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The Stack Archive

Greater efficiency will drive more users to cloud, according to Citihub director

Tue 8 Apr 2014

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Making cloud operators more efficient will increase their usage by consumers according to a leading technical consultant.

Darren Thayre, a director at Citihub, said he believes the Jevon’s Paradox – where technological gains in the efficiency of production increase not decrease the rate of consumption – applies to the cloud. “One could argue that cloud is just a means of moving compute to another place,” he said.

“For example, if I have one server now and I move it to a cloud service provider like, say, Savvis, I still have one server. Jevon’s paradox suggests that when adoption grows the price decreases and the services increase, which triggers greater creativity within the user community. The net result is consumers do more with their clients and the ultimate demand increases. So from having one server now and moving it to Savvis, in two years I have four servers because I am doing ‘x’ other service lines in ‘x’ other industries.”

Cloud growth, though he argues, is being held back by legacy systems and application architectures which are not suitable for cloud, and the cost of transformation out-weighs the benefits, he said.

“The focus is generally on some practical aspects of cloud like virtualisation, automation, self-service, rather than the holistic cloud transformation. This leads to many small proprietary cloud-like platforms with tightly coupled dependencies between applications and infrastructure, rather than fully decoupled applications that are free to move between standardized cloud platforms and providers,” said Thraye.

Achieving more open standards and increased consumer use will also lead to greater market competition in particular players to take on the industry gorillas such as AWS. “It’s mostly about economies of scale – so it is difficult to beat the big players.

“The challenge we have seen is the lack of commitment from consumers means providers must increase cost per unit to manage the risk of underutilization, and providers reciprocate and don’t provide any long term commitments like stability of APIs, system design, etc.

“Adopting open standards to allow consumers flexibility and freedom to change providers, balanced with higher levels of commitment on both sides would allow stability and lower costs and help create the utility market,” said Thayre.

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