A new virtual hosting solution has been launched that draws on spare processing power from multiple devices and platforms to reduce the cost of provisioning additional servers.
The service, dubbed Joint Infrastructure Virtualisation Enhancement, can draw on unused processing capacity in desktops, laptops, PDAs, mobile phones and even gaming consoles by using its Skeet migration service to stop, break up, migrate, and distribute running applications between servers and devices.
Bulletproof Networks director of sales and marketing, Lorenzo Modesto, said the extra processing load on the devices may increase power consumption but he denied it would adversely affect performance.
"The only downside may be a higher consumption of battery in mobile phones and PDAs but that's it," Modesto said.
"It can draw on processing power from anywhere; if an employee brings their kids into work with a Playstation then the business could leverage its processing and the same with MP3 players.
"You can exceed your computing requirements without having to purchase extra hardware through a distributed and highly available architecture."
He said the solution is a global first and can use any device with wireless connectivity and a CPU, with take-up expected to be strong in the sales, manufacturing and warehousing industries which typically have low installed server power and high latent mobile device penetration.
However, Gartner managing vice president, Phil Sargent, said the solution would pose a number of contentious issues such as pricing and security that would need to be addressed.
"There would be some interesting ramifications if these devices that are being relied on are turned off," Sargent said.
"Security is a big issue here because this extends the technology outside the corporate boundaries.
"Software licensing fees and overall pricing may be difficult to manage because of how resources are [provisioned]."
He said the technology was previously used within an organisations' boundaries by enterprises such as banks which used resources between datacentres and remote user computers.
The solution was developed for about a year and is an offshoot of the company's hosted virtualisation service.
Modesto was unavailable to reply at the time of publication.
Moreover, Datacom virtual infrastructure architect, Andre Rencontre, said he is skeptical of the offering because it addresses a non-critical problem in most infrastructures - the vast majority of servers are not CPU constrained.
With eight way processor cores scheduled for release next year and plans for 16 and 32 core processors this will continue to be the case, he added.
"The real issue for customers with virtual machines in the datacentre is the provisioning of RAM and storage, not processing," Rencontre said.