Re: IBM role in cloud computing?
All about cost @pcharles. These mainframe and i5 (formally AS400) servers are Character User Interface (CUI) still, just like old days. When GUI and web became (rightfully) the new primary user interface, the low cost of Windows servers and it's GUI nature took over the small and midrange business market. No one saw this level of hacking/security becoming the issue it is today. Businesses were focused solely on getting those e-commerce sites out there, security was barely an afterthought. Now that security is a priority, the basic flaws in Windows, and to a lesser degree Linux, is killing people. You've got to remember Windows was created as a single user system. As MS tried to create Win Server to behave like mainframes, they didn't have the security focus that IBM did when they created MVS. In their defense, could anyone have really seen coming what we are dealing with today?
With the power in computers now, mainframes are really only feasible for the largest companies. The CitiBank's of the world. But the i5 server is still a hidden jewel, the finest business server you could ever own. But you then need an application plan, which ERP to use and how to support/create your own. I expect IBM to really push the security aspects versus Windows but not likely to ever really explode their market share again. Kind of sad, really. But I guess you know that Watson, the Jeopardy computer, is the same hardware that runs i5/os. Now Watson itself is UNIX based (AIX), i5/os is geared for businesses, like the manufacturing company I work for.IBM consolidated it's POWER servers, can run either o/s.
All this said @pcharles, the i5 or mainframe can still be hacked thru application vectors. If your goal is to steal a file of credit card info and you put up a internet facing site with a poor PHP configuration, someone can still grab that file. My comments are strictly about the o/s itself, you don't corrupt the core o/s from web browsers or email attachments or network worms.
Hope that helps explains my position, right or wrong. I just know I sleep very, very well each night knowing the i5 has my back. Been using that machine since 1988. The cost of low end i5 server now is very competitive with Windows now, about $20K. Keep in mind that includes database and software, unlike Windows/UNIX you don't buy SQL Server, Oracle, etc separately and install. But I think ship has sailed it ever kicks Windows butt again, just not enough people like me left and very few schools teach with those.