The Utility Computing Tsunami
By pcr on Maj 12, 2005
Yesterday's email brought a link to Nicholas Carr's provocative article in the MIT Sloan Management Review entitled "The End of Corporate Computing. The summary of the article begins with this quote..."Information technology is undergoing an inexorable shift from being an asset that companies own — in the form of computers, software and myriad related components — to being a service that they purchase from utility providers. Three technological advances are enabling this change: virtualization, grid computing and Web services." It concludes with this paradigm shattering, future as a tsunami coming at you assessment: "IT’s shift from an in-house capital asset to a centralized utility service will overturn strategic and operating assumptions, alter industrial economics, upset markets and pose daunting challenges to every user and vendor. The history of the commercial application of IT has been characterized by astounding leaps, but nothing that has come before — not even the introduction of the personal computer or the opening of the Internet — will match the upheaval that lies just over the horizon."
In my assessment of our Customer Engineering Conference I stated that there is the distinct possibility Sun will survive and that I am excited to be part of the plan. However, in any fundamental economic shift, lots of companies face metaphorical extinction as new companies adapt to the changes faster. Sun's thought leaders (and here) are already preparing to catch this wave and I am thinking that a $1 per CPU per hour is a great price for the computational commodity. "May I help you assess your computational requirements, Sir? How many petabytes storage do we need to go with those MegaSpecInts?" Somebody hand me my sunglasses...the future is looking pretty bright around here. Where did I put that surfboard wax?