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Scalability perspectives

Scalability perspectives

Scalability Perspectives

– is a series of posts that highlights the ideas that will shape the next decade of IT architecture. Each post is dedicated to a thought leader of the information age and his vision of the future. Be warned though – the journey into the minds and perspectives of these people requires an open mind.

Scalability Perspectives #1: Nicholas Carr – The Big Switch

Nicholas Carr
A former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, Nicholas Carr writes and speaks on technology, business, and culture. His provocative 2004 book Does IT Matter? set off a worldwide debate about the role of computers in business.

The Big Switch – Rewiring the World, From Edison to Google
Carr’s core insight is that the development of the computer and the Internet remarkably parallels that of the last radically disruptive technology, electricity. He traces the rapid morphing of electrification from an in-house competitive advantage to a ubiquitous utility, and how the business advantage rapidly shifted from the innovators and early adopters to corporate titans who made their fortune from controlling a commodity essential to everyday life. He envisions similar future for the IT utility in his new book

The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google – [amazon.com]

Scalability Perspectives #2: Van Jacobson – Content-Centric Networking

Van Jacobson
Van Jacobson is a Research Fellow at PARC. Prior to that he was Chief Scientist and co-founder of Packet Design. Prior to that he was Chief Scientist at Cisco. Prior to that he was head of the Network Research group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He’s been studying networking since 1969. He still hopes that someday something will start to make sense.

Scaling the Internet – Does the Net needs an upgrade?
As the Internet is being overrun with video traffic, many wonder if it can survive. With challenges being thrown down over the imbalances that have been created and their impact on the viability of monopolistic business models, the Internet is under constant scrutiny. Will it survive? Or will it succumb to the burden of the billion plus community that is constantly demanding more and more?

Scalability Perspectives #3: Marc Andreessen – Internet Platforms

Marc Andreessen
Marc Andreessen is known as an internet pioneer, entrepreneur, investor, startup coach, blogger, and a multi-millionaire software engineer best known as co-author of Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and founder of Netscape Communications Corporation. He was the chair of Opsware, a software company he founded originally as Loudcloud, when it was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. He is also a co-founder of Ning, a company which provides a platform for social-networking websites. He has recently joined the Board of Directors of Facebook and eBay.

Marc is an investor in several startups including Digg, Metaplace, Plazes, Qik, and Twitter. His passion is to create new technologies, to start new companies, and to scale them up.

Internet Platforms Rule the Cloud
From Marc’s Blog Post on the Three Kinds of Platforms:

One of the hottest of hot topics these days is the topic of Internet platforms, or platforms on the Internet. However, the concept of “platform” is also the focus of a swirling vortex of confusion — lots of platform-related concepts, many of them highly technical, bleeding together; lots of people harboring various incompatible mental images of what’s about to happen in our industry as a consequence of various platforms. I think this confusion is due in part to the term “platform” being overloaded and being used to mean many different things, and in part because there truly are a lot of moving parts at play that intersect in fascinating but complex ways.

Marc attempts to disentangle and examine the topic of “Internet platform” in detail. He has identified three distinct approaches to providing an Internet platform and shows us where each of the three approaches could go.

Scalability Perspectives #4: Kevin Kelly – One Machine

Kevin Kelly
Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He helped launch Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor until January 1999. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control

One Machine
There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born.

You and I are alive at this moment.

Is this global web of computers, servers and trunk lines a mere mechanical circuit, a very large tool, or does it reach a threshold where something, well, different happens?

Kevin Kelly’s hypothesis is this: The rapidly increasing sum of all computational devices in the world connected online, including wirelessly, forms a superorganism of computation with its own emergent behaviors.

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