back to article Australian PM opens SYSADMIN-KILLER data centre

Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has opened a data centre in Sydney and proclaimed it is the perfect embodiment of the kind of thing Australia needs to do to create high-value jobs. But the owner of the centre, business telco and managed services outfit Macquarie Telecom, seems to have other plans for Australian jobs …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Just supposing...

    ...that you are powering and cooling your own data centre/server room/box under the desk with your own solar, then how can McQuarrie say “We can power and cool a server more cost effectively than what businesses can do themselves"?

    Just wondering.

    1. bill 36

      Re: Just supposing...

      Cos nobody in their right mind would try to run a computer, far less a data centre, on solar power alone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re: Just supposing...

        Try as I might, and trust me I've tried very hard, I cannot see the word alone anywhere in my comment.

  2. Magister


    "In a speech that demonstrated scarcely any understanding of what a data centre is or does, "

    Does anyone seriously expect any politician to know what anything does? All they care about is the opportunity for more face time on the media showing that they are associated to things that sound like they might be of benefit to potential voters.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh, I say. Meh.

    So instead of fixing the kit locally you now get to drive, pass security checks, then shed your blood on balky boxes? I see a whole lotta savings there.

    Alternatively (or more likely, also) you buy yet more kit to access peecee consoles, because peecees are still peecees and need spendy add-in cards (and java on the client, to boot) to remotely access the console. Back in the day all you needed was something to access a serial port. A really long line, a reverse telnet box, heck a modem would do in a pinch. Now? Not so much. So all that kit needs installing and caring for too of course.

    And then there's the software. The typical desktop emulators run on peecees, even far too many "servers", still require quite a lot of handholding. Moving the hardware support off-site doesn't change that. It just drives the traffic bill up a little, just due to the systems management, and makes life more interesting in case of a network outage.

    But hey, this is the modern age. I'm sure there'll be an app for that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh, I say. Meh.

      Indeed. Then hard drives in the SAN go bad in quick succession because they are all from the same manufacturers production run with sequential serial numbers and identical fault. (Death Stars anyone ?) And the cost and performance of Oz broadband makes the old RS232 and green screen look not too bad after all.

      We love that 3 hour drive to the data center with a 36 hour lead time for process droids to get their hots by blocking access. Getting hardware vendors field techs security cleared adds to the hate, because there are no local staff to do escort duty either.

      Yep, perfect PHB thinking, save dollars and spend a fortune from another bucket, while irritating the client end users even further. Probably explains the trend to insourcing here in Oz. Odd how the tech media are missing that too, just like the ice fields growing in the far south

      1. P. Lee

        Re: Meh, I say. Meh.

        When was RS232 and a green screen not a good idea?

        Go on now, If you had pine, wp51 & lotus 123 for running under nix, how many users could you support on a quad-cpu hp with 192 Gig of RAM and some terminal servers?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          how many users could you support?

          Back in the day you had six cpu minis with just a couple megs and two-digit megaherz clockrates that could support hundreds of users simultaneously. So a contemporary quad cpu with that memory? Add a few zeros to that number. Probably more than you'd find terminals for. You'd need scads of terminal servers lest the serial handling would become a problem, x86 iron isn't that great there. That sort of thing isn't really cpu-bound, nor memory-bound.

          I'd use mutt and alpine to taste. lotus 123? teapot (despite its pointless "upgrade" to cmake, silly developer). wp51? I'd sooner use ws33 (under z80/cp/m emulator, oh yeah), but some editor (vi, pico, nano, ee, you name it--no not emacs you silly bint, we already got us an OS thank you) and troff (groff these days, despite everything, though I hear a non-gn00 version is available these days) would work too. In fact, hosting that was the original killer app for unix. For, oh dear, the lawyers there to write patent applications with. Anyway, even there are a few alternatives that people might prefer and it wouldn't be a problem to provide a good selection, if not all.

          The sad fact is that you could do all that and provide perfectly viable productivity suites, that would probably cause sudden upsurges in actual productivity because no distractions, even still provide limited web capability that'd work perfectly well for simple boring fact lookup if fewer sites would insist on adding js without apparent need, but that few people would get the point and thus wouldn't want to work like that. We likes our precioussss clickibunti distractions, yesss we does.

          Thus the modern equivalent is the "thin client", which goes a way but preserves the clickibunti. Needs more client and server side oomph to keep going, though.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, in the UK

    I wonder when they'll hit on the idea of having all internet servers based at GCHQ. And all the undersea telecom cables coming/going via there once the commentards here point out the futility of it.

    1. streaky

      Re: Meanwhile, in the UK

      This is why crypto?

      Also seriously London is datacenterville (meanwhile, in the UK) - it's not even like this article says anything interesting, that's why I've got my nose in the comments...

  5. Eduard Coli

    Fooling people, some of the time

    Poor lass, she nearly gets murdered by aborigines and now wants to outsource the rest of Australia without their notice.

  6. Tim Bates


    Ah... Lovely shiny data centre, qualified for government hosting... Excellent.

    Now when the bloody NBN finally manages to get anywhere, government offices might actually be able to do something with it!

  7. Trixr

    Seen that coming

    Meh, if you expect to be doing classic sysadmin work in the next decade, you will either be guru-class or one of the lucky few working in these barns.

    I've got my exit strategy planned - 5 years should be a good time to be onto something else (since my interest in managing clouds in barns is fairly minimal)

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