Joel Spolsky posted an hilarious rant about storage in the cloud. You should read it. I’ll wait.
Joel is upset because the software industry heavyweights are chasing the dream. You know the dream. It’s the dream of every management consultant, technophile and (in Joel’s words) architecture astronaut. The dream comes in many different guises. In various times, in various places, the dream has lured many to destruction — or at least to waste gobs of money and years of effort.
I call it One System to Rule Them All.
It’s the utopian idea that with enough effort you can craft an all-encompassing solution for a vast array of problems using a single, perfect framework. This year’s flavor of the dream happens to be storage in the cloud, or perhaps the belief that click-based advertising can fund everything. A few years ago, solid, respectable banking types had subscribed to the dream of the New Economy. A real estate agent once assured me that house prises in Northern Virginia never fell.
Well, never say never.
Godel’s incompleteness theorem says that all but the simplest mathematical systems will fail internal consistency tests. Most grand theories contain the seeds of their own destruction.
Most organizations of significant size will have hybrid system architectures. No single office suite, operating platform, or synchronized filing system can accomplish everything. One size doesn’t fit all, nor should it. Vive la différence.