imagesWhen you are planning hardware resources for a web presence that needs to be available, you tend to assume the worst case scenario, the maximum connections that need to be supported – and then some to make sure you don’t go down when there is one or 1000 more connections. Cloud hosting changes the view and strategy of capacity planning. In fact, we are now talking about reverse capacity planning. Forrester Analyst James Staten highlights a stealth startup that is subscribing to an IaaS cloud and “most of the time pays next to nothing to do this”.

In fact, this company, which requested to remain anonymous, is planning for a minimum monthly bill and scales from there. There is no pre-allocation of resources, as the cloud scales with the demand. If there is no demand, there is a minimum bill. If there are thousands of users, the capacity is available on demand. Staten says that the model should be replicated and it may even be improved: “You can do the same but don’t stop once you’ve determined your base capacity. Can you make it even smaller? The answer is most likely yes. Because if there is a peak, then there is also a trough.“

In the case of the stealth startup, the code was tweaked to minimize the footprint, which enabled them to reduce the footprint even further.  What “they really needed persistently was their services’ home page and that could be cached in a content delivery network. So when their service has no traffic at all, they have no instances running on their IaaS platform. Once the cache has been hit they then fire up the minimal footprint (which they tuned down to a single virtual machine) and then scale up from here.”

Staten says that if “you can find the trough then you can game the system to your advantage.” Maybe “gaming” goes a bit far. It is what cloud computing is meant to be.

Cloud Computing is the driving force behind hardware sales

Cloud computing will be a key force behind hardware sales over the next few years, IDC believes. In fact, the investments are significant enough to be considered a whole new era in IT infrastructures and not just replacements, which highlights the quickly increasing interest in cloud computing overall.

Analyst Katherine Broderick  said that “many IT decision makers are seriously considering cloud computing as a way to dramatically simply their sprawling virtual and physical infrastructure. However, there is still some lingering apprehension over issues like integration, availability, security, and costs. These concerns, and how they are addressed by IT vendors, will continue to guide the adoption of cloud computing over the next several years.”

Is it just me or is cloud computing truly igniting vast parts of the IT industry and is turning more and more into the most critical part many segments of the industry will depend on over the next few years? IDC says that server hardware revenue for public cloud computing will grow from $582 million in 2009 to $718 million in 2014. Server revenue for the larger private cloud market will grow from $2.6 billion to $5.7 billion in the same time period.

According to IDC, public cloud computing has lower ASVs than an average x86-based server, public cloud seems less likely to be broadly adopted than private, public clouds will be less enterprise focused than private clouds and according to recent IDC survey results, almost half of respondents, 44%, are considering private clouds.

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