To centralice or not to centralize

julio 23, 2011

If you make a search at Google using the title of this post you will be surprised like me that this is an old debate. The last two decades during the era PC, a post mainframe era, all infraestruture for IT has being constructed using a centralization policy. On the other hand, during decades prior to PC, when mainframes were the only alive beings at it world, policy was to centralize all.

Internet are driving us to centralize all our data and in future Cloud Computing will help to drive in that direction. I am not able to decide from this lines what is the best policy because it dependes on the structure of the organization. Sometimes will be better to centralize all data and othertimes will be to not centralize.

IBM invented the PC but the real process that drived the decision to start that project is something dark. I think at that era when mainframe went down for maintenance or by incident CEOs were driven to stop their jobs and started a period filled of questions like “when will be up again the system?”.

The solution that IT department gave to CEOs was to build a little system wich could be used to write texts, read reports and so on. They called it Personal Computer. Neither IBM nor the world could preview at that moment what they were starting. The rest of the history is well known by all of us.

Now we are building centralized systems. We trust on Google, Facebook, Amazon, and all are building a new era where Cloud Computing will be the first actor of the play. Then we will have all our data centralized again and PCs will act like simple graphical terminals similar to text ones of the past, but now using colors, mouse, sound.

One day when an important group of companies that trusted on Amazon Web Services, for instance, went down because was a failure on internet or even at Amazon, and CEOs spent a full day of work, perhaps one of them would started a new project called iPC, Internet Personal Computer, a system that cached all data consumed by browsers or Cloud Computing to be viewed when offline.

The life is neither white nor black. It is not a good idea to have all our data centralized by Cloud Computing and also is not to have lof of copies of the information inside all servers of our company. The solution is allways the middle way, a smart mitxure of centralization and descentralization.

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