[u-u] The article I mentioned last night

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh at mimosa.com
Fri Aug 14 11:14:06 EDT 2015

| From: arocker at Vex.Net

| > I liked the idea of "software-only storage".  Let's get rid of the
| > hardware.

| The whole "software-defined" thing has me puzzled.

I have no fundamental trouble with "software-defined" except that it is
a debased-at-birth buzzword.  It should mean: "(very) (re-)configurable
by software".  But your point certainly applies to "software-only
storage": no turtles, all the way down.

Simplicity is a virtue but apparently configurations are getting more
complicated and need to be changed more often, both of which are
better handled by software than wiring.  Hence "software-defined".

The obvious downside is that reconfigurability often requires a lot
more redundancy of the substrate or other inefficiency.

The less obvious one is that whenever software gets involved,
complexity grows because it appears to be free.

Think of FPGAs.  They are software-defined chips.  They have a niche
because they are an alternative to custom chips (or more likely: not
solving the problem because custom chips are so expensive to create).
But they haven't displaced CPU chips (or anything else with a large
production run) because they are so inefficient in chip resources.

What are VLANs?  Software-defined networks.  What's the internet?
Same answer.

Maybe one idea of "software-defined" is to put configuration of a
larger chunk of things in one place, with a nice model and GUI.  Oh,
and this is something we'll sell you, over and over.

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