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Nortec has made investment over the last three years in Nortec 24/7 and we are adding clients on a regular basis. We continue to refine the service, notifications, reporting and breadth of Cloud and SaaS offerings to provide more value. It appears this is a trend that will continue as explained in Network World and in Information Week:

Major shift to cloud IT services inevitable, IDC says

Cloud computing a bright spot in midst of recession, speakers say
By Jon Brodkin , Network World , 03/17/2009

IT infrastructure and services delivered over the cloud will be ubiquitous within five years, and vendors that ignore the shift from on-premises software to Internet-delivered technology will be left in the dust, IDC analyst Frank Gens predicted at the IDC Directions conference in Boston Tuesday.

“If you are not thinking about and acting on delivering your own offerings through the cloud [within five years], you won’t be in the mainstream anymore,” Gens said. Avoiding the cloud “won’t really be an option.”

Gens defined cloud computing as “consumer and business products, services and solutions delivered and consumed in real time over the Internet.”

Cloud services break down into six main categories, according to Gens — applications, collaboration tools, storage, servers and processing, IT management, and platforms.
IDC surveys show 26% of businesses using the cloud for IT management, 15% to bolster server and storage capacity, a quarter for collaboration and business applications, and 17% for application development and deployment.

A common perception is that most customers embrace cloud services because of the cost. While that is certainly true, Gens said IDC surveys show the No. 1 attribute driving people toward cloud services is the ease and speed of deployment.Users are telling CIOs they want faster delivery of services, and the cloud helps achieve that goal.

“That alone guarantees that over the next several years the cloud model will be very important for CIOs,” Gens said.Other big selling points identified in user surveys include lessening the need for in-house IT staff, paying only for what you use and when you use it, the standardization of IT systems, and access to the latest functionality.

Microsoft: A Few Companies Buy 20% Of Servers
Posted by John Foley @ 07:28:AM Mar,10, 2009

Microsoft senior VP of research Rick Rashid remarked the other day that 20% of all servers are being bought by a handful of large Internet companies, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. It’s evidence that, behind all the talk about cloud computing, there are huge investments in server infrastructure.
The anecdote was shared by Financial Times’ Richard Waters in a blog post titled “How many computers does the world need?” Waters writes that Rashid made the comment during “a small dinner in San Francisco,” making it difficult to verify. He refers to the 20% figure as an “amazing statistic.” Nicholas Carr, in commenting on Waters’ post, refers to it as “an incredible, and telling, data point.”

Amazing? Yes. Telling? Yes. Surprising? No.

I was told something similar by Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos a couple years ago in explaining his “red shift” theory, in which a few companies account for a disproportionate amount of IT infrastructure and consumption. As it happens, that conversation took place over dinner in New York, and InformationWeek followed up with a story, “The Red Shift Theory.” I don’t recall if Papadopoulos was as specific as Rashid in assigning a percentage to his observation about heavy-duty IT consumers, but InformationWeek explained it this way at the time: “an elite group of companies are acquiring inordinate amounts of IT infrastructure, well beyond most other businesses, and their demand is growing exponentially.”

According to Papadopoulos, the red shift phenomenon threatened to exceed the ability of Moore’s Law to keep up. The answer? Utility computing, or the cloud.

I’m not suggesting that Rashid is mimicking Papadopoulos’s idea. Rather, even casual observers could come to the same conclusion as these two respected computer scientists simply by following the money. The locals in the middle of Iowa know that Microsoft and Google are building new data centers there at $600 million a pop, construction delays notwithstanding.
The tens of thousands of servers going into these new and existing data centers underlie the Web traffic and content of not just the companies running them, but millions of consumers and thousands of business customers. Increasingly, through virtualization and multitenant architectures, they’re being used in support of cloud offerings such as Amazon Web Services, Google Apps Engine, Microsoft’s Azure services, and Salesforce’s software-as-a-service and Force.com offerings.