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August 24, 2003

Amy Wohl : Too Long Away

Units of computing power

From Amy Wohl's blog -

"Units of Computing Power
Ths week I visited IBM's On-Demand Data Center in Boulder Colorado, where IBM can host customer applications that are served up, across the network, as if there were right there on the customer's site.

We are having a lot of trouble figuring out how to price what customers are buying. In fact, in one conversation I had with some of IBM Global Services' technical gurus, we agreed that so far all of these deals are one-off negotiated arrangements between vendor and customer, each unique. To scale up (down really, in terms of deal sizes and customer size), but way up in terms of number of customers served, we'd need an easier way to describe what the customers are buying.

In today's Wall Street Journal, HP's Bernardo Huberman is described as looking for a metric to describe what computers are delivering -- some combination of processing, storage -- and we'd guess services like management and application delivery. HP calls it the computon.

HP, of course, is not alone. IBM has been working on its own method, called a Service Unit, and Sun has Sun Power Units.

So someday we may not buy computers at all, but rather simply power all of our electronic devices from some computing utility, paying a monthly bill for computons -- or whatever they're eventually called -- or negotiating for flat rate deals like the ones offered by the phone companies. "

This is something we have been discussing, about the need to define a unit which is inclusive and representative of all computing resources.

HP's Computon
Sun Sun Power Units
IBM Service Unit

August 24, 2003 in Economics of IT | Permalink


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