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Showing posts from August, 2006

Computing as a commodity

There is a key concept that links Utility Computing, Grid, Service-Oriented Architecture, Virtualisation and several more slippery terms as well. That concept is of computing as a commodity. This is not the same as computers being a commodity - we're all used to that, whether we're buying a home PC by mail order or building even mid-range servers from similar machines. Commodity computing lets us use computing resources or services when we need them and only when we need them. It takes several forms.

The most obvious example is Utility Computing, where a vendor (such as Sun or Amazon) provide you with CPU cycles or storage space and you pay for what you use. Web hosting companies operate on a similar basis, just slightly higher up the software stack. But other examples show that the same basic idea can operate within a company.

Trader Media are a classic example of how computing can be a virtual commodity within a company. They started with the classic setup of separate …


Welcome to Distributed Thinking. In this blog I will present my thoughts and experiences in the world of distributed computing, Grid, e-Science, utility computing, service-oriented architectures, virtualisation, Web 2.0 and other similar technologies. Via my work at the National e-Science Centre, I'm involved in several projects and other activities which have snippets of interest to a broader community. Some of these appear in more formal forums, including; this blog gives me the chance to mention smaller items, to discuss things of interest and to express the occasional personal opinion. I hope that you enjoy reading it.