People making software sometimes get excited about appliance. There is something magical in the way appliance can solve a problem. Especially for people struggling with software installation, implementation, configuration, etc. I read Bloomberg’s “SAP’s Hana Speeds the Database Race”. SAP anounced their revolutionary approach just 3 weeks ago: “SAP Announces First of a New Generation of Business Applications Harnessing In-Memory Computing, Enables Companies to Re-Think Layers and Complexity of the Traditional IT Stack”. SAP news made me think about what is the potential of appliance delivery in PLM business.
Who is making Appliances?
There are few companies I’d mention in the context of appliance makers. First and obvious is Google Search Appliance. Google delivers appliance to index documents inside of companies. Another interesting appliance maker is Netezza (just acquired by IBM few months ago). Another foot steps into the appliance market was done by Oracle by presenting Oracle Exadata server. EMC Greenplum is probably another business example worth looking on.
PLM and Appliance
I never heard about CAD and PLM companies stepping into Appliance business. However, with growing of application complexity some PLM development wizards may think about Appliance as a viable option. Until now, I’ve heard only about pre-configured option related to the partnership between PLM companies and HW vendors such as Dell or HP. This is a step into the possible Appliance direction.
Cloud vs. Appliance?
I hope, you have not been surprised by this comparison. The cloud option is one that can be successfully positioned against “appliance magic”. The computational power of cloud is growing. The ability to run elastic infrastructure was improved over the past few years. PLM companies are flirting with cloud deliveries, for the moment. However, no mainstream solution was delivered till now for high performance global cloud deployment.
What is my conclusion? My view – Nope. Appliance will not become a game changer for PLM business. I think, appliance is a continuation of database-centric approach in PLM. This approach needs to go away and be replaced by “network approach”. Cloud fits network in a much better way. Just my thoughts…