Author Archive for Timothy C. K. Chou

Is It Safe?

Some of you might remember the movie Marathon Man starring Dustin Hoffman as Babe.  In it, he is repeatedly questioned by the former Nazi SS dentist, Dr. Christian Szell and asked, “Is it safe?”

Christian Szell: Is it safe? Is it safe?

Babe: You’re talking to me?

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Think Vertical

You’ve made the decision to move to the cloud, but as with anything, all products aren’t created equal.  And like with any complex decision, you need a roadmap.

But let’s start with something important – you need to start to Think Vertical.  Many organizations have the responsibility for the compute, storage, data center and network split across manager.  Of course, when you only have a few servers in a closet and you’re running a local area network to connect your PCs, it might have been OK.   But today it doesn’t make sense.  The optimal decisions are totally connected.  Let’s say you acquire a new business in Japan. Should you get a high-speed network back to your servers in California? Should you buy a data center cloud service in Japan and put your own servers in there? Or should you connect to a compute & storage cloud service in Singapore?

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You Can’t Handle the Truth

The next time your IT staff comes to you with a server or storage purchase order and says, “And the price is $1 million,” put on your Jack Nicholson mask, do your best “A Few Good Men” impersonation,” and growl, “Is that the truth? I don’t think so because, you can’t handle the truth.”

The truth is the cost of that hardware is not $1 million. Oh, sure, it’s the one time purchase price, but just like application software, that’s just the beginning of the cost.

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IT Doesn’t Matter?

Ten years ago, Nicholas Carr wrote a paper entitled “IT Doesn’t Matter” published in the Harvard Business Review.  He might not have realized the far-reaching effects but in many IT shops, and with many senior executives, it signaled a shift from focusing on compute, storage, data centers and networks to applications.  This also coincided with the rise of enterprise applications and, as a result, CIOs spend a lot of time discussing packaged applications, integration, and implementations, resulting in the treatment of the fundamental engine of their business as a commodity.  But in most companies, packaged applications represent less than 20% of the overall footprint.

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