Utility computing: an immature delivery model

Despite all the hype around utility computing, Gartner analyst Phil Sargeant said IT managers have still not come to grips with vendor strategies such as N1 and on-demand.

While organizations like the concept of pay-for-use computing power, it remains difficult to adopt because it is still an immature model, Sargeant said.

Explaining that utility computing isn't a technology but a financial delivery model, Sargeant said the true utility model is based on usage and shifts risk to the vendor.

"Utility computing isn't rocket science. Users want to improve the use of their assets and concentrate on business processes not the underlying technology," he said.

"But elements of this model are still immature, particularly the technologies associated with it such as virtualization, commercial grids and distributed workloads.

"To go down the utility path these technologies must be examined, so it isn't really likely for another three or four years."

True utility computing won't be available until after 2009.

However, in the interim, Sargeant said organizations can take the necessary preliminary steps.

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