Yahoo!, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, et al. have all proved the model works, and works well. So long as you have another server somewhere to pick up the load, the work will continue and the service will be available. “So, fundamentally, IT doesn’t own the means of production anymore,” said Neal. You want to have a “redundant array of inexpensive clouds (RAIC). Failure now becomes a routine way of operating and we just wire around it. Google has hard drives fail on a daily basis, Google has servers fail on a daily basis and nobody cares.”
It’s like using paper plates instead of fine China, the report states. “Today’s leading cloud computing vendors eschew high-end components and use large quantities of the cheapest hardware good enough to do the job. They assume some of this hardware will fail, so they use software that can adapt as necessary. This approach offers substantial savings in hardware costs, and even bigger ones with people.”
Cloud providers, according to the report, are able to push personnel expenses from No.1 to No.4 or even as low as 4% of the total data center costs. But this doesn’t mean you should get rid of your data center. Today’s Cloud is still nascent technology. Many variables will have to hammered out before and standardized before Cloud makes significant impact on the sunk costs companies have in their existing IT infrastructures. But that day is coming where much of what is done inside the firewall today is just another routine function in the Cloud.
Where data centers will hold sway, according to CSC, is in DR, dev/test and sensitive data storage and manipulation. It will be a decade or more before Google-like business apps are the norm. Like cell phones in the 3rd World, however, Cloud will provide many companies the ability to leap frog a whole litany of expensive nice-to-haves and allow them to provide the same level of services (and raw, IT horsepower) once the purview of enterprise-class computing. “If you’re a small or medium sized business, this is the answer to you prayers,” concludes Neal.