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Paul Miller

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Top Stories by Paul Miller

Back in the early Nineties, I was working on a Ph.D applying a tool called a Geographic Information System (GIS) to the challenge of modelling archaeological deposits under cities. For those of us worrying about these things, Mark Monmonier‘s then-newly published first edition of How to Lie with Maps was required reading. It wasn’t so much a handbook for the nefarious, as a primer for those who wished to understand – or avoid – the traps and pitfalls so easily baked into both physical and digital maps. A slight change in colour palette, a shift of projection, an emphasis of this over that and a superficially factual and accurate map flips from portraying one truth to suggesting (or trumpeting) a very different one. Sometimes it’s deliberate. Sometimes it’s a (hopefully!) unfortunate accident. It’s time, I think, for How to Lie with Data. There are plenty of books ... (more)

Is PaaS Dying?

The ‘platform’ tier in the middle of cloud computing’s architecture is being squeezed, folded and reshaped beyond recognition. Even with continued investment, can it survive the transformative pressures forcing down upon it from the software/application layer above, or the apparently inexorable upward movement from the infrastructure layer upon which it rests? To look at recent investments and enthusiastic headlines, it would be easy to assume that Platform as a Service (or PaaS) is on the up. RedHat recently trumpeted the launch of OpenShift Enterprise — a ‘private PaaS,’ whate... (more)

Cloud Computing Is Far More Than Just Cutting Enterprise IT Costs

Paul Miller's Blog For too long, the emphasis in Cloud Computing circles has been almost exclusively upon provision of rapidly scalable and ad hoc remote computing on top of cost-effective commodity hardware. The Cloud play from Salesforce, Amazon’s EC2 and the rest has been dominated by the implicit assumption that these Cloud-based resources are an extension of the corporate data center; a way to simply reduce the costs of enterprise computing. There is value in this business, but there are bigger opportunities. Cloud Computing, and the various *aaS movements, have finally brou... (more)

Adaptive Computing CEO Robert Clyde talks about Big Data, and lessons from the world of High Performance Computing

It’s sometimes easy to assume that the large clusters of commodity servers commonly associated with open source big data and NoSQL approaches like Hadoop have made supercomputers and eye-wateringly expensive high performance computing (HPC) installations a thing of the past. But Adaptive Computing CEO Robert Clyde argues that the world of HPC has evolved, and that the machines in HPC labs now look an awful lot more like regular computers than they used to. They use the same x86-based chipsets, and they run the same (often Linux) operating systems. Furthermore, Clyde argues that ... (more)

Security and the Cloud

I was talking with Avanade’s Senior Director for Enterprise Security, Ace Swerling, earlier today. The conversation touched on a wide range of security and identity management issues that I’ll probably return to, but one of Ace’s comments brought my attention back to an issue that has been nagging at me for a while. As I’m sure we all know, security concerns often figure highly in discussions about moving Enterprise applications and data to the Cloud. Indeed, I spoke with other Avanade executives earlier this year to report on a survey they had commissioned that suggested just h... (more)