HP Discovers Fundamental Computing Particle While Reinventing the Service Bureau
Outsourcing is all the rage in corporate IT these days. What's odd is that my first real (corporate-like) job was in a service bureau providing data center services to hospitals. It was a lot like working for the company in the movie "Office Space", only worse. This was in the dying days of service bureaus and I left after about 9 months. That industry was a legacy of the days when computers were expensive shared resources.
We're seeing a resurrection of that industry, only now it's called outsourcing and the outsourcer provides more custom IT services than the "any color you want so long as it's 3270 green" model we used to follow. I'm glad the computer industry has a short institutional memory. That makes it much easier to recycle work as if it's new and different. Too bad patent and copyright abuse are putting an end to this. I like it when everything old is new again.
I noticed HP's latest announcement on a model for charging customers for computing resources, but not due to originality of concept. Everyone used to charge for mainframe cycles and storage. I took a college course in Service Level Agreements, chargeback models, and all sorts of stuff I though I would never use thanks to the PC revolution. IBM recently made a similar announcement.
No, HP caught my eye because Computerworld quoted them in this article and I saw originality of nomenclature:
Under HP's scheme, prices would vary based on factors such as the overall demand placed on servers, storage devices and other IT resources, said Bernardo Huberman, an HP fellow and director of the systems research center at the company's HP Labs unit.
He added that a new unit-of-computing metric, which is being called a "computon" inside HP, would be akin to the pricing models that utilities use to charge customers for kilowatt-hours of electricity based on the ebb and flow of power demand.
Computon?? Not to be confused with computron, one of the fundamental particles used in the study of quantum bogodynamics I thought it was a joke, but I've been assured they're serious.
It's too bad they need an HP fellow to work out how to handle chargeback. All they need to do is hire back some retired mainframers or buy my old textbook. I'll let it go for a reasonable price.
Posted by Mark Wednesday, June 11, 2003 12:20:00 AM |