Utility Computing: Good to Go?

Executive Editor Matthew Rothenberg cuts the ribbon on eWEEK.com's new Utility Computing Center. How much mature technology is under the tinsel?

Is utility computing like the weather—a popular topic nobody ever does anything about? At eWEEK.com, were taking the measure of this much-discussed technology initiative with the latest addition to our growing list of Topic Centers.


Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest utility computing news, reviews and analysis.

In recent months, our online work-in-progress also has grown to include new Industry Centers focused on vertical markets; new centers devoted to voice over IP, application development and Web services; and a passel of new authors helping to raise eWEEK.coms game for news and opinion on the subjects you care about the most.


Read about eWEEK.coms Industry Centers.

Utility computing in various guises has won backing from industry stalwarts including IBM, Oracle and Hewlett-Packard. These vendors and others laud the principle of directing computing power where and when its needed (as a sort of "application dial tone"), thus minimizing the overhead of dedicated infrastructure that may lie idle between tasks. (In a recent article on UtilityComputing.com, Ben Tamblyn of Kingston University characterizes utility computing as "creating a[n] IT service that users take for granted, like they do their electricity or water supply.") As such, it touches every part of enterprise computing, from the client application to the block level of the virtualized hard drive.

Whether its ready to deploy in your enterprise is another story; making utility computing economically and logistically feasible requires a delicate dance of software and hardware. How close is the average IT department to realizing this ideal? How much of it is new technology, and how much is a new gloss on existing licensing agreements? In the coming months, eWEEK.coms Utility Computing Center will assay to answer those questions.

Meanwhile, weve been keeping things rolling with a plethora of other editorial enhancements:

  • Editor Jacqueline Emigh tracks hot SCM topics, including RFID and integration technologies.
  • Under the supervision of editor Ellen Muraskin, the VOIP center offers original content on the latest in Internet telephony standards.
  • and Centers. Edited by Evan Schuman and Theresa Carey, respectively, these new Industry Centers join our Health and Biotech area. Our Government Center now features commentary by Silicon Valley veteran Chris Nolan.

And speaking of new authors, our Utility Computing Center and other areas now feature columns from tech-industry vets such as David Chernicoff, Wayne Rash and Jason Levitt.

Well be adding to the roster in the coming months; please drop me a line or leave a TalkBack to tell our editors what youd like to see more of!

Matthew Rothenberg is executive editor of Ziff Davis Internets enterprise sites.