Is Web 2.0 relevant to a systems architect?

On my old sun/oracle blog, I wrote a piece reporting some thoughts about whether Web 2.0 was more than a marketing slogan, and Sun’s decision to market its first storage appliance as web 2.0 server. On re-reading the original article, what comes through is my confusion about the then web 2.0 syndrome and the need and role of systems like the x4500 aka Thumper. This version of the article has been edited; some words about my experimenting with Yahoo’s 1st generation PaaS has been removed. I obviously thought this was part of the future but the reality was that (for that type of application) it fell through the gap between IaaS on which I host this blog, and SaaS, (flickr, google maps and, the first two of which I integrate into the blog, and the latter is a competitor technology.

Sun are pushing the new x4500 server as the Web 2.0 server, coz that’s what Tim O’Reilly said. Actually, he’s said a lot about web 2.0 and his most focused comments (that I’ve found, or more accurately been pointed at,) are at his site, where he has published an article called “What Is Web 2.0 Design, Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software“.

One of O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 tests is that data becomes crucial (again) and that the move towards (user driven) assembly for purpose and the “perpetual beta”, his words, he should trademark them, as illustrated by all sorts of internet companies makes the new hybrid systems more useful as things move on.


Originally published on my sun/oracle blog, republished here on its original date in April 2016.



  1. I was trying to grapple with what Thumper was; it was one of the world’s first general purpose storage appliances which the no-sql and post sql software solutions, together with ZFS enabled a market for. In retrospect we can see, again, that Sun’s sales organisation and sales incentive scheme , Thumper was seen by the sales force as neither a storage device nor as a system ,got in the way of selling innovation, but many of its customers had stopped talking to Sun about their innovation projects by this time.

    In hindsight we can see that Thumper and ZFS, enabled a slew of storage startups that wanted to innovate at the controller layer

  2. The question of system architecture remains unanswered in my words, but we can all see how it was and remains important.