I’ve known Jay Fry for years and first met Jay when he was with Cassatt. Jay writes a good perspective on “good enough” being the new normal.
Posted by Jay Fry at 9:52 AM
In looking back on some of the more insightful observations that I’ve heard concerning cloud computing in 2010, one kept coming up over and over again. In fact, it was re-iterated by several analysts onstage at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas earlier this month.
The thought went something like this:
IT is being weighed down by more and more complexity as time goes on. The systems are complex, the management of those systems is complex, and the underlying processes are, well, also complex.
The cloud seems to offer two ways out of this problem. First, going with a cloud-based solution allows you to start over, often leaving a lot of the complexity behind. But that’s been the same solution offered by any greenfield effort – it always seems deceptively easier to start over than to evolve what you already have. Note that I said “seems easier.” The real-world issues that got you into the complexity problem in the first place quickly return to haunt any such project. Especially in a large organization.
Cloud and the 80-20 rule
But I’m more interested in highlighting the second way that cloud can help. That way is more about the approach to architecture that is embodied in a lot of the cloud computing efforts. Instead of building the most thorough, full-featured systems, cloud-based systems are often using “good enough” as their design point.
This is the IT operations equivalent of the 80-20 rule. It’s the idea that not every system has to have full redundancy, fail-over, or other requirements. It doesn't need to be perfect or have every possible feature. You don't need to know every gory detail from a management standpoint. In most cases, going to those extremes means what you're delivering will be over-engineered and not worth the extra time, effort, and money. That kind of bad ROI is a problem.
“IT has gotten away from “good enough” computing,” said Gartner’s Donna Scott in one of her sessions at the Data Center Conference. “There is a lot an IT dept can learn from cloud, and that’s one of them.”
MSNBC/NYtimes has an article about the last roll of Kodachrome film, for some the best film for photography.
Demanding to shoot
Demanding both to shoot and process, Kodachrome rewarded generations of skilled users with a richness of color and a unique treatment of light that many photographers described as incomparable even as they shifted to digital cameras. “Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day,” Paul Simon sang in his 1973 hit “Kodachrome,” which carried the plea “Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away.”
All 25 Kodak labs are shut down.
At the peak, there were about 25 labs worldwide that processed Kodachrome, but the last Kodak-run facility in the United States closed several years ago, then the one in Japan and then the one in Switzerland. Since then, all that was left has been Dwayne’s Photo. Last year, Kodak stopped producing the chemicals needed to develop the film, providing the business with enough to continue processing through the end of 2010. And last week, right on schedule, the lab opened up the last canister of blue dye.
Steve Hebert for The New York Times
Lanie George pulls off infrared goggles after leaving the darkroom processing Kodachrome film at Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kan., on Dec. 28, 2010. The lab is the last one processing the 75-year-old film and will process the final roll on Dec. 30.
Here is a CBS video about the end of Kodachrome.