The Danger in Relying on the Electric Utility Model for the Cloud

Sitting in my nth Cloud symposium last week I again heard the argument that the Cloud should be modeled after an electric power utility. You just plug into it and stuff works.  This analogy has been used lots of places, most recently in Nicholas Carr’s book The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google .   In that book the author chronicles the evolution of electric power from being self-generated by factories located on the banks of rivers and by individual cities for their own use and then later evolving to the utility model where extensive distribution systems allow power to be generated centrally and then distributed to cites, factories and homes. His thesis, shared by others, is that computing is evolving toward that utility model.

I think this model has some validity, but only to a degree. Read more


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