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back to article Microsoft's Windows Azure Plan B: A hard drive, a courier and a data-centre monkey

Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have spent tens of billions of dollars rolling out state-of-the art data centres over the past few years. These companies are building massive facilities housing thousands of servers with dedicated fibre and Ethernet connections that shunt tens of gigabytes per second. But when customers are …

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Not a surprise

It has always been quicker to shunt the data in bluk around that it has been to transfer it directly over the 'net.

I used to have to recalculate OLAP databases for a client. Their server was fine for serving the data, but it would take 6 hours to recalculate the 90MB (compressed) cube. It was quicker for me to copy it to a Zip disk, drive home, copy it to my PC, recalculate the data and copy the resulting cube back onto the Zip and drive back to the office (an hour each way).

Hard drive capacity and the speed of cars/trucks has always been more than a match for internet connections. If you ship a NAS full of 6TB drives, you'd need one heck of an internet connection to complete the transfer before the postie turns up with the array... Whether it turns up in one piece is another matter. ;-)

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The old classic....

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes

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Re: The old classic....

I recon you could get about 60 petabytes of 4TB hard drives in a Ford Transit. A bit less than that if you pack them to avoid damage en route. If you say 15PB and you can get it to its destination next day, that is a lot of bandwidth.

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@rhydian - Re: The old classic....

Wrote :- "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes"

I heard it as "The bandwidth of a motorcyle courier with a pannier of floppy disks doing 90 on the M4"

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Re: The old classic....

Obligatory XKCD (spin-off)

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Not wanting to put a damper on things (using physical media is a great way to move the data), but just remember it's your data and you're probably going to want to secure it. Which from the article doesn't appear to be happening.

Would you really trust your unencrypted data to a third party courier on a standard hard disk?

It may well be that your data isn't commercially sensitive. But somehow for most businesses it is!

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Just secure the files?

I'd imagine you just ensure that whatever the files you're putting on that NTFS partition are themselves encrypted to your satisfaction. Afterall the onus is on you to do something useful with the data anyway.

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You also have to hope that they don't let the work experience kid do the upload and he loads it to the wrong instance! Suddenly your competitor has all your finance or sales data etc. NOT GOOD.

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Coat

"Like everyone else in cloud, Microsoft is coming from behind against the market and momentum leader, Amazon."

... and cue the usual flood of knee-jerk anti-Microsoft comments about lack of innovation etc. that seems to happen every time Microsoft offer a service like its competitors...

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Unhappy

Lack of spelling no obstacle to writing for El Reg

Great - we can now edit posts. Do the improvements to the CMS include a spell-checker for the articles?

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Wow now thats an open way for microsoft to spy on you. Cant say you didnt get warned!

Laymans speak

Microsoft "We cant keep up with all this data so come let us do the job for you"

Layman, "Wow thats cool, so how do you expect stuff like your xbox network to cope?"

Microsoft, "Err..because it's great! It'll work! It's the best thing since sliced bread! FUD"

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And what did you want to say?

You do understand that we are talking here about Azure, so all customers' data and programs run inside MS datacenters.

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Facepalm

... and there you have it...

... complete with pit props and canary.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... and there you have it... @RyokouMas 16:30

And, originally, "FUD". Still, if he wants upvotes that's the way to go ...

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why not extrapoloate?

If it's so efficient to upload by physically shifting disks around from place to place, why not go the whole hog and implement this "cloud" thing like a mobile library? I'm sure customers would appreciate the extra bandwidth, and if the disks are large enough, any latency issues (waiting for the van to arrive) can be ignored because it'll still get to you before a full download would finish.

I think these tech companies are doing things wrong.

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Headmaster

"Obsticle"

Seriously, did I just read that? In a sub-headline?

What the hell is wrong with your spellcheck?

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Nothing is wrong with the tool - it just needs to be used.

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