What The History Of Unix Can Teach Us About The Future Of The Cloud

The next time someone tells you that in the near future, absolutely everything will migrate to the cloud, offer a one-word response: Unix.

Picture: David Loundsbury

NetApp cofounder Dave Hitz made this point during a media briefing at NetApp's Insight conference in Las Vegas last week. "The closest thing I've found to the migration to the cloud is the great migration from Unix to Windows in the 90s," Hitz said, noting that many pundits were predicting a massive shift to Windows NT that would entirely eliminate Unix.

"The next 20 years was not about how Unix disappeared, it was about how to manage data and users back and forth. That is what the story of the cloud is going to look like — not a single transition but something over time."

It's a point we often seem to forget: when new technology appears, old technology doesn't disappear — especially if it serves a useful purpose.

Disclosure: Angus Kidman travelled to Las Vegas as a guest of NetApp.


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