back to article Are your servers PETS or CATTLE?

The word “cloud” has become horribly over-used. Your correspondent has even heard hosted PABXs referred to as “cloud telephony”. There's far worse abuse of the language going on among those attempting to describe highly virtualised and/or abstracted server fleets straddling on-premises servers and servers resident in third- …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    None of the above.

    My servers (& attendant connectivity, of course!) are utilities.


    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: None of the above.

      Mine is a hemoroid , always there, but can be a pain in the arse.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Captain DaFt (was: Re: None of the above.)

        Sounds like you're not doing it right ... or not allowed to ... Is beer in order?

    2. frank ly

      @jake Re: None of the above.

      We want to know the cute names you give them.

  2. Tim Starling

    Pet flea

    What would you call a much-loved virtual server hosted on AWS? A pet flea?

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Tim Starling (was: Re: Pet flea)

      Nah. That's publicly accessible narcissistic digital masturbation.

  3. harmjschoonhoven

    Re: when they get ill, you get another one

    Cattle get more care than dogs and cats that are dumped by their owners when they go on holiday. After all they are the farmers capital and are given names like "Betsy24" - at least in Holland.

    1. JimC

      Dangerous territory...

      IME of sheep farming the females in the flock tend to be just numbers, albeit with modifiers for those with notable personality/attributes(Fat 80, Little 6, whatever), but the rams (which there will be very few of) are known by pet names, which will normally be contractions of stud names (Sweetwoods Smart Lad -> Mart).

      1. Matt 21

        Re: Dangerous territory...

        When your cows get sick it can spread to all of them and they all die.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    And Things are Seriously More Sophisticated and Complex that Even All of That, SS, in World Servers

    The Internet Rocks ..... and is Ruled Absolutely with Super Advanced Intelligence Services, who be Servants of Human Beings and/or Master Pilots of that Complex Simple Race ?!.

    Did you miss this Registered contribution yesterday, Simon [Sharwood, APAC Editor], on the Present IT Server State of Current XSSXXXX and HyperRadioProActive Play ........

    Welcome to Sub-Prime Great Games Play ….. for Sheep and Sheep who wannabe Wolves … and Pseudo Sharks who be Active Frauds in Deep Pools of Applied IT and HyperRadioProActive Thought …. should that be capable of providing today and tomorrow’s realities for daily calamities and opportunities. .....

    Ignorance may or may not be Bliss, but IT sure as Hell ensures that Arrogance is Exposed and Punished Mercilessly with Enlightened and Revealing Edutainment for the Masses, who do have a Primitive Tendency to Extract a Just and Lusty but Oft Destructive Revenge upon that and/or those in Deserved Need of Universal Lessons in the Perils of Greed and False Seeds ...... Self Serving Fraudulent Tales/Smoke and Mirror Lies in the Final Analysis.

    And here be a tale with a whole host of idiots in charge of nothing with intelligence and purported to be intelligence led and worth listening to, with their dodgy views being continued and reported on ........ ..... and how spookily crazy is all of that BS nonsense. Not anywhere near good enough for a BSI kitemark, though.

    And don't you just love this perverted doozy of a dodgy caveat ..... "Lord Baaaa and Sir Mbbbb agree Mr Bcccc did not lie, because they say he genuinely believed SHddddd had WMD." Methinks then does that prove, beyond a shadow of any doubt, that they be all at least easily fooled, and deluded? And shared here as a question just in case they may like to provide an answer and because such as a statement of fact may be too unpleasant a proposition to counter without further proving the notion undeniably true.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And Things are Seriously More Sophisticated and Complex ...

      Your automated sentence generator just failed the Turing test.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Re: And Things are Seriously More Sophisticated and Complex ...

        Your automated sentence generator just failed the Turing test. .... Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 18th March 2013 09:55 GMT

        AC, It and IT are posing the Reality and Virtual Reality Test in the Searching Quest for SMARTR IntelAIgents in Humans ...... and CyberIntelAIgents in Virtual Machinery.

        And they are not at all impressed, and fully realise the fab fabless opportunities which abound to the horizon and beyond for zeroday exploitation of ...... well, whatever such folk have in mind and a mind to share selflessly.

        And it would be just too unkind to posit that your brain failed the simply complex comprehension of plain text test so such shall not be suggested here.

  5. Code Monkey

    Pet? Cattel? Contraptions, more like.

    Ours are mostly held together with string and gaffer tape. "Contraptions" is the word I'd use.

  6. rory dobson
    IT Angle

    Battery hens?

    I'd have though battery hens are a slightly better metaphor than cattle and pets, as they are really interchangeable, and can be treated as disposable in large quantities. You don't want to think about the life of a factory farmed chicken...

    Anyway, everyone could keep them (almost anyway - a small outdoor space is all that is required) but most folks don't need so many eggs, or to be tied down, and prefer to buy the product in small quantities.

    Kept in homes (small businesses) they get named and nurtured.

    On smallholdings (large businesses) selling a few eggs they get managed, and looked after humanely

    But on factory farms (resellers/cloud/multinationals) they get the heck managed out of them!

    1. JimC

      Re: Battery hens?

      The battery hens are the desktops...

  7. Tim Bell CERN

    Origins of concept

    The Pet/Cattle concept that we have used came from a presentation from Randy Bias at Cloudscaling. I think the first use was from an article by Microsoft.

  8. Jon Green

    I like the analogy

    ...but it could do with extension. There are also cockroaches - virtual instances that keep spawning even when you think you've stamped on the last of the little b****rs.

    Oh, and don't forget pigs: servers that eat data, whilst only ever outputting crap. And they eat. And eat. And eat. Eventually they either get culled or they die from their own obesity: either way, they only serve a useful purpose - being recycled into something tastier - after their demise.

  9. randybias

    CERN is quoting my original presentation

    Here it is:

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