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What Do Users Want From Cloud Computing?

February 03, 2014

This is the first blog post in a series about cloud computing. The focus of this first post, on what do you want from cloud computing, is pricing and control.

Consumers of cloud services are looking for a pay-for-what-you-use pricing model.  To many, it seems logical that IT has arrived at the state of a utility like electricity or gas. Didn’t IT companies advertise and try to deliver utility computing just a few years ago? What may seem logical comes with many challenges. Having significant capacity on hand is challenging and is something that needs to be managed or you could simply make no promises that resources will be available. Also challenging is measuring, reporting and billing. Not only is it not easy to put reliable software measurement tools in place but it is often hard to get people to sign up for a service that does not have a predictable monthly charge. How do you budget for this kind of variability? 

Consumers of cloud services are also looking for control over creation, hibernation and deletion of systems. By systems, we mean a set of related images, a software build including middleware and applications, and definitions necessary to make all the parts work together reliably. Building interrelated system elements requires a well-written application to handle this. This application needs to mask the underlying complexity otherwise the application will have to be run by a programmer. When systems are not in use, do you charge for them taking up space in hibernation mode? After all, it does cost something to keep them around for future use. 

Are you charging using a pay-for-use model? Do you use an application to define and start you application environments? What else do you want from cloud computing?

Posted February 03, 2014 | Permalink

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