Combining electricity supply with modern computer and communications technology to create an 'intelligent grid' will be a key focus of the utility industry in 2011.
Utility Computing - News, Features, and Slideshows
We constantly hear hype about how a given market is changing drastically. And given the economy, many companies we talk to tell us that the only thing drastic happening in IT services today is the rate reductions they're asking from their vendors. But after years of moving forward slowly, IT services is in fact about to change drastically. Here are a few reasons why, and what you can do about it.
Changing global demographics
Research group McKinsey & Company has published a new research skewering the popular notion that super-hyped cloud computing architecture is a money saver, reporting that moving to a third-party cloud computing service can be close to 150 per cent more expensive than running an in-house data centre.
McKinsey researchers reported that cloud computing suffered from having various definitions and was near the top of the "hype cycle" tracked by fellow research group Gartner.
I'd like to address an issue I've heard raised a number of times: That cloud computing, far from saving IT organisations money, actually costs more than providing the same services in-house.
I hear this most commonly identified as an issue with Amazon EC2, put in this way: A large instance of a Linux server (15 GB memory 8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each); 1,690 GB instance storage (4 by 420 GB plus 10 GB root partition) 64-bit platform I/O Performance: High) costs $.80/hr, or $576/month). A Windows instance is even more expensive: A large instance with Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Authentication Services, and SQL Server costs $3.20/hr, or $2304/month. A like-for-like comparison for a similarly-sized Windows instance sans the additional software is $1.20/hr, or $864/month).
I've had a series of interesting conversations with people involved in cloud computing who, paradoxically, maintain that cloud computing is-at least today-inappropriate for enterprises.
I say paradoxically because each of them works for or represents a large technology company's cloud computing efforts, and one would think their role would motivate them to strongly advocate cloud adoption. So why the tepid enthusiasm? For a couple of them, cloud computing functionality is really not ready for prime time use by enterprises. For others, cloud computing is too ambiguous a term for enterprises to really understand what it means. For yet others, cloud computing doesn't-and may never-offer the necessary functional factors that enterprise IT requires. While I think the observations they've made are trenchant, I'm not sure I'm convinced by them as immutable problems that cannot be addressed.