Click here to close now.


Microservices Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Blue Box Blog, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing: The Mainframe Reincarnated

I see this whole cloud computing movement as nothing more than a reincarnation of the classic mainframe client-server model

Andi Baritchi's Blog

I see this whole
cloud computing movement as nothing more than a reincarnation of the classic mainframe client-server model. People want painless access to their data and applications from wherever they are, from whatever electronic gizmo they happen to be using.

In a time long, long ago, before internet pron, spam, and Britney Spears, there was mainframe computing. A user would login to a dumb terminal, do their work remotely on the mainframe, and logout. Since the work was saved on the mainframe, she could resume her work later from any terminal accessing that mainframe. And for the most part, if setup right, mainframes were pretty damn secure too.

Then came the advent of the personal computer (PC). Now the computing power and storage was in your home. We gained the ability to work at home, but lost the mobility to work from anywhere - there's no server to sync with. Thus the notebook.

Since history does tend to repeat itself cyclically, I see this whole cloud computing movement as nothing more than a reincarnation of the classic mainframe client-server model. People want painless access to their data and applications from wherever they are, from whatever electronic gizmo they happen to be using. Sometimes we're on a computer. A laptop. A desktop. A smartphone. A smartTV. A smartfridge. A smartcar...?

For this computing paradigm to work, everything needs to be synchronized to a central server, with minimal intelligence being stored on the portable device. The only reason for the storage is caching for times of non-connectivity (insert TSA rant here).

The two smartest companies out there that I see capitalizing on this pendulum movement are Apple and Google. Apple's Mac Nano iPhone has already put 13 million Macs into people's pockets to date. It's a great dumb terminal / minicomputer that also doubles as a mediocre phone. I love mine. Google's recently introduced Android platform promises to do more of the same. Kudos to both Apple and Google for being ahead of the curve.

As a side note, this is a very exciting time for me being a security and privacy guy. This feverish movement back to client server to the cloud will see many security lapses. It's gonna be a fun ride.


More Stories By Andi Baritchi

Andi Baritchi is senior Security Consultant at a Fortune 100 company. He blogs at

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
abossard 04/07/09 11:20:49 AM EDT

Hi Andi,
I think you miss the point about cloud computing: Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources are provided as a service over the Internet (or another network). (see wikipedia)

It has nothing to do with a "central server" and actually doesn't resemblance the "classic mainframe client-server model" at all. Just read the description on amazon ec2:
... is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

If you use a client/server architecture on it, or peer to peer, or independent monolithic instances which work on a common result doesn't really matter.

Cloud computing enables me as a developer dynamically scale and assign computing power and other resources to my application. This is also what RightScale provides.

So please explain me, how should that be a reincarnation of the classic client/server model? It neither defines client nor server, it isn't centralized (its a cloud, like the internet and not like a central mainframe).

debnathm 12/12/08 11:04:11 AM EST

As I see it, it need not necessarily be a mainframe
that's hosting the cloud services. It could be a
cluster of cheaper computers. The main thing is
that whatever's hosting the cloud application, needs
to be fast

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Achim Weiss is Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of ProfitBricks. In 1995, he broke off his studies to co-found the web hosting company "Schlund+Partner." The company "Schlund+Partner" later became the 1&1 web hosting product line. From 1995 to 2008, he was the technical director for several important projects: the largest web hosting platform in the world, the second largest DSL platform, a video on-demand delivery network, the largest eMail backend in Europe, and a universal billing syste...
Docker is hot. However, as Docker container use spreads into more mature production pipelines, there can be issues about control of Docker images to ensure they are production-ready. Is a promotion-based model appropriate to control and track the flow of Docker images from development to production? In his session at DevOps Summit, Fred Simon, Co-founder and Chief Architect of JFrog, will demonstrate how to implement a promotion model for Docker images using a binary repository, and then show h...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively.
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that Jesse Proudman, Blue Box CTO, has been appointed to the position of IBM Distinguished Engineer. Jesse is the first employee at Blue Box to receive this honor, and I’m quite confident there will be more to follow given the amazing talent at Blue Box with whom I have had the pleasure to collaborate. I’d like to provide an overview of what it means to become an IBM Distinguished Engineer.
The cloud has reached mainstream IT. Those 18.7 million data centers out there (server closets to corporate data centers to colocation deployments) are moving to the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Achim Weiss, CEO & co-founder of ProfitBricks, will share how two companies – one in the U.S. and one in Germany – are achieving their goals with cloud infrastructure. More than a case study, he will share the details of how they prioritized their cloud computing infrastructure deployments ...
Opinions on how best to package and deliver applications are legion and, like many other aspects of the software world, are subject to recurring trend cycles. On the server-side, the current favorite is container delivery: a “full stack” approach in which your application and everything it needs to run are specified in a container definition. That definition is then “compiled” down to a container image and deployed by retrieving the image and passing it to a container runtime to create a running...
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
If you are new to Python, you might be confused about the different versions that are available. Although Python 3 is the latest generation of the language, many programmers still use Python 2.7, the final update to Python 2, which was released in 2010. There is currently no clear-cut answer to the question of which version of Python you should use; the decision depends on what you want to achieve. While Python 3 is clearly the future of the language, some programmers choose to remain with Py...
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
As we increasingly rely on technology to improve the quality and efficiency of our personal and professional lives, software has become the key business differentiator. Organizations must release software faster, as well as ensure the safety, security, and reliability of their applications. The option to make trade-offs between time and quality no longer exists—software teams must deliver quality and speed. To meet these expectations, businesses have shifted from more traditional approaches of d...
Ten years ago, there may have been only a single application that talked directly to the database and spit out HTML; customer service, sales - most of the organizations I work with have been moving toward a design philosophy more like unix, where each application consists of a series of small tools stitched together. In web example above, that likely means a login service combines with webpages that call other services - like enter and update record. That allows the customer service team to writ...
JFrog has announced a powerful technology for managing software packages from development into production. JFrog Artifactory 4 represents disruptive innovation in its groundbreaking ability to help development and DevOps teams deliver increasingly complex solutions on ever-shorter deadlines across multiple platforms JFrog Artifactory 4 establishes a new category – the Universal Artifact Repository – that reflects JFrog's unique commitment to enable faster software releases through the first pla...
Somebody call the buzzword police: we have a serious case of microservices-washing in progress. The term “microservices-washing” is derived from “whitewashing,” meaning to hide some inconvenient truth with bluster and nonsense. We saw plenty of cloudwashing a few years ago, as vendors and enterprises alike pretended what they were doing was cloud, even though it wasn’t. Today, the hype around microservices has led to the same kind of obfuscation, as vendors and enterprise technologists alike ar...
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes.
With containerization using Docker, the orchestration of containers using Kubernetes, the self-service model for provisioning your projects and applications and the workflows we built in OpenShift is the best in class Platform as a Service that enables introducing DevOps into your organization with ease. In his session at DevOps Summit, Veer Muchandi, PaaS evangelist with RedHat, will provide a deep dive overview of OpenShift v3 and demonstrate how it helps with DevOps.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet condit...
The last decade was about virtual machines, but the next one is about containers. Containers enable a service to run on any host at any time. Traditional tools are starting to show cracks because they were not designed for this level of application portability. Now is the time to look at new ways to deploy and manage applications at scale. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Brian “Redbeard” Harrington, a principal architect at CoreOS, will examine how CoreOS helps teams run in production. Attende...