[talk] SCaLE 20x talk: Bryan Cantrill: The Forgotten Operator

N.J. Thomas njt at ayvali.org
Sun Mar 12 16:59:43 EDT 2023

[A comment meant for IRC that I realized was too large to fit in the
margins, so sending it to the list. I thought it was apropos given some
of the cloud repatriation discussions that's been going on in #nycbug
the last few weeks/months.]

Attended a presentation two nights ago here at SCaLE 20x given by Bryan


It was a really good talk. My tl;dr notes:

    - pre-cloud on-prem computing kinda sucked (expensive, labor
      intensive, difficult data center buildouts etc.

    - the cloud was amazing in some ways, but expensive, and didn't fit
      certain use cases (security, risk mgmt, regulatory

    - but cloud repatriation also kinda sucks, because a lot of vendors
      (eg. Dell) are stuck in the pre-cloud era

    - and a lot of technologies (eg. power, cooling, BIOS) are all
      vestigial, from the PC-era

    - so for those who remained on-prem, or those moving back from the
      Cloud, they need modern rack systems that combine hardware and
      software into a software driven system

The basic premise was that the public cloud is not going away, and a lot
of folks may need to manage both on-prem and cloud rollouts, but they
deserve modern rack servers that give them the same power and
flexibility as their cloud counterparts.

Cantrill obviously has a vested interest in the topic, as his Oxide
Computer Company is selling rack servers and is soon shipping their
first product. But I really didn't disagree with anything he said, and
as always, he's a fascinating speaker to listen to. (His interviews on
BSD Now from a few years ago are my favorites from that podcast.)

You can find his talk here:


(SCaLE records the entire room's talk into one stream, so you'll have to
fast forward to 6h:26m if the above link doesn't take you straight to
his talk.)


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