LinuxWorld — In the opening keynote today, the CTO of Amazon came on stage to talk about next generation data centers but stopped to draw attention to what he called "the elephant in the room."

He said the elephant was that in our pursuit of delivering business value we spend 70 percent of our time on undifferentiating heavy lifting — data center management. His answer: Get out of the data center business because he has space in his own to sell you in the form of their Elastic Compute Cloud.

He’s right that all our efforts to make our business services scale, be available, and perform well take resources away from advancing the services, but his view is too simplistic. Amazon’s services only fit with modern application designs. Most enterprises may have a subset that fits but they are nowhere near ready to sell their data center.

Managing the data center is getting more complex and as eBay’s Paul Strong showed in spades. Getting to web scale from enterprise scale is far more complex today. But legacy holds most enterprises back and will for some time.

What’s worth considering, though, is whether you need to host your web scale services. While you may not be ready for Amazon’s sales pitch, the vision is likely right. We’ll take a closer look at what eBay, Amazon, and their peers are doing in their data centers in a new report coming later this month. What’s your take? Are you ready for Amazon’s vision?

By James Staten

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