Will commoditisation drive us all to the public cloud (eventually)?

Tomorrow night, it’s CloudCamp London, which has prompted me to write a post based on one of the presentations from the last event in March.  I already wrote up Joe Baguley’s talk on why the consumerisation of IT is nothing to do with iPads but I also wanted to mention Simon Wardley (from the CSC Leading Edge Forum)’s introduction to CloudCamp.

As it happens, Simon already wrote a blog post that looks at the topic he covered (private vs. enterprise clouds) and his CloudCamp slides are below:

  • The basic principle is that, eventually, services trend towards utility services/commodities. There are some barriers to overcome along the way but commoditisation will always come.
  • One interesting phenomenon to note is the Jevons Paradox, whereby, as technology progresses and efficiency of resource usage rises, so does the rate of consumption. So, that kills off the theory that the move to cloud will decrease IT budgets!
  • For cloud purists, only a public cloud is really “cloud computing” but Simon talked about a continuum from legacy datacentres to “the cloud”. Hybrid clouds have a place in mitigating transitional risk.
  • Our legacy architectures leave us with a (legacy) problem. First came N+1 resilience but then we got better hardware; then we scaled out and designed for failure (e.g. API calls to rebuild virtual machines) using software and “good enough” components.
  • Using cloud architectures and resilient virtual machines we invented “the enterprise cloud”, sitting somewhere between a traditional datacentre and the public cloud.
  • But we need to achieve greater efficiencies – to do more, faster (even if the overall budget doesn’t increase due to the Jevons Paradox). To drive down the costs of providing each virtual machine (i.e. each unit of scale) we trade disruption and risk against operational efficiency. That drives us towards the public cloud.
  • In summary, Simon suggests that public utility markets are the future, with hybrid environments as a transition strategy. Enterprise clouds should be expected to trend towards niche roles (e.g. to deliver demanding servive level agreements or to meet specific security requirements) whilst increasing portability between clouds makes competing public cloud offerings more attractive.

2 thoughts on “Will commoditisation drive us all to the public cloud (eventually)?


  1. So now we can all look forward to a government provided public cloud that will be sold off to private enterprise to encourage competition? :)

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