Resource and Pay Only for What You Use

If you went to get petrol, you’d expect to only pay for the amount you pumped. Or if you needed to hire food servers for an event and thought you only needed three, you wouldn’t want to hire an additional two to only sit around at the event. Why such random examples? Because both can be applied to cloud computing.

Over the last few weeks, we have talked a lot about billing and metering so I’ll briefly mention this again – why would you pay for anything other than what you’ve used? Service providers must be offering their customers this transparency to see exactly what they are using and only pay for what was used just like when you go to fill up your car.

The second example of hiring food servers presents provisioning challenges. I used the example of hiring servers at an event because once again, we only want to pay for what we’ll use. But in the case of resourcing this can sometimes present issues. You may estimate that you need five servers, but then only need three. Or alternatively, you may only hire three, but then need five. This is a resourcing nightmare and is normally why for an event you hire a venue or event planner with the expertise to resource appropriately not to waste your budget.

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IDC Predicts Public Cloud Services to Surpass $100bn in 2016

We’ve been claiming this is the decade of the service provider – now IDC released its Worldwide and Regional Public IT Cloud Services 2012-2016 Forecast which provides evidence to support our claim.

Public cloud services, defined by IDC as “an offering designed for, and commercially offered to, a largely unrestricted marketplace of potential users,” will surpass $100bn (£62bn) in 2016. The forecast shows that by year end spending across the globe will reach $40bn as the market grows at five times the rate of the IT industry as a whole.


Additionally, IDC predicts that IT cloud services will account for 16 per cent of IT revenue in applications, system infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, servers and basic storage by 2016.

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Cloud ROI – the first hurdle to overcome

Everyone is moving to the cloud one way or another. But making the decision on what type of cloud – public, private or hybrid – is where some are getting stumped. Indeed, terminology is often the first hurdle people have to overcome before they take meaningful actions. This makes the time to deploy lengthy and this of course impacts the speed of creating realisable ROI.

In some upcoming blogs, I’ll be investigating cloud ROI. To kick start the discussion, first let me outline a few definitions and focus on the first step towards cloud ROI.

First organisations need to understand their options. Below are a few definitions of the types of cloud deployments:



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Is Shadow IT the cloud’s best friend?

This week I was reading some blog posts in InfoWorld, Cloud Computing Blog by David Linthicum. David is a frequent blogger offering advice on both the private and public cloud.

One recent blog post is of particular interest – ‘Shadow IT’ can be the cloud’s best friend – the blog focuses on how employees within an organisation, responsible for profit centres will acquire and manage IT resources outside the control of corporate IT. David comments:

… IT needs to face reality: For the past three decades or so, corporate IT has been slow on the uptake around the use of productive new technologies.
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Why Cloud is Not as Green as You Think

Out rambling last weekend enjoying the grass still green due to our miserably short summer, I spent some time doing a different sort of rambling on Twitter with Simon Wardley (@swardley) about green issues, and how public cloud affects them. See the conversation here.

Cloud is at one level a green technology. There are a number of reasons for this, the most important two being utilisation maximisation and datacenter efficiency.

Utilisation Maximisation – Taking the first point, various surveys show average enterprise CPU utilisation to be around 30%. My experience is that in the service provider sector (particularly dedicating hosting) average CPU utilisation levels are lower – perhaps as little as 10%.

For illustration, let’s take an average of 20% load. A server running a 20% load uses roughly 80% of the power of a server running at an 80% load. But you need four such servers to run the same workload. So if the server running at 80% load takes 1 kilowatt, the four servers take 3.2 kilowatts (80% of 4 x 1KW). So, moving to a cloud technology will, through a process of statistical gain allows for more efficient resource utilisation, allow you to achieve a huge energy saving (68% in this example).


Datacenter Efficiency – As to the second point, each kilowatt for powering servers needs associated cooling and power distribution equipment, each of which consumes its own power. But datacenters that are optimised for the homogenous equipment of a public cloud can be built far more efficient.

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