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Capacity and Service Level Management

The use of service level management to support the utility model will be introduced in Part II of this article.

The following products, described in detail in Part II of this article, are used as an example to support the utility computing architecture.

  • Solaris_ Operating Environment (OE)
  • Solaris_ Resource Manager (RM)
  • Teamquest
  • Centauri
  • Xacct
  • Amdocs
  • Ejasent

Where the Utility Model Applies

The examples within Part I and II of this article cover a data center and a service provider. However, the following uses are also applicable.

  • Residential – A service provider might wish to charge residential users for consuming computing resources through a network device such as a thin client workstation delivering office productivity or gaming applications.

  • Supplying to a service provider – The provider of a utility architecture might wish to create a partnership with many service providers, thus providing a utility architecture to each service provider from a remote location. The network between the service provider locations and the utility architecture would carry the utilization data and the return flow would provide the billing information.

  • Manufacturer – For a manufacturer to supply hardware on a utility basis provides both negative and positive points. From a positive point of view, this enables the manufacturer to recognize a constant revenue stream. However, it is more suited for the manufacturer to supply resources, at a preferred discounted rate, to a service provider; thus obtaining the immediate revenue of hardware, rather than over a possible three year period. A negative aspect is the investment that is required to support the implementation of a utility architecture and the network involved to extract data from the data center. However, with Sun it is possible to take advantage of the SunSM Remote Services Net Connect infrastructure to achieve the investment and network support.

  • Commodity – Due to the pricing and delivery structure that the utility model offers, as a supplier of a utility, you would be in a position to offer the following based upon available components to deliver a quality product or 'IT utility unit':

    • Software unit
    • Network unit
    • Computing unit
    • Storage unit

    In this case, the 'IT utility unit' becomes the 'raw material' so the customer doesn't have to focus on concerns with the technology supporting IT; and instead can focus on choosing the best quality unit that allows the most cost effective way to 'consume resources as and when required' to support the business process.

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