Vendors tout utility model

While users may not fully understand how water gets to their taps, they accept that it be there because it is a utility. Today at Gitex, a number of vendors are saying the same thing can happen with IT.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  October 19, 2003

While users may not fully understand how electricity gets to their PCs or water to their taps, they accept that these things will be there because they are a utility. Unlikely as it seems, this kind of delivery is now being touted for IT and a number of the industry's large vendors, including HP, IBM, Sun and Vertias, are promoting a vision of the flexible IT infrastructure.

In the on demand/utility computing model, businesses are able to purchase capacity on demand. Furthermore, rather than being confined to just niche areas of IT, advocates of utility computing believe it can be applied to anything ranging from CPUs and storage through to software.

HP, for instance, is using Gitex to talk about its Adaptive Enterprise strategy within the Middle East and how it can help users get a better return from their information technology investments.

"Computers have to become a utility to reduce the complexity. Only when users reduce the complexity can they get a superior return on IT. It is a pure business benefit," says Charles Ashman, manager, ESG product business unit, HP UAE, Gulf & Levant.
"HP is enabling this by helping users consolidate their servers, storage and so and lower the cost of their computing investment," he explains.

IBM argues that on demand computing is closely tied to the need for open source technologies and is all about giving customers flexibility and ensuring their cash flow stays positive. Veritas, on the other hand, believes utility computing ensures companies have fast, reliable access to data and applications.

"Utility computing represents a fundamental shift in the way IT departments in the Middle East will deliver applications to end users," says Mike Hynes, regional director, Veritas Middle East.

"Just like an electric or water utility, the IT utility provides a fast, reliable service, and can adapt to changing business needs without human intervention," he adds.

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