Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist

Aaron Weiss, Tech Journalist / Humorist | 12/24/2012 | 14 comments

Aaron Weiss
You may not know it, but Santa Claus and his elfin support staff command the largest enterprise IT operation in the world.

As detailed in a recent report by Gartner, Inc., Claus maintains a database of nearly 3 petabytes for global chimney locations alone. Even less well known is the fact* that Santa Claus and his "Christmas Company" (as it was originally known) is responsible for many of the innovations that today drive the IT industry.

Santa himself, with his long scruffy beard and generous belly, is obviously a Unix guy. An early adopter of the open-source philosophy, Santa contributed prolifically to the original GNU project, named after the Nordic creature originally used to pull his sleigh in the alpha version of Christmas. His best-known command-line tools such as dasher, dancer, donner, and vixen eventually replaced the actual reindeer by the same names, who now live comfortably in an animal sanctuary far north. Their Unix-based equivalents run as a cron job every December 24.

Santa initially launched Christmas 1.0 with eight reindeer -- also known as a byte of reindeer. Ultimately he had to add a ninth reindeer due to memory limitations, despite a young Bill Gates' childhood promise to Santa that 640KB would forever be enough.

Santa was "in the cloud" long before the rest of the IT world embraced the buzz. Papa Noel recognized centuries ago that distributing packets -- er, I mean packages -- from the cloud to globally distributed clients made his operation extraordinarily efficient and highly scalable to meet elastic demand.

Santa's "Christmas Eve" laid the groundwork for Amazon Prime long before Jeff Bezos had hair, or was even born. In fact, Santa's service is even better than Amazon Prime. Not only are worldwide deliveries made overnight, but customers -- also known as "children who have been nice" -- do not even have to pay a $79 yearly fee. In all fairness though, Santa is really falling behind on instant streaming video.

Santa's helpers are awkward-looking misfits with eccentric fashion sense who work long hours with impossible deadlines mostly in complete anonymity. In other words, Santa invented the IT department.

Santa established the concept of keeping his operation in perpetual beta far ahead of Google's 14,000 web services. This is because every December 26, you hope that next Christmas will be better and all the bugs will be worked out.

As much credit as Santa Claus deserves for innovating in enterprise IT, even he wasn't the first mover. Over 2,000 years ago, it was the Jewish people who made one of the earliest technological breakthroughs.

As described in the ancient Talmud, during the rebellion of the Maccabees, all of the tribe's important data was archived to a primitive form of solid state storage. But during the ensuing chaos, power was interrupted and the Maccabees feared that their data was lost forever. Miraculously though, their backup lasted for eight days -- enough time to replicate it off-site.

When we look back at how history was shaped by all of these events, one thing is clear about today's IT -- everything old really is new again. Happy holidays!

*citation needed

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
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geeky   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   2/16/2013 11:54:33 AM
Re: Santa did it again
Ya me too but then we will be missing the fun.
Susan Nunziata   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   1/30/2013 6:24:58 PM
Re: Santa did it again
@geeky: I dunno. If i were his age, I think I'd be ready to retire to Maui by now.
geeky   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   1/29/2013 9:51:03 AM
Re: Santa did it again
hahaha.. I would love to see that. Dont know whether he will make all the gifts also 3d. I dont want that to happen santa :)
Susan Nunziata   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/31/2012 7:22:40 AM
Re: Santa did it again
@geeky. Surely 3d printing will be used by Santa in 2013. Think of all the reindeer fuel he'd be able to save.
geeky   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/28/2012 6:36:35 AM
Re: Santa did it again
Good to see santa involved in IT as well. A good move santa :). Hope by next year the gifts will be delivered via technology
Susan Nunziata   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/28/2012 12:44:02 AM
Santa did it again
Looks like Santa and his top notch IT team pulled off another great holiday this year. Thanks for the laughs. Happy New Year!
Nicky48   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/27/2012 9:52:45 AM
Re: Happy Holidays
WOW - great information ! Thanks for this. Santa is even more impressive to me now.
Sara Peters   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/26/2012 8:56:03 PM
Re: Happy Holidays
@mejiac. You're absolutely right: streaming video from the sleigh, the workshop, or the reindeer stable would expose way too many trade secrets. Security through obscurity at its best.
Sara Peters   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/26/2012 8:53:54 PM
Wow, Aaron. It all makes so much sense now. I bet the earthbound techies would be really psyched to get their hands on Santa's GPS system.
kstaron   Rudolph the Red-Nosed Logisitics Specialist   12/26/2012 3:56:22 PM
Pioneer of the IT industry
Thanks for bringing a little extra humor to my day. And I do think you are right, Santa has been doing all this IT management a very long time. I'm glad he was a pioneer of the IT industry.
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