Nicholas Carr writes about a presentation by Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos:
Papadopoulos shows that the traditional big driver of computing demand – basic business computing – has lost its force. The growth in computing power through Moore’s Law now far outstrips the growth in demand from traditional business computing. That means, in essence, that businesses will need far fewer computers in the future to fulfill their demand – a fact already manifesting itself in IT departments’ emphasis on server consolidation and virtualization. The big opportunity here is simply to improve your utilization of existing capacity.
But, argues Papadopoulos, there are three new drivers of computing demand that far outstrip the expansion in supply guaranteed by Moore’s Law:
1. Rich multimedia content delivered through the broadband Internet (think YouTube and VOIP).
2. High-performance supercomputing (think weather modeling and drug development).
3. Software as a service (think Salesforce.com, Webex and Office Live).
In combination, these three sources will produce an exponential leap in demand for computing – Papadopoulos calls it the “Redshift” – that will far outstrip the increase in supply produced by Moore’s Law alone.