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Two Executives' Views of Utility, Grid Computing

Executives from leading companies recently shared their vision for utility and grid computing, making one thing clear: Pricing models and billing models will need to change in this brave, new world.

Because the cost of processors is so low, customers will naturally increase their hardware capacity. As a result, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said he expects Oracle to change its pricing structure for its databases. "You are likely to have a lot more processors than before I think you will see us migrating toward an employee licensing model rather than a processing licensing model," says Ellison in an InformationWeek interview.

Meanwhile Veritas CEO Gary Bloom explains one of the big benefits for the utility pricing model -- accountability for IT: "One concept that is very clear about utility computing [T]hey want to be able to bill back the users for what they consume. And that will require different price models.

"We are doing some interesting price models and experiments with customers, based on capacity-based pricing pricing based on consumption, or the amount of disk or data under management or the amount of data backed up," said Bloom in a CRN interview.

Pricing benefits notwithstanding, both executives reigned in expectations for this highly hyped market. "Grid computing on the Internet [is] hopelessly impracticable for security reasons," said Ellison. "I don't think Bank of America is going to take all its depositors' data and ship it to different desktop computers on the Internet at night. Using the Internet as a grid has nothing to do with enterprise computing. Our definition of enterprise grid computing means it has to be secure. We would have a dedicated grid of computers inside the firewall."

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