Evolving CERN Computing Strategy and Changes in CN's Structure
David Williams CN
Recent years have seen a revolution in industry's approach to building and marketing computer systems and in the ways people use them. This has been characterised by a trend away from large monolithic systems whose high cost must be amortised over many users and towards a more distributed, scaleable and personalised approach, based on compact CMOS machines manufactured in large volume with the benefits of a vastly improved price/performance ratio. A side effect has been the opening up of smoother and more incremental upgrade paths than were available in the past.
In any organisation, the structure should reflect the realities of the technical tasks that have to be carried out. Part of CN's group structure was set up at a time when the main task was to support services running on one or two central mainframes. The structure was very appropriate at that time and allowed the staff concerned to understand their respective responsibilities rather clearly. The changing face of computing, however, now requires a re-focusing of our technical strategy and, with it, some changes to the divisional structure.