Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cloud Migration: iPhone, iPodTouch, iPad

I considered a quick blog posting from Cloud Migration today:
I just keep thinking that the proliferation of iPads and tablets in the enterprise is leading us back to the path of thick client computing. Don't get me wrong, I love the iPad and believe it is a great device....for emails, surfing the web, playing music, playing games, and getting directions. However, it is as thick of a client device as you can get. In addition, just like 3270 screens were proprietary, they are a proprietary platform. It seems like just yesterday everyone was rushing to get off of client/server systems and move to thin client machines with browser based access.
Of course, I thought this was interesting, but this left me with a bunch of thoughts:

> proliferation of iPads and tablets in the enterprise is leading us back
> to the path of thick client computing

That is a very interesting thought.
  • UNIX is the firmware in the iPad, iPodTouch, iPhone
  • UNIX does not make it thick, Sun Workstations were thin
  • UNIX makes i* more Open.
There is virtually no customization on the client end,
so I don't quite think that i* are thick clients.

> just like 3270 screens were proprietary

iPhone's and iPad's were specifically called out, "tablets" suggest Windows, but Android is not quite Open...
  • Does Android comply with POSIX? OpenFirmware?
  • Is Android getting sued for using Java?

What are the thin alternatives?
  • SunRay's used to be SPARC based, but no longer. SPARC was Open.
  • SunRay's were never based upon Solaris. Solaris was Open.
  • SunRay's used a proprietary firmware, not based upon OpenBoot.
The SunRay's are more of an ultra-thin form factor, with firmware
that will update automatically (much the same way that i* devices
will, except the i* devices prompt the user for a convenient time
to update with the ability to customize their firmware.)

Other thoughts about thin clients:
  • I don't see SunRay's in i* or tablet form-factors.
  • I don't see SunRay's being sold by TelCo providers,
    as basic utilities leveraging their network infrastructure.
  • I don't see SunRay's clients provided by non-Oracle vendors

Don't get me wrong, I have 3 SunRay's on my desktop, this very moment,
running SPARC Solaris OpenLook desktops (CDE and JDS are way too heavy
and difficult to customize for real business usage.) All our users run
third-party apps off of an internal Solaris cloud that I built years ago.

Right now, the i* format factor is less expensive, easier to use,
and perceived as more open than other thin client technologies.

Honestly, there is no reason why clouds should not be built on SunRay's.

If clouds are not using SunRay's, then Oracle needs to figure out how to
fix it, and I will be the first one on-board to advocate migrating my
decade old private Solaris SPARC cloud providing 300 thin clients!

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