Sun and Clouds
Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 10:42PM
Toby Considine in Basics, Data Center, Enterprise Interaction, Markets and Innovation

Earlier this week, I suggested that one outcome of the Software as a Service (SaaS) approach will be that complex operations such as BIM servers would migrate into cloud computing, where there data can be shared and updated by Designers, Architects, Engineers, and used by Owner/Operators.

This week, Sun (the computer company that long used the motto “the network is the computer”) announced that by 2015 Sun will have *no* data centers. All internal IT for this technology company will be acquired under the SaaS model. "We will need to get to a point in which we mandate detailed SLAs and manage/monitor those SLAs," Cinque writes. "As long as a SaaS provider can adhere to our detailed SLAs, then it shouldn't matter where the applications sit. The challenge is getting those detailed SLAs written out, (and) having the SaaS industry evolve where they can accept client-driven SLA's." By 2013, 5 years from now, Sun expects to eliminate half of their square footage in data centers

So what does this say about buildings and energy?

First, it both intensifies the reasons behind The Green Grid (see my earlier comments here) while reducing the number of people interested. While CABA may call Networking the 4th utility, data processing may instead become the 4th utility. The differences in cost, and the intensity of the operations load may make data centers an unjustifiable expense.

Rapidly rising energy costs may be the catalyst; virtualization and the associated capability of outsourced customization to produce tailor-fit solutions are the enabler. The increasing demands of security and enhanced benefits of service specialization will be long term drivers. Those data centers that remain will demand highly efficient interactive means to manage transforming energy to raw business process.

Next, it invalidates the traditional building system model of on-site monitoring. Traditional building systems bring too much data and too little information to too few people. Cloud computing will decrease the barriers to fewer people with greater expertise monitoring more building systems. Communications models for embedded building systems that do not match the new reality will suffer competitive disadvantage.

Low level protocols will remain much as they are; gateways that abstract underlying system up to actionable alarms and descriptive information. These gateways will use enterprise-style protocols that perform well over the internet.

Such gateways are exactly what we need to enable new business service. Remote analytics. Knowledge based maintenance management. Live energy modeling. Third party interactive demand/response. Each of these services, and others we do not yet know, will also become services, and move into the clouds.

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/Jan/10/suns_goal_no_in-house_data_centers_by_2015.html

Article originally appeared on New Daedalus (http://www.newdaedalus.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.