Physical machines are super fun and cool, but not really, they suck.


As an entrepreneur/computer science, I get my share of email ads for game machines. They show really cool, fast memory, multiple processors, and motherboards that are like eye candy to me. I'll periodically look at Dell and other servers and their various configurations just because it's really cool to me. So while my four kids are not interacting with me or I’m not solving some other problem, I might be looking at really cool computer technology.


However, the days of me actually getting a physical computer for work or home are kind of gone. Long ago (like 12 years) at InstallShield we had lots of computers. For testing purposes, we had a couple of hundred different configurations along with virtual machines to test our installer that would eventually go on billions of machines. Our UpdateService had many servers servicing millions of update checks each day.


We did this with physical machines, pre-cloud.  It sucked. Starting with the budget, the purchase orders, the determination of how many machines, the people needed to configure them, the maintenance and facility issues, power, backup, etc.. you name it nobody wants to deal with that.


I’m not stating anything new for anyone who lived through that process. I just think it's important to note this especially when I just love looking at today's amped-up computers. I’ve somewhat replaced my physical machine admiration for cloud versions looking now at the specs of AWS EC2/GPU machines. Every time AWS comes out with the new EC2 machine spec.  I love to look at the spec of the machines. I marvel at the number of terabytes of RAM/CPU speed/’s really beautiful. No, really it is.  The idea I can spin up machines with gigantic amounts of memory, network capacity, or speed for SSD drives in seconds at scale is just cool.


While Amazon AWS didn't invent the cloud they really made the cloud real. We started working on their platform a long time ago when they had a very few set of features. S3 storage for files was really the first amazing thing that we saw.


So while I would love to sit here and play with some physical machine, look at the memory & speed physically or virtually there's no time to do that anymore.  This is especially true as microservices and AWS Lambda have arrived.  AWS Lambda, especially with its almost infinite scale capability has changed how things can get done for many solutions.  It has solved or eliminated the need for many of the management as well, a major headache.  The need for giant super awesome machines is not the goal, aside from legacy or new scientific algorithms that require their massive memory/CPU capacity. 


To me, decentralized Lambda/Internet functions are awesome because I don't have to think about any machines that I love.  Funny.


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