Kudos to Microsoft for Dual-Core Chip Plans - Page 3

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-10-20 Print this article Print

The problem comes down to the old utility computing issues of how to measure usage once you cut yourself off from tangible commodities like processors. "When youre running in a big grid environment [for example], you dont have the physical resources that say, I consumed four processors or whatever," said Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata, in Nashua, N.H. "Theres nothing physical and simple to point to: I used one-twentieth of a processor for 14 nanoseconds. Its not a simple way of talking about what resources youve used." Of course, were vendors to switch to a usage model, it wouldnt be pretty for their revenues, at least for the short term. As it now stands, companies like IBM get paid whether a customer uses a license or not. Once such vendors move to a consumption usage model, all bets are off as far as what revenues will flow into their tills. "They cant plan effectively," noted Julie Giera, an analyst at Forrester, in Cambridge, Mass. "They dont know what usage levels will be. It gets hard for vendors to budget. They get paid now, no matter how often it gets used."
The upshot: Microsoft deserves kudos for eschewing the unfair hardware tax that other vendors have no problem levying. But as far as long-term solutions go, they and other vendors still need to unleash themselves from the need to touch all that physical evidence of what their customers are up to—lest they send database customers straight into the arms of no-fuss, no-muss competitors.
Whats that mean? Three words: open-source databases. Editors Note: This story was updated to specify that dual-core technology specifically from AMD or Intel has not yet materialized. Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at http://database.eweek.com for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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