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The Trade-Offs of On-Demand Computing

How can enterprises be sure they can trust servers they don't control?

The service does have some appeal for smoothing out erratic business traffic. For example, consumer Web traffic peaks at certain times of the day. Enlisting IBM to smooth out these peaks so that you don't have to buy more equipment than you need is an intriguing idea, but IBM will have to ease customers' anxiety about how much control they will have of these on-demand systems.

There's also the possibility that custom apps will crash a generic hardware configuration. What kind of support can I get from IBM if I'm on a shared virtual server? Probably not much, because there's not much it can do without putting other customers' apps at risk. This is the trade-off of sharing computing resources.

If you think your organization would benefit from IBM's services, find out a whole lot more before you tell your CIO that you can save the 30 percent IBM is claiming. Or you might just discover the answers the hard way.

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