Opinion

The clouds threaten to snuff out the data centre manager

Carbon dioxide might threaten the existence of the planet as we know it, but the flip side is even worse for the men in the data centre.
 
The build up of potentially lethal CRCs (carbon reduction commitments) could devastate the data centre industry and threatens to wipe out a very rare species, the data centre engineer. 
 
At the DataCenter Dynamics show last week, cloud computing and data centre service providers were urged to start lobbying their political contacts over the damage that the carbon reduction commitment will do. It's feared that the new CRC policy represents a carbon stealth tax that will push the data centre hosting sector offshore.
 
Meanwhile, Clive Longbottom, senior researcher for Quocirca, used the show to draw attention to the plight of a threatened species - the data centre engineer.
 
Beware the gathering storm, he warned, the Cloud is looming large and pretty soon its omnipresence will the persuade CIOs to give in and outsource all their computing functions to this shape shifting but irresistible phenomena. 
 
Any data centre engineers or managers who work for, say, a big bank should take full advantage of their subsidised mortgages now, because their days are numbered. Try and pay as much of your loan off as you can now because, pretty soon, the banks will start to divest themselves of their giant computing infrastructures and begin to outsource all their IT to service providers.
 
"You're better off getting a job with a cloud computing or hosting service provider," said Longbottom, "because that's where the long term job prospects will be."
 
This shift will come at the same time as a general realisation that the enterprise application - the all singing, all dancing, all budget consuming handbrake on productivity - is dead. The automation of business functions will be outsourced to web service providers, who will offer these services as part of a computing cloud.
 
CRC will go from a programme to a tax in a few weeks, predicted Mark Bailey, a partner with Speechly Bircham LLP and a representative of the UK Council of Data Centre Operators. He urged data centre owners to lobby their MPs or band together and agitate in order to temper the damages of this tax to the UK data centre industry.
 
By the time they do that, it could be too late anyway. The cloud will have engulfed us all.

This was first published in November 2010

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