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Utility computing; Microsoft Office Manager

IDC Finds Customers All Agog Over Utility Computing

Most major enterprise vendors have fallen over themselves in a rush to announce architectures for utility computing. If a new study from market research firm Int’l Data Corp. is to be believed, there’s good reason for that: Customers are actually interested.

According to the results of an IDC study examining utility computing from a services perspective, nearly 65 percent of 34 potential customers interviewed indicated an interest in utility computing services.

Utility computing is a concept that describes the virtualization of computing resources—such as storage, servers and networks—to increase performance, lower costs, and enhance manageability.

HP was first out of the gate with its Utility Data Center, which it announced in November 2001. Sun touted its plans for N1 in February 2002, and IBM followed suit in October 2002, unveiling its E-business On Demand infrastructure for utility computing.

In a prepared statement, IDC analyst David Tapper wrote that although the market for utility computing and on-demand services is still in its early stages, “there is tremendous customer interest in leveraging this type of service offering.”

For would-be service providers to effectively compete in the utility computing space, IDC suggests that they must first educate their customers about utility computing and its benefits. Significantly, IDC says that service providers must also overcome a considerable range of customer concerns, including whether utility computing services work as advertised. In addition, the research firm stresses that service providers must clearly define their market positions and utility computing strategies, in addition to providing a compelling value proposition to gain customer trust.

IDC’s study, “Utility Computing: A Look at Demand-Side Needs for On-Demand Computing Services,” presents additional findings, including customer expectations for pricing, type of service offerings, and preference for suppliers.

Next Generation of MOM to be Unveiled by Scott Bekker (Courtesy of

Microsoft is set to unveil its plans for the next version of Microsoft Operations Manager. The venue: The Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas.

Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) first appeared in 2000 as a server and application management product that Microsoft released based on technology it bought from NetIQ Corp. The next version of MOM will represent Microsoft's first internal overhaul of the NetIQ technology.

The planned feature set for the next version of MOM should also contain clues about Microsoft's direction on management software.

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About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.