Patterson, Katz, and the rest of the research team from Berkeley have an uncanny way of spotting a technology trend or opportunity early. Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disk (RAID) and Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) are two particularly notable research contributions from this team amongst numerous others. Yesterday, the Berkeley Reliable, Adaptable, Distributed Systems Lab published Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing.
The paper argues that the time has come for utility computing and the move to the clouds will be driven by large economies of scale, the illusion of near infinite resources available on demand, the conversion of capital expense to operational expense, the ability to use resources for short periods of time, and the savings possible by statistically multiplexing a large and diverse workload population.
Paper: Above the Clouds: http://d1smfj0g31qzek.cloudfront.net/abovetheclouds.pdf
If I were running an IT shop today, whether at a startup or a large enterprise, I would absolutely have some of my workloads running in the cloud. This paper is worth reading and understanding.
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