Trends Report

Behind "Cloud" Is Your Future Application Environment: Ultra Modular Computing

Shift Cloud Excitement To Your Own Data Centers

April 6th, 2009
Charles Brett
Jeffrey Hammond
With contributors:
John Rymer , James Staten , Wallis Yu


Cloud computing is all the rage, but its greatest benefit may be to teach IT organizations how to build flexible and cost-efficient private data centers. The technical foundations of cloud computing — commodity hardware, virtualization, elastic workload management, and shared services — are becoming the basis for private data centers at enterprises such as FedEx and Sabre. These foundation technologies will unlock many benefits: nonlinear software licensing (much of it based on open source software), software modularity, and loosely coupled applications. Forrester calls this architectural approach ultra modular computing (UMC). Application developers who are working with virtualization technologies should begin applying UMC to prove out the concepts with their operations and enterprise architecture colleagues. In doing so, they will start a transition to a new, lean application environment for fast and flexible application delivery. This lean environment will promise reduced capital and operational expenditures via use of low-cost hardware and operations automation but will keep the control and security that private data centers possess (and that public clouds often don't).

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