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11/1/2008
02:46 PM
Venkatesh Rao
Venkatesh Rao
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Economist Special on Clouds

I generally view a trend as nearing maturing when the Economist sits up and takes a notice. They now have a special on cloud computing:As IT gets cloudier, the economics of the business will changeAs you might expect from the Economist, they take a moderate view:

In essence, what [Cloud computing] does is take the idea of distributed computing a step farther. Still, it will add a couple of layers to the IT stack. One is made up of the cloud providers, such as Amazon and Google. The other is software that helps firms to turn their IT infrastructure into their own cloud, known as a "virtual operating system for data centres".

The article is fairly well-rounded and covers expected impact on SaaS players, hardware providers and industry structure. Besides the Economist story, EC2 coming off beta and offering an SLA for its Linux cloud model, and also offering a Windows version, are signs of true critical mass.All the more reason to vote for cloudworker as the new telecommuter! Incidentally, my neologism made the NY Times yesterday, and also featured in a piece in industry trade site SearchUnified Communications.Venkatesh G. Rao writes a blog on business and innovation at www.ribbonfarm.com, and is a Web technology researcher at Xerox. The views expressed in this blog are his personal ones and do not represent the views of his employer.

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