That Dell-Facebook News…More Like Non-News

Last week, Dell’s PR team was busy emailing us about a joint announcement they were going to make in tandem with Facebook. They were going to announce a partnership, they said,

…around the next generation of Cloud Computing. In addition to the joint announcement, the companies will also be discussing their perspectives, insights and future plans surrounding the Cloud Computing space.

Since it conflicted with some of my other commitments, I couldn’t go. I am actually glad I didn’t go, for it turned to be much ado about nothing. According to a post on the WSJ’s blog, the only piece of news that came out of the event held at the top of a posh office tower in San Francisco was that Facebook has 10,000 servers — and not all are made by Dell. Dan Farber has a more elaborate report but essentially it says the same, except it also has Dell re-hashing the news that Dell is now working with Salesforce.com, replacing Sun. Facebook’s Jonathan Heiliger, according to the WSJ, said the company was:

… tired of all the high-cost features companies pack into servers – on a slide, he pointed to extra USB ports and unnecessary graphics capabilities as examples. Most server makers are selling what, in automobile terms, would be the equivalent of a Lexus “at a Toyota price,” he said. What Facebook wants “is the Scion product at the Scion price.” He said Dell seems to be ahead of other server makers in selling inexpensive servers that reduce power and cooling requirement.

So essentially Dell is offering stripped-down, cheaper computers that may be consuming less power! Dan Apparently the company has been doing that for a long time, as per their founder. So how this redefines cloud computing, I don’t understand. What it seems like is an attempt by Dell to add some Facebook pixie dust and finish it all up with the latest, hottest lipstick shade, called “cloud computing.” I gotta be honest, a certain impromptu toga party definetely had more news value.

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