cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Create Post

Old Tech, New Name?

Level 10

The marketing machines of today often paint new technologies to suggest they’re the best thing since sliced bread. Sometimes though, the new products are just a rehash of an existing technology. In this blog post, I’ll look at some of these.

As some of you may know, my tech background is heavily focused around virtualization and the associated hardware and software products. With this in mind, this post will have a slant towards those types of products.

One of the recent technology trends I have seen cropping up is something called dHCI or disaggregated hyperconverged infrastructure. I mean, what is that? If you break down to its core components, it’s nothing more than separate switching, compute, and storage. Why is this so familiar? Oh yeah—it’s called converged infrastructure. There’s nothing HCI about it. HCI is the convergence of storage and compute on to a single chassis. To me, it’s like going to a hipster café and asking for a hyperconverged sandwich. You expect a ready-to-eat, turnkey sandwich but instead, you receive a disassembled sandwich you have to construct yourself and then somehow it’s better than the thing it was trying to be in the first place: a sandwich. No thanks. If you dig a little deeper, the secret sauce to dHCI is the lifecycle management software overlaying the converged infrastructure but hey, not everyone wants secret sauce with their sandwich.

If you take this a step further and label these types of components as cloud computing, nothing has really changed. One could argue true cloud computing is the ability to self-provision workloads, but rarely does a product labeled as cloud computing deliver those results, especially private clouds.

An interesting term I came across as a future technology trend is distributed cloud.¹ This sounds an awful lot like hybrid cloud to me. Distributed cloud is when public cloud service offerings are moved into private data centers on dedicated hardware to give a public cloud-like experience locally. One could argue this already happens the other way around with a hybrid cloud. Technologies like VMware on AWS (or any public cloud for that matter) make this happen today.

What about containers? Containers have held the media’s attention for the last few years now as a new way to package and deliver a standardized application portable across environments. The concept of containers isn’t new, though. Docker arguably brought containers to the masses but if you look at this excellent article by Ell Marquez on the history of containers, we can see its roots go all the way back to the mainframe era of the late 70s and 80s.

The terminology used by data protection companies to describe their products also grinds my gears. Selling technology on being immutable. Immutable meaning it cannot be changed once it has been committed to media. Err, WORM media anyone? This technology has existed for years on tape and hard drives. Don’t try and sell it as a new thing.

While this may seem a bit ranty, if you’re in the industry, you can probably guess which companies I’m referring to with my remarks. What I am hoping to highlight though is not everything is new and shiny, some of it is wrapped up in hype or clever marketing.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, if you think I’m right or wrong, and if you can think of any examples of old tech, new name.

¹Source: CRN https://www.crn.com/slide-shows/virtualization/gartner-s-top-10-technology-trends-for-2020-that-will...

25 Comments
Level 13

Thanks for the article. Come across this many times over the years.

MVP
MVP

Thanks for the article.

Level 13

Thanks for the article.  I too, have seen this for some time. 

MVP
MVP

Love it.

Level 15

Great write up. Yes this has been around for awhile. Tech writers and marketing sit around and make this stuff up.   Up to us to sour through the 'fluff'

Level 9

Excellent read and completely agree.  It drives me nuts when companies to repackage or rebrand something old and something new and innovative.  Unfortunately those at the C-Level usually fall for and then tell us that we need to start looking into this new shiny tech.

Level 12

I mean, have we really done anything new in computers since the 1940's?  Ultimately every bit is just a "0" or a "1", (until we get into quantum computing).  We can move the bits faster or make them into pretty patterns, but they are still just the same old bits.

MVP
MVP

Ahh, many of the things I have been ranting about for quite some time now

firstcloud.JPG

Level 13

Oh my gosh yes.  Nailed it ian0x0r​.  This stuff drives me nuts.  Of course it works because so many folks are new to the industry or don't know the history so the new package makes them think the insides are new as well.

Level 12

Who comes up with the renaming an existing concept anyway? Someone should have a talk with them.

Level 12

I'm sure that I am not the only one who rolls their eyes when they hear some slick new marketing term, assuming that the marketing term is nothing but a new name for old tech.

MVP
MVP

It's called marketing....or remarketing/rebranding.  It's been happening in IT since the 60's.

Level 14

Name changes are the things that companies spend MILLIONS on!

It's called re-branding.... It is also an excellent example of when people who know nothing are given the task of making something sound new and exciting. (Think garbage man vs Sanitation Engineer.... you get the picture!)

Level 12

"Everything old is new again" goes the old chestnut.

The fundamental question every company needs to ask when considering handing IT to another company, no matter what the latest description for such, is "Can we trust them with our data?"  Whether it is local servers managed by third party IT support, or a local cloud built and managed by a third party, or public cloud, or X As A Service, you are entrusting your company to another, and we've seen how that can go when that third party doesn't have adequate controls and security.  Once you've made that decision, then it becomes a technical analysis of what environment best suits your requirements.

MVP
MVP

Next time I'm in a hipster cafe, I'm so ordering a hyperconverged sandwich.

N.B. I never attend hipster cafe's

Level 12

I love it Ian. Thanks!

Level 15

I used to support a product that got rebranded every year. It became a joke after several years as we just kept adding the new name onto the end of the old name whenever calling into support.

Level 12

thanks for the post

Level 13

Some companies seem to do this regularly with product names, even when those products have been in use and known by those names for years.  Oracle is notorious for this.

Level 13

Lol.  That would be awesome.  You'd have everyone wanting one.

Level 11

making the old seem new is a process that has been going on for ages so I guess it's relatively new.  AS a younger person of fifty+ decades I cannot speak from experience as I am relatively new at all this. There is an old saying that someone coined just the other day it goes "what exactly are your trying to say?"

Level 10

Now that is a t-shirt I need in my life

Level 10

Hah love it, reminded me of this classic....

One fine day in the middle of the night, two dead men got up to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other.

And the rest of that poem can be found online

MVP
MVP

Thanks for the article ian0x0r

yeah.. why all the sudden is an off site backup called "air gapped"

Level 7

Whew!! I thought it was just me thinking this.  Great article!