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Monday, October 04, 2004

Marc Andreessen on Utility Computing

Marc Andreessen provides some candid insights into utility computing as he talks here about various key aspects of maintaining computer infrastructure. Here are some of his takes on various topics as related to utility computing.
On Data Centers - Currently they are chaotic and out of cntrol wit little automation. Companies know they are out of control. A new security hole opens up, and large organizations have 20,000 servers to be patched by hand. How do you get your arms around what you have, much less what you need to do? People are spending 70 to 80 percent of their budgets just maintaining what they have, which holds back spending on new applications.
On Autonomic and Utility Computing - In Marc's mind,Autonomic computing is seveal decades away. The current challenge is Starting from chaos, how do you organize, systematize—how do you try to build up to get as much automation as you possibly can? Where you still have human beings involved, you want a very small number of very smart architects. And then you want to have as much of the manual labor automated as possible. We think that's the practical point that delivers what people want, which is lower prices, faster rates of change and much higher quality levels.
Metrics for Utility Computing - Ratio of administrators to machines. The efficient operating model should be running 80 or 100 machines to each person. Currently,most people are running at about 1 to 15 or 1 to 20.
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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"