You could argue that EDS and IBM have been offering “cloud” computing for many years. They have outsourced the data operations of some of the world’s largest companies. They have purchased and built very large data centers, often with many customers in the same facility. They often own and manage the hardware and systems software. So, how is the new model of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) different from what EDS and IBM have been doing in the past?
The difference is “standardization.”
The maturation of virtualization creates a standard way to host an operating system in an environment that can be moved. Virtualization enables existing applications to be moved more easily without changes. This makes IaaS more suitable to meet the needs of peak load and disaster recovery requirements.
The rapid growth of low-cost and highly reliable bandwidth is also fueling the move to IaaS, enabling servers to move from locations physically close to central operations to areas that have better access to cheaper or more reliable resources, inexpensive technical expertise, or simply lower cost facilities. With the IaaS vendor managing the complete infrastructure, there is no need for the purchaser to be physically close to the IaaS location.
There is an enormous market for servers, people to manage IT, software, telecommunications and facilities. IaaS will create a disruption that will create flood of competition and innovation, lowering the cost of computing and driving even more innovation.
Of course, there will be initial resistance to move to IaaS. We’ve seen this resistance before in the software industry when people moved to SaaS. Initially, the concern will be control. This concern is valid. There are big stakes involved for a business when a server is down. Business workers lose productivity when servers go down. Concerns over data loss or security breaches are understandable. The security of systems and data are critical to most businesses. However, as we’ve seen with the SaaS industry, these concerns will be addressed as providers prove they can manage these extremely valuable resources securely and reliably.
At Bluelock, we use VMware’s virtualization technology to provide our customers with the ability to easily move their departmental or even enterprise-class applications from centralized in-house computing to IaaS. Our customers benefit from lower capital costs, lower labor costs, and increased flexibility.
I can clearly see that there are IaaS clouds on the horizon that represent another significant evolution of enterprise technology and an exciting opportunity. At Bluelock, we think this will be good for our customers and that’s why we’re partnering with VMware on vCloud Express.
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