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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.

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.

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?

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.

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to 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 07/30/2010 at 9:03 AM

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