Analysts: Utility Computing a "Developing Concept"

By Clint Boulton

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Despite the clamor that utility computing is in the here and the now from vendors like IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems, the evidence just doesn't support those claims, according to new research from The 451 Group.

Some customers like the notion of drawing computing resources as if they are water or electricity.

Some are actively seeking providers that can give them pay-as-you-go models that supply capacity, plus the application for a single price, but they face myriad challenges when it comes to utility computing.

For example, there are no true set standards to ensure security, user resistance, management and billing, software licensing and performance. There is also a lack vendors and products to choose from, and too little developer and support expertise.

These are some of the reasons The 451 Group "believes that utility computing is a developing concept."

"But it is not yet a market - although it certainly is being marketed," wrote The 451 analyst William Fellows, alluding to the pronounced marketing efforts of the big IT vendors.

What IT vendors and customers have been doing is taking baby steps to 'utility' models, engaging in tasks and technologies for server consolidation, virtualization, metering and charge-back options.

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