What does a Cloud Computing Data Center look like? Comparison version 1

There are a flood of cloud computing content out there.  As a thought experiment I start comparing conceptually what cloud computing is versus the existing data centers.  Many take the approach of building data centers to be solid as a rock which interesting enough is an opposite of clouds.  Rock is Earth.  Clouds are water and air, and electricity (lightning).

Below is a first version of thinking about how there are differences between cloud computing data center vs. a Rock data center.

When you start thinking about Cloud Computing as the future, what kind of data center fits business needs? 

I am having some conversations with data center designers on this concept.  Cover up the right side, and only look at the left side.  When I look at the left, who doesn’t want this?  Except maybe those who may their money on the right side.


Cloud Data Center Rock Data Center
Water + Air + Energy = Clouds with lightning Earth = building built in a capital intensive redundant manner
Business Alignment to current conditions Over-provisioned for the unknown future, but ironically many times limit businesses
Speed is an advantage for less resources and changing business (minutes) You have no choice so you move at our pace (weeks/months)
Systems integrated to reduce costs for business services Silos of self-optimization are used to prove efficiency
Pay as you go service use Costs are not transparent or directly related to what you use
Virtualized servers, storage, and network abstract discussions to capabilities for business Staff discusses specifications of servers, storage, and networking
Energy efficient and high utilization are standard discussions Energy is viewed as a small cost paid for by someone else
Commodity hardware Specialized hardware
Healthy, growing vendor ecosystem Static ecosystem that is growing slowly, maybe even declining
Exponential growth currently, innovation Declining as users migrate to Cloud, maintenance mode, cost reduction