Understanding the market for elastic cloud services

Will Amazon really inherit the earth?

Published/updated: June 2010

By Dale Vile

The idea of utility computing has been around for a long time, but until relatively recently the ‘pay as you go’ approach to consuming IT infrastructure services never caught on beyond a few niche areas such as high performance computing (HPC) and a handful of bleeding edge early adopters. As little as three or four years ago, for example, players like Sun under the then trendy ‘grid computing’ banner were struggling to drive demand for their offer of computing capacity on demand.

Then seemingly overnight, Amazon hit the market with its EC2 offering and immediately caught the imagination of journalists and analysts. Talk of a huge market transformation around the notion of flexible cloud based delivery of infrastructure capacity escalated, and played a big part in fuelling the IT industry obsession with all things cloud that is with us today. Some pundits have even gone to the extreme of predicting the death of the enterprise data centre as a result of all this.

Coming back down to earth, Freeform Dynamics recently conducted a survey of IT professionals in the UK, USA and a range of other geographies to investigate the role of elastic infrastructure services against the broader backdrop of the existing hosted services marketplace...


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