7 Nov 2014

FSOSS 2014 Report - The 2020 Datacentre

Chris Tyler gave a very thought-provoking and amusing talk at this year's FSOSS entitled The 2020 Datacentre.

For this talk Chris pretended (I think) to be a time traveler who had just returned from the year 2020 and was giving this talk to enlighten us about what had happened to a typical datacentre (and computing in general) during the intervening years.

What made the talk so humourous was how both Chris and the audience (!) stayed "in character" and used the past, present, and future tenses as though Chris really were from 2020. Even when asking questions, audience members would phrase a question as "...at what point did <technology> become cheap..." instead of "...when do you think <technology> will become cheap...".

But for me all of this "staying in character" also made the talk very thought-provoking. It was very interesting to pretend as though someone did live in a time when (as one example) NVDIMMs are ubiquitous. If NVDIMMs are everywhere, do people still use (traditional) hard disks? If not, what do you see when you type "ls"? Do you see files, or memory? How does one see memory as the output of an "ls" command?

Thanks Chris, for a very interesting talk!