Why Cloud Computing Is the New Electrical Grid | Интернет-журнал "Корпоративные информационные системы"
Author Nicholas Carr sees parallels between the power grid and computing that presage big changes for IT.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — services will be what the electrical grid was a century ago: the basis for a whole new set of services, markets and possibilities that can change the way we live and operate, but also threaten the dominant computing hierarchy.

That was the general theme of the closing keynote speech by Nicholas Carr, former executive editor of Harvard Business Review and author of the book «Does IT Matter?» He capped off a day of lectures and sessions here this week at the IDC Directions '09 conference, sticking with the popular theme of the day, computing.

Carr's 2008 book «The Big Switch» compared computing with how electricity was generated a century ago, and his speech built on that. Back in the 1800s, individual businesses built their own power generators. Sitting next to a company, whether it was a steel mill or a factory, was its own power plant.

The advent of Thomas Edison's Direct Current (DC) power allowed for the creation of power plants that let companies simply pay for it from a third-party. DC power had a short transmission length, however, and in 1910, 60 percent of firms still generated their own power.

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