeewelding In reply to Thin has been about for d ...

That means you have risen for early church services, no?

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Risen is sort of correct

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to I am at GMT plus 8

Been snowed in all week and my body clock is on vampire time.
Going to make getting up at six to go to work fun, but with 18+ inches of snow and temperatures below freezing for the rest of the week, might not be an immediate issue.

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What about everything-as-a-service?

by joshgingold In reply to Thin has been about for d ...

What am I missing? Wouldn't an increase in cloud-based services naturally lead to thin client computing? Why wouldn't I want somthing that's little more than an Internet terminal?

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You as a private indivivual for personal stuff may

by Deadly Ernest In reply to What about everything-as- ...

which is why I think Cloud services are good for college students, but not for a corporate environment where services over an Internet Cloud can take you off line for hours and days at a time due to minor accidents - costing the business millions, where you have no control over the security of the data, where you are in violation of legislation about data security for some types of data

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You quite possibly satisfied with that, I could be

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to What about everything-as- ...

but it would cost a lot.
Not technically unfeasible, but as a developer on a horribly large number of os / platform combinations trying to keep it all managed and have it 'instantly' available given a fairly unpreditable working pattern...

It's the qualittative difference between an appliance user and computer user, at a certain point it becaome easier cheaper and more efficient to give me a personal computer than a large number of hosted environments where my control has to be less. And that's just me, my devloper and QA colleagues and the analysts would need there's and in one of three product teams...

It's a chicken and egg scenario. In order to make using the cloud in my role effective, the cloud has to become the environment for the product.

Cloud proponents always gloss over the conrol aspect (trying to hold on to IT hegemony and other bollocks) or say we donlt really need it, ut there's a valid business reason, for me being able to say install unknown software, to be able to turn UAC on and off, to edit my registries and all sorts of things you would not want an appliance user to do.
Have to get rid of the need first.

This will put it in perspective, at one point I had a HP dumb terminal, a DEC workstation and a PC, bought some enulator software, and got rid of the thin and dumb terminals....

Everything isn't a service and dealing with that would cost a lot of money.

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For me personally?

by TobiF In reply to Thin is in. Or is it?

No way.

A total reliance on "the net" would mean that I lose contact with my data whenever my internet connection doesn't work. That is way to high a price to pay.

Further, even if it was all encrypted etc. I don't feel good about the idea to store all my photos and documents with some kind of provider. (Google would love to have full check on my internet searches, email content, document content and even my music preferences and all my private photos in order to serve me profiled ads, but I'm not interested.)

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