Friday, March 12, 2010

From cradle to cloud

In cloud computing, one of the big issues is how to transfer your data to the cloud. Various techniques are used, but here's, apparently, the current state of the art:

  • Get a SATA drive

  • Fill it with your fine data

  • Put it in a mailing envelope and mail it to Amazon

  • They'll load the data into your cloud for you!

The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As Andrew Tanenbaum wrote in his textbook on networking:

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.

(Though I remember the quote more vividly from Jim Gray's work on data transfer for astronomers):

I’ve been working with a bunch of astronomers lately and we need to send around huge databases. I started writing my databases to disk and mailing the disks. At first, I was extremely cautious because everybody said I couldn’t do that—that the disks are too fragile. I started out by putting the disks in foam. After mailing about 20 of them, I tried just putting them in bubble wrap in a FedEx envelope. Well, so far so good.

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