I ran across three interesting blog entries this morning; they're by Bob Gourley -he's the CTO at crucial Point, a consultancy focused on the nexus between national security and IT.
All three were in praise of Sun Ray - some excerpts:
From an entry dated March 11, 2008:
The threat to our computers and networks is very real. Dozens of millions of malicious bots have been projected to be operating in PCs. Hackers have penetrated sensitive, seemingly well protected corporate sites. Denial of service attacks have been conducted against businesses and even countries. And press reporting indicates even sensitive US government computers have been penetrated. Leaders in allied countries have been quoted in the press saying their PCs have been compromised as well.
- No data is stored in my new computer, so if I gave it to you or the nation's greatest forensic lab (or even the forensic lab of a hostile intelligence service), my files would not be compromised. The data is not in the device.
- Although it might be theoretically possible for an unauthorized person to hack the backend of this system, there are so many protections in place that the odds are very very low that they would succeed. The odds are very very high that malicious individuals would be detected during or after their unauthorized actions. Bad people would actually have to hack from a totally different direction, not from the computer on my desk, but through hardened servers protected by more resources than I could ever bring to bear myself to protect my data.
From an entry dated September 26, 2008:
For the past few weeks I've been using a unique device -- a totally stateless laptop.
It is the Tadpole M1400 Ultra-Thin Client Wireless Sun Ray.
Here are some things this device can enable for enterprise users:
- Enhanced security.;
If the laptop is lost/stolen/attacked no data is lost. The data is never in the laptop, it remains in your enterprise.
- Enhanced functionality.
All users everywhere can get upgrades to the latest software instantly. Upgrades happen in the server room, not by downloading apps to every device. And multiple domains can be presented to one laptop.
- Enhanced flexibility.
All users everywhere can get access to presentations of operating system environments they need. Depending on what the enterprise chooses, users can be presented with MS Windows, Mac OS, Solaris or Linux desktops.
- Enhanced mobility.
Like any other laptop, this device is designed to be mobile. It can connect to the grid over WiFi, 3G card, or if you desire, an Ethernet cable. I've tested it using WiFi at home and on the road and the performance is great.
From an entry dated October 3, 2008:
In August Sun announced that they had nearly doubled their shipments of thin clients from the previous quarter. That's pretty cool. In fact, it is Kurzweilian.
What do I mean by Kurzwelian? Advanced technologies like this can sometimes creep up on us because they seem like they are just growing slowly. Doubling from a low number doesn't get your attention at first. But when a technology continues to double in adoption year after year pretty soon it becomes almost ubiquitous. Seems like thin client computing is right on that curve.
From my perspective he's preaching to the converted here - but people keep buying PCs, and then complaining about the lack of data security; about poor reliability; about growing costs, disappearing benefits, and the sheer time and labor it takes to keep the PC enterprise tottering along. Gourley clearly thinks he's found the answer - and not only did I agree with him when I was running WIndows 3.0 on HyperSPARC servers and NCD 19C smart displays, but I haven't seen a convincing counter-argument since.
So is he wrong? and, if you none of the arguments you can think of extend beyond the idea that million blondes can't be wrong, then why haven't you changed yet?