8 posts • joined Friday 16th September 2011 11:07 GMT
Works for Sea-Tac in Seattle, with shops, gates and check-ins.
Paris, because she needs all the navigational help she can get
Investment Appraisal, not accounting
As a beancounter, that is a nice explanation of how accounts work and I won't even split hairs about blurring direct and indirect costs. However, the cloud is just like any other outsourcing decision; accounting doesn't make it right or wrong, just gives you some of the information to help you make that decision.
On the plus side, someone running a big data centre with lots of capacity is likely to be able to do so more cheaply than lots of individual businesses. Against that, their profit has to be paid for by their customers. And risk could be positive or negative. Much of your argument is that the cloud provider takes on lots of risk - maintenance, technological, obsolescence. But risk equals profit - think insurance where you pay more each year than the expected cost of your losses (and keep insurance companies in flash offices). The cloud provider isn't taking on that risk for nothing and, because there is uncertainty, is loading it a bit to protect himself.
Finally, there are the non-financial factors which are just as important. Is the business happy to be totally dependent on a third party? Does it have the capability to audit the cloud provider's security, disaster recovery and business continuity measures. Will your accountants have a look at their books and judge whether the hardware leasing company is going to turn up with a lorry and take away the servers? Or if the data centre is going to pull the plug for non-payment of rent? If there is a SLA, how will you enforce it in the Delaware courts. How do your business interruption insurers feel about having a major part of the business' operations being performed by a third party?
Nothing wrong with using the cloud, but there are lots of things to think about before betting the future of your employer on any one provider and most are operational rather than financial.
Remember that they are not jamming a system or systems, just rendering the signals unusable over a patch of the earth. GLONASS really can't complain if their system is inoperable over north west Scotland and Galileo likewise, unless it is so frequent or extensive that it starts putting off paying (or potential paying) customers.
My impression was that these days, when a cell site amounts to a cabinet and a Jaybean mast the diameter of a streetlamp, all put up under 'permitted development' powers, the cost of the site was little more than the cost of hardware. And a cell site is like any other capital spend - will it recover its costs over its life.
Presumably what Arqiva or whoever lands the contract will do is identify a site which makes some sense from the radio planning perspective, negotiate with the owner, provide some hard standing and power and possibly some backhaul. These will save the network a bit, but the fact remains that the income potential from data and call charges plus dwindling termination charges, plus an unquantifiable 'good coverage premium', are still likely to leave these areas uneconomic. A few Facebook updates from hillwalkers reaching a summit will not justify much base station hardware.
One other improvement the shipping container brought was security - it pretty much put an end to the 'shrinkage' which enhanced the dockers' lifestyle the world over. I seem to recall strikes over extra pay for handling containers which were not explicitly to make good this loss but that was certainly the implication.
How about a load cell under the motor or even under the whole rig? I guess you will be interested in not only whether the motor fires, but also whether maximum thrust is achieved quickly or if the fuel pellets have to warm up first. Graphing downforce against time might well give interesting data.