The Big Switch and Bluelock

A few weeks ago I started reading The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr. Here’s an excerpt from the site that’s dead on:

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility.

The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google and to the fore and threatening stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap, utility-supplied computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. We can already see the early effects ? in the shift of control over media from institutions to individuals, in debates over the value of privacy, in the export of the jobs of knowledge workers, even in the growing concentration of wealth. As information utilities expand, the changes will only broaden, and their pace will only accelerate.

The Big Switch is already a reality. In January, Patronpath is moving our production infrastructure into Bluelock. It’s a new world (as the advertisement says on the sidebar).

It’s the perfect compliment to Software as a Service (Saas). The SaaS companies I’ve worked for have always tipped the scales on hardware and the teams of people to support them. Bluelock is the right solution for us since we can grow our business without worrying about our infrastructure or the massive resources that go with it. It’s outsourcing the worrying!

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is an emerging business model that allows you to purchase IT resources from an IaaS provider as a fixed cost on a monthly basis. With IaaS, instead of purchasing a pile of servers and a SAN, you can rent sixty processor cores, two terabytes of storage and sixty-four gigabytes of memory and pay for it on a monthly or quarterly basis. This environment is exactly what Nicholas is speaking to in his book. We’re purchasing bandwidth, disk space and processing power as if we were purchasing any other utility.

Most IaaS vendors run VMWare or a similar operating system than enables virtualization. This operating system approach is the key to putting a shim in between the hardware and your environment that allows it to scale, move around, be replicated, etc. It’s also what makes an IaaS provider different from a traditional service provider or hosting center.

We’re making The Big Switch by the end of January. Pick up a copy of the book and give Bluelock a call.

PS: This is NOT a sponsored post… just something I wanted to share because I’m very excited about the move!

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