The Network is the Computer – Who said it first?

I was going through some blogs I follow looking for topics to expand on, or refute entirely, and I took a look at the Databank Wizard’s latest entry talking about connectivity is back in vogue in the data center and cloud space. They also hit on an important consideration – connectivity – when looking at facilities.  Modular or not.

There are a lot of real estate people in the data center business. They build beautiful buildings, get off on cap rate compression, de-risk deals using bricks and mortar vs. the technology inside their buildings. The risk there is that the technology inside will change very very very quickly. In fact, faster than it takes a broker to get his post digger out of the trunk and put up a sign. I have worked for the real estate centric players before, and now I take their phone calls about how they de-risk a deal because there is a business model that would commoditize their real estate that can be implemented in under a year for $40M.

Now what makes it all sing in the facility, is the connectivity. Especially cloud.  It’s the pipes we use to drain lakes and oceans of data. There are cocktail straws and 48″ water mains – which one do you want to be connected to if you’re trying to move an ocean of data?

So I am glad to see that there is more discussion about connectivity again. Because I remember when Scott McNealy told me at an event at Harvard we were both speaking at in 1998, that ‘The Network is the Computer’. BAM! Still true 15 years later.

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