Utility Computings Defining Moment
Opinion: Although IT pros may not agree on a definition for utility computingyetone thing is certain, claims David Chernicoff: If you are planning on using utility computing in your enterprise, it will be well worth your time to join aUtility computing is still one of those terms that have yet to be definitively defined. Ask a room full of IT professionals what it means to them, and I guarantee youll get at least three or four significantly different responses, ranging from a technique to build high-speed computational clusters with low-cost hardware to an easy way to design the hardware for a Web site front end. Other than the fact that utility computing revolves around the ability to interchange inexpensive computers as components in the system, there is still a lack of definition in the market. This lack of definition isnt all that unusual. As the market for utility computing continues to grow, it will, to a certain degree, define itself. In my last column, I talked about Microsofts approach to defining a specific segment of the utility computing market as "high-performance computing." Read David Chernicoffs column "Microsofts Utility Computing Placeholder."
With a market as broad as the potential utility computing market, it is likely that we will continue to see vendors split into two camps: those that want to define the market along their own product lines, and those who band together to chant the "open standards" mantra. Both camps will have their adherents among consumers, and it is likely that both will also grow and develop within the general utility computing marketplace.