What's Driving the Utility Concept and What's in Store for It?
Although the concept of utility computing has been a major issue on the conference circuit, what exactly is driving this concept, and is it an "either/or" proposition? Fredrick says that today's IT environments are so complex that when a problem occurs the finger pointing begins. "It's the storage, it's the network, or it's the application, and nothing gets fixed," he says. He says that by approaching utility computing as a "service offering," all the disparate departments will soon realize that they must work together to deliver the service.
As far as utility computing being an "either/or" proposition, Lauffin does not believe that it will fit into that category. "In the transition to this utility paradigm we will see the continued trend for responsible companies to co-locate their data onsite and offsite for greater security and confidence, " he says. "This may be the pervading model for some time, particularly with large businesses." Mussman also believes that most companies will start with selected services that meet particular needs, and some customers will even double up as providers, offering resources where they have special skills or capacity.
Despite the recent advances in utility computing, there are still issues that need to be worked out before large companies will embrace the model. Many experts believe that technology is not the limiting factor when it comes to utility computing, but that changing the perceptions about the way managers think about technology and how they want it delivered may very well be the mitigating factor.