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IEEE Cloud Computing Magazine Articles     Technical Papers      Selected Other Print Articles     Blog Posts

Cloudonomics: The Business Value of Cloud Computing
is now available in hardcover from booksellers worldwide
and in all major eBook formats: Amazon Kindle, Barnes &
Noble NOOK, Apple iBooks, Google Play, and Sony eReader

Excerpts at Entrepreneur and Forbes:



Forbes (Exc. 1)

Forbes (Exc. 2)

IEEE Cloud Computing Magazine Articles

"Revenue Growth is the Primary Benefit of the Cloud" with Brad Power (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, July/August, 2018

"Cloud computing is too often seen as a tactical way to reduce costs, when its most important benefit is as a strategic way to grow revenues. Such revenue growth can come about in a variety of ways, such as through faster innovation of new products, processes, and customer interactions; identifying more customers and closing more purchases; and improving customer relationships through more targeted offers and better service and experiences. Companies that clearly understand the relative magnitude of cost savings and revenue growth and orient themselves toward the latter will better exploit the cloud and related technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, and blockchain, and thus strengthen their competitive advantage and customer value.

A typical, but simplistic view says that the economies of scale that large cloud service providers achieve drive down the unit cost of compute. This logic does have some truth to it, but is flawed on several levels. First, cloud providers enjoy cost advantages not only through economies of scale, but also through better utilization through aggregation of statistically uncorrelated workloads, as well as selling spare cycles through mechanisms such as “spot instances.” They also can enjoy economies through greenfield siting, where power and land are cheap, and tax benefits may be conferred by local authorities. However, large diversified enterprises with sufficient technical competence, operations capabilities, purchasing power, etc., can enjoy similar cost advantages. Moreover, enterprises doing it themselves don’t have to pay the additional cost structure penalty comprising a cloud service provider’s profit margin and general, sales, and administrative expenses. As a result, real-world experience is mixed, with some saving money by moving to the cloud and others saving money by moving out of public clouds. Many others do best with a hybrid strategy that can offer an optimal balance of lower costs through fixed resources for baseline demand and elastic pay-per-use resources for variable demand beyond the baseline. Still others use a multicloud approach, either to cobble together digital support for an end-to-end workflow, for reliability, or to arbitrage price differentials among cloud service providers. Many use a combination of all of the above, leading to a mix of private and public, multiple public clouds, and centralized facilities and dispersed ones—the hybrid multicloud fog..."
"The 10 Laws of Fogonomics" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, November/December, 2017

"Although fog computing goes by various names, it can be simply viewed as inserting one or more highly distributed compute and storage layers, possibly available on a pay-per-use basis, that are networked to centralized cloud data centers and, via an edge layer, to highly dispersed, often mobile, endpoints spanning user devices— such as smartphones and tablets—and things—such as smart electric meters and connected cars—as shown in Figure 1. This can be viewed as replacing what had been merely a communications channel—such as the Internet or direct connections—between the cloud and devices/things with a multilayered compute, storage, and network fabric.

There are various tradeoffs between architecture choices such as cloud-endpoint or cloud-fog/ edge-endpoint. For example, processing at the edge is closer to where data is generated or resides in user devices and things—such as video or image capture—but is farther from data residing in the cloud—such as web search indices/repositories. The cloud, which has hyperscale data centers, offers enormous capacity, but at the expense of latency and backhaul costs for interactive tasks supporting devices and things. These characteristics can be expressed both quantitatively and qualitatively. As a result, the economics of the cloud—Cloudonomics—can be differentiated from the economics of the fog—Fogonomics..."
"The Economics of Computing Workload Aggregation: Capacity, Utilization, and Cost Implications" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, September/October, 2017

"According to the NIST definition, one key characteristic of cloud computing is 'resource pooling to serve multiple consumers using a multitenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.' In other words, instead of running in silos, workloads with time-varying demands or processing intensities are often aggregated, assigned, and provisioned into a shared pool of resources...

There are many benefits of this type of aggregation. First, less capacity is typically needed for the pool than were individuals to build their own capacity. Second, the utilization of this capacity is greater, because the same amount of work is being handled by fewer resources. Thirdly, therefore, the utilization adjusted cost of a unit of sold capacity can be lower. In this issue’s column, we’ll quantify those benefits exactly..."
"Migrating to—Or Away From—The Public Cloud" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, March/April, 2016

"Netflix has been the poster child for public cloud adoption. It is widely (and incorrectly) believed to be “all in” on Amazon Web Services, and has famously reported that it has closed its last datacenter. Similarly, General Electric has committed to the cloud, and plans on migrating its applications to the public cloud as well.

However, although Netflix may well have closed its last datacenter, that doesn’t mean that it has gone 100 percent cloud. In fact, although many key Netflix applications—such as its recommendation engine and media transcoding—run on AWS, it uses Google for data backups and provider diversity/risk mitigation, and its real heavy lifting— content delivery—is actually performed on dedicated, Netflix-owned equipment in colocation facilities. And, although GE and many others might be migrating to the cloud, many other high-profile companies—such as Instagram and Dropbox—are migrating away from the public cloud and into their own datacenters. Yet others, such as Apple, have announced a partial migration from one public cloud provider to another. How can leading companies be moving—with conviction—in opposite directions, and what factors should your company consider?..."
"Hybrid Cloud Economics" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, January/February, 2016

"Prognosticators have been arguing over the future of IT. One rarely hears comments any longer about cloud computing along the lines of those attributed to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in 2008, “What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”1 However, some argue that the future of IT is 100 percent public cloud for all workloads and all companies; others argue for a hybrid future. Additional scenarios include bimodal IT,2 multiclouds, and the Intercloud, 3 not to mention additional elements such as microcells, fog computing,4 and colocation facilities. Sound economic and mathematical analysis shows that a rational outcome depends on underlying assumptions. Under assumptions that appear likely to hold given today’s technologies, a multicloud or single public cloud environment is most likely for small businesses, including startups, whereas a hybrid cloud future is likely for large enterprises. A quantitative total cost analysis depends on several key factors: the relative unit cost of resources, performance differences, usage patterns, and uncertainties regarding future use. There are also qualitative factors that affect decisions: the desired focus of management attention, core competencies, and cognitive biases and human motivational drivers. Because of these complexities, a single solution is unlikely to fit all requirements..."
"The Cloud and the Economics of the User and Customer Experience" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, November/December, 2015

"The experience that users such as customers and employees have of products, services, and processes is increasingly the key battleground for global competition. It encompasses numerous physical, tangible dimensions, including design, aesthetics, and materials. Consider products such as a cool smartphone, an elegant gold watch, or the physical characteristics of healthcare services, such as the color of hospital walls or the appearance of a medical diagnostic machine, or the ambience of dining services, including the food presentation. Today, of course, a substantial portion of the user experience is based on virtual components helped or hindered by application characteristics such as response time, performance, availability, and interface design. Therefore, the total user experience can be helped—or hindered—by the cloud. In food service, the dining experience is a combination of the presentation and service experience: customer-facing processes, such as how the food is transported from the kitchen to the table, and back-end processes, such as cooking and plating. Quality back-end processes can aid in the presentation or vice versa. In virtual services—say, e-commerce or online entertainment— the complete experience is also a function of the presentation (layer) and service experience, and related processes such as (network) transport and back-end processing..."
"Intercloudonomics: Quantifying the Value of the Intercloud" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, September/October, 2015

"In Cloudonomics I addressed total cost and performance optimization for a customer in relation to a cloud provider. For example, all other things being equal, a hybrid cloud architecture can often lead to total cost savings in the presence of variable demand, even if the unit cost of the cloud services is priced at a premium. However, in addition to simple customer-cloud relationships, there are also cloud-cloud relationships. In the same way that the Internet is a set of interoperable, loosely coupled networks, the Intercloud is intended to be a set of interoperable, loosely coupled clouds. The Intercloud promises reduced complexity, optimized prices, reduced latency, enhanced reliability, and better capacity utilization. For example, a cloud provider can extend its geographic reach or become a virtual operator through footprint augmentation, that is, by leveraging physical resources such as compute, network, and storage in other geographic regions—from partners or competitors. Or, in another scenario, a cloud provider can enhance its reliability by failing over to or replicating data to a facility operated by another cloud provider. All of these benefits can be quantified..."
"The Strategic Value of the Cloud" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, July/August, 2015

"A recent study by Oxford Economics based on a research collaboration with SAP identified the top five benefits that executives expect from cloud investments. First, they expect significant gains in productivity—to do more with less. They also expect significant gains in innovation as well as in the speed and efficiency of processes. These executives believe that cloud investments should enable IT to be a better partner to the business, and IT to become a profit center. Only after these five top priorities did executives rank cost savings.

To be sure, the cloud has a variety of mechanisms that can help reduce costs. For example, a reduction in required physical servers achieved through virtualization or containers reduces total capital expenditures, leasing, or reserved or on-demand costs. Pay per use is a pricing mechanism that can reduce total costs when used with pure public or hybrid clouds, especially in the presence of variable demand. The cloud can also improve performance, for example, by reducing latency for interactive tasks through geographic dispersion, and reducing total response time through parallelism..."
"Data as a Currency and Cloud-Based Data Lockers (with Omer Rana)" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, March/April, 2015

"The biggest information technology trends of the last few years are the rise of the cloud, the explosion of big data, global network ubiquity, social media, and the emerging Internet of things. These aren’t independent trends. It’s estimated that 90 percent of all data ever created was generated in the last two years.1 This massive increase in data is largely due to phenomena such as social sharing of videos over mobile networks and ambient video monitoring devices backed up in the cloud. A key accelerator of these trends has been consumer cloud and technology adoption— such as the exponential growth of Google search, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although these applications are largely based on free and freemium models, their growth is creating challenges for all participants in the ecosystem..."
"Cloud Pricing and Markets" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, January/February, 2015

"Pricing is an important means by which cloud service providers compete. Price wars have gotten a lot of press, with providers lowering prices dozens of times over the last few years, nominally due to reductions in cost structure, but also in an attempt to gain share, receive publicity, and signal their aggressiveness in the market to competitors. However, although cloud prices are of interest, so are cloud pricing models, such as reserved instances, sustained-use pricing, and spot instances. It would be a mistake to consider pricing models to be an afterthought; they’re a means of competitive differentiation as well as for creating value for both customers and providers..."
"The Nuances of Cloud Economics" (PDF)
Cloud Economics column, November/December, 2014

"Economics is central to cloud computing. The cloud’s financial and strategic benefits have been the catalysts for its explosive growth, and pay-per-use pricing, sometimes referred to as measured service,1 is a core attribute. Some say that cost reduction and business agility are the two most important benefits of the cloud, some argue that economies of scale from large providers are the main drivers of cloud benefits, and others therefore conclude that eventually all IT should and will move to the cloud. However, the theory and practice of cloud economics are considerably more nuanced, and encompass numerous challenges, ranging from the practical to the theoretical, across service architecture, statistics, behavioral economics, computing foundations, game theory, business strategy, and regulatory policy..."

Technical Papers

"Better Together: Quantifying the Benefits of the Smart Network" (PDF)
Working Paper, March 3, 2013

"Abstract—Three approaches to load balancing in a distributed computing network are evaluated analytically using statistics and via Monte Carlo simulation: 1) random selection; 2) selection based solely on identifying the server with the lowest response time; 3) selection based on identification of a combination of path and server with the lowest total response time. Analytical and simulation results show that the lowest expected response times occur via joint optimization. The exact improvement depends on the underlying distributions of path response times and server response times. An exemplary case where each path and server is an independent, identically distributed random variable with a continuous uniform distribution on [0,1] is assessed; then the improvement may be approximated by (1/2)+(1/(n+1))-√(π/2n), where n is the number of alternative combinations of path and server. Generally, when P is a random variable representing path response times, the value of a smart network in reducing response time is μ(P)-min(P) as n→∞. Such improvements support a philosophy of “smart” networks vs. “dumb pipes.”"
"Network Implications of Cloud Computing" (PDF)
United Nations International Telecommunications Union World Technical Symposium

"Abstract—Cloud Computing is often described as “resources accessed via a browser over the Internet.” However, this definition has become increasingly insufficient to characterize the breadth of applications and use cases for the cloud, and the networks that must support them.

A broadening range of endpoints are accessing the cloud: browser-free device apps, multimedia endpoints such as video and game consoles, sensor networks, servers, and storage. The wireline and wireless network requirements—e.g., jitter, latency, packet loss, protocol support—for these uses vary, and imply that a variety of network capabilities are sometimes necessary: e.g., MPLS for quality of service via class of service to support interactive high definition video in the cloud; optical transport for native protocols such as Fibre Channel for data integration in hybrid cloud scenarios; route control for country compliance issues. Also, distributed topologies and optimized routing are required due to application latency constraints.

Moreover, wireless sensor networks and hybrid cloud scenarios such as cloudbursting that require a variety of complex distributed data approaches are driving new transport requirements: guaranteed bandwidth, dynamic bandwidth on demand, and usage-sensitive pricing for fine-grained quantities and duration of bandwidth.

Cloud Computing, either as an integrated service or in support of pure-play customers must drive service providers’ international telecommunications infrastructure evolution as well as BSS/OSS."
"Cloudonomics: A Rigorous Approach to Cloud Benefit Quantification"
The Journal of Software Technology, October, 2011, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 10-18.

"Cloud computing and cloud services consistently place at the top of surveys ranking IT trends and CIO interests. This is largely due to the position of the cloud at the nexus of macro trends such as social media, the Internet, Web 2.0, and mobility and broadband wireless, as well as the opportunity for benefits such as reduced cost and enhanced agility.

Traditional approaches to assessing cloud benefits largely fall into two categories: vague yet enticing words, such as “agility,” and empirical data from case studies, which may or may not apply to the general case.

Cloudonomics—a term and discipline founded by the author (Weinman, 2008)—seeks to provide a rigorous foundation based on calculus, statistics, trigonometry, system dynamics, economics, and computational complexity theory, which can be used to interpret empirical results. We will provide an overview of these results together with references to more detailed analyses."
"Axiomatic Cloud Theory" (PDF)
Working Paper, July 29, 2011

"Today, cloud computing has become of great interest technically and as it relates to business strategy and competitiveness. However, while there are numerous informal (verbal) definitions of cloud computing, rigorous axiomatic, formal (mathematical) models of clouds appear to be in short supply: this paper is the first use of the term “Axiomatic Cloud Theory.”

We define a cloud as a structure (S,T,G,Q,δ,q0) satisfying five formal axioms: it must be 1) Common, 2) Location-independent, 3) Online, 4) Utility, and 5) on-Demand. S is space, T is time; G=(V,E) is a directed graph; Q is a set of states, where each state combines assignments of resource capacity and demand, resource allocations, node location, and pricing; qo is an initial state; and δ is a transition function that determines state trajectories over time: mapping resources, allocations, locations, and pricing to a next state of resources, allocations, locations, and pricing. This captures the interrelationships in a real cloud: capacity relative to demand can drive pricing, pricing and resource location drive allocation, allocation patterns can drive new resource levels."
"As Time Goes By: The Law of Cloud Response Time" (PDF)
Working Paper, April 12, 2011

"We propose a Law of Cloud Response Time that combines network latency and parallel processing speed-up in a distributed, elastic, cloud computing environment. As the first supercomputing and parallel processing systems came into existence in the 1960s, Gene Amdahl proposed Amdahl's Law: the maximum possible speedup due to parallelization is 1/S, where S is the sequential percentage of the application. Thus, at least for somewhat parallelizable applications, more processors mean less elapsed time, but there is a limit to the gains as no acceleration can occur in the serial portion of the application.

However, today's geographically dispersed cloud environments comprising networked nodes of elastic resources are very different than the local, monolithic, centralized environments of a half century ago, so we propose a new law for interactive transactions over a network with parallelization." (Image at left courtesy Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility)
"Smooth Operator: The Value of Demand Aggregation" (PDF)
Working Paper, February 27, 2011

In industries such as cloud computing, lodging, and car rental services, demand from multiple customers is aggregated and served out of a common pool of resources managed by an operator. This approach can drive economies of scale and learning curve effects, but such benefits are offset by providers‘ needs to recover SG&A and achieve a return on invested capital. Does aggregation create value or are customers‘ costs just swept under a provider‘s rug and then charged back?

Under many circumstances, service providers—which one might call "smooth" operators—can take advantage of statistical effects that reduce variability in aggregate demand, creating true value vs. fixed, partitioned resources serving that demand.
"Cloud Computing is NP-Complete" (PDF)
Working Paper, February 21, 2011

We show that an abstract formulation of resource assignment in a distributed cloud computing environment, which we term the CLOUD COMPUTING demand satisfiability problem, is NP-complete, using transformations from the PARTITION problem and 3-SATISFIABILITY, two of the “core” NP-complete problems. Specifically, let there be a set of customers, each with a given level of demand for resources, and a set of servers, each with a given level of capacity, where each customer may be served by two or more of the servers. The general problem of determining whether there is an assignment of customers to servers such that each customer’s demand may be satisfied by available resources is NP-complete.

The impact on Cloudonomics is that even if resources are available to meet demand, correctly matching a set of demands with a set of resources may be too complex to solve in useful time.
"Time Is Money: The Value of 'On-Demand'" (PDF)
Working Paper, January 7, 2011

"Cloud computing and related services offer resources and services “on demand.” Examples include access to “video on demand” via IPTV or over-the-top streaming; servers and storage allocated on demand in “infrastructure as a service;” or “software as a service” such as customer relationship management or sales force automation. Services delivered “on demand” certainly sound better than ones provided “after an interminable wait,” but how can we quantify the value of on-demand, and the scenarios in which it creates compelling value?

We show that the benefits of on-demand provisioning depend on the interplay of demand with forecasting, monitoring, and resource provisioning and de-provisioning processes and intervals, as well as likely asymmetries between excess capacity and unserved demand..."
"The Market for 'Melons': Quantity Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism" (PDF)
Working Paper, September 6, 2010

"Using agent-based simulation and analysis of an idealized model of a duopoly with one flat-rate and one usage-based provider, we demonstrate that flat-rate plans are unsustainable in a perfectly competitive market with independent, decentralized decision-making by active, self-selecting, rational utility maximizers engaged in a stochastic, multi-step decision process driving iterative price adjustment. In distinction to Nobel Laureate Dr. George Akerlof’s quality uncertainty in “The Market for ‘Lemons’”, where the seller is advantaged by asymmetric information regarding the quality of the product or service being sold, in what we’ll call “The Market for ‘Melons’” (PDF) it is the buyer that may be advantaged by asymmetric information regarding the ex-ante quantity of planned consumption. Moreover, adverse selection and moral hazard have less to do with quality uncertainty, information asymmetry, or morality, than with rational choice by consumers with dispersed consumption under flat-rate pricing..."
"Mathematical Proof of the Inevitability of Cloud Computing" (PDF)
January 8, 2011

"Cloud computing represents a new model and underlying technology for IT. However, the value of cloud computing may be abstracted as the value of any on-demand utility: rental cars, taxi cabs, hotel rooms, or the like.

In a companion paper , the value of “on-demand” resource provisioning is quantified.

Here, the value of “utility”—i.e., pay-per-use with a linear tariff—is quantified, and three major conclusions are presented based on the nature of the offered demand and the relative cost—or “utility premium”—of the utility vs. fixed resources on a unit cost basis..."
"The Future of Cloud Computing"
IEEE Technology Time Machine Symposium on Technologies Beyond 2020 (TTM), 2011, ISBN 1-4577-0415-3, June, 2011.
"Easy Computer-Based Simulation to Solve Risk, Reliability, and Recoverability Problems"
Proceedings of the 2000 Contingency Planning and Management Conference, Witter Publishing Corporation, 2000.
"Dependability in the Cloud: Challenges and Opportunities" by Kaustabh Joshi, Guy Bunker, Farnham Jahanian, Aard van Moorsel, and Joe Weinman
IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, 2009, DOI 10.1109/DSN.2009.5270350
"Analysis, Modeling, Simulation, and Metrics Tools for Business Process Reengineering"
Enterprise BPR Management Forum, Federal Open Systems Exhibition Conference Workbook, 1995.
"Will Reengineering Replace TQM?"
M. H. Fallah, J. Weinman
Proceedings, IEEE International Conference on Engineering Management, Singapore, 1995.
"Future Prospects for Reengineering"
E. Fuchs, J. Weinman
Second European Organization for Quality Forum on TQM Development: Process Reengineering as Part of the TQM Strategy, Munich, 1995.
"Enabling Technologies for World-class Business Operations"
J. Hsu, R. Kent, J. Weinman
AT&T Technical Journal, January/February 1994.
"A Distributed Applications Architecture for AT&T Manufacturing"
G. W. Arnold, J. Weinman
Computer Communication Technologies for the 90's, Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Computer Communication, J. Raviv, ed., Elsevier Science Publishers, ISBN 0-444-70539-2, 1988.
"Nestable bracketed comments"
ACM SIGPLAN (Special Interest Group on Programming Languages) Notices, Vol. 18, Num. 10, October 1983.

Print Articles

Cover Story: "Telcos: Getting A Head in the Clouds"
BillingOSS Magazine, February/March, 2010

"Telecommunications firms are at various stages of progress regarding the cloud. Some are exploring the strategic implications to their current network access and transport business or even beginning to deploy cloud services. Regardless of where a telco or integrated network and IT provider is on this spectrum, the accelerating transition to cloud computing has transformational ramifications for the industry..."
"Rising Above the Cloud"
BillingOSS Magazine, May/June, 2010

As network/cloud providers begin to pursue the brave new world of cloud computing with end-to-end solutions, billing and OSS systems must support this highly dynamic environment. Various quantities of real and virtualized resources will be allocated and de-allocated to any given customer, not just once a month, but potentially every minute..."
"The Network-Enabled Service Provider Cloud" by David Frattura and Joe Weinman
Enriching Communications: Alcatel-Lucent Business E-Zine: Explore the Cloud, August, 2011

"With the right infrastructure, service providers can deliver differentiated and profitable commercial cloud services from their data centers independently or as a complement to their internal private cloud. It’s a logical step. Cloud services are a natural extension of the virtual private network (VPN) and hosting services service providers offer today. They’re also a huge business opportunity...."
"From the Noughts to the Tens -- Another Decade of Transition"
Global Telecoms Business CEO and CFO Guide to Wholesale and IP Networks: January/February 2010

"Ten years ago, the world watched with concern as the clock struck midnight, ushering in Y2K. Fears were that critical computer systems would fail, bringing down telecommunications networks, power grids, and perhaps even nuclear power plant safety systems...."
"Cloud strategy for communications service providers"
Global Telecoms Business CEO and CFO Guide to Cloud: July/August 2011

"Cloud computing represents a sea change in IT and networks, on par with digital switching systems, the internet and other key developments, writes Joe Weinman. Senior executives must show strong leadership to develop and execute strategy..."
"View from the top: Joe Weinman of HP: How cloud impacts organisation and architecture"
Global Telecoms Business CEO and CFO Guide to Wholesale and IP Networks: September/October 2011

"Cloud is an exciting new technology that is pervasively impacting all aspects of global telecoms businesses: commercial services, internal IT, and network transformation. This is a mixed blessing, since many operators are treating these three areas separately, potentially missing out on opportunities for cost synergies and organisational optimisation. Commercial services offer intriguing potential in solving the perennial issue that carriers face: what will be the next driver of revenue growth? The growth of cloud services means that transport volumes are likely to increase, which holds out at least the possibility for monetisation...."
"What cloud computing means for network providers"
Capacity Yearbook 2010: Future Horizons in Telecommunications

"There is perhaps no topic of greater interest to CIOs today -- or telecommunications companies -- than cloud computing. Cloud computing is inherently network-centric, and represents the latest step in the ongoing evolution of computing architectures for global, network-enabled, large-scale distributed computing..."
"Is Metcalfe's Law Way Too Optimistic?" (PDF)
Business Communications Review, August, 2007

"Is the value of a network really proportional to the square of its size? Or does each new node add limited value?..."
"A New Approach to Search" (PDF)
Business Communications Review, October, 2007

"Search algorithms today are largely based on a common paradigm: link analysis. But they've ignored a mother lode of data: The network..."
"The Evolution of Networked Computing Utilities" (PDF)
Business Communications Review, November, 2007

"What's driving the emerging world of distributed utility computing, and where is it headed?..."
"Is Video Finally Ready for Prime Time?" (PDF)
Business Communications Review, December, 2007
"Bandwidth-hungry videoconferencing may finally be ready. What's on the program guide for the next few years?..."
"When Clouds Yield More Food for Thought" (PDF)
Communications and Media Insights, Spring, 2011

"For the CSP sector, a new game-changing technology - Cloud Computing - is set to rewrite market rules and fuel massive new sector growth at levels never seen before... It is evident that, together, mobility and Cloud Computing are disrupting and forcing change upon business models across a plethora of industry sectors..."

Blog Posts

"Why the 'Stupid Network' Isn't Our Destiny After All"
GigaOM, December 15, 2012

"In the early days of the web, David Isenberg famously predicted the rise of a so-called stupid network with smart endpoints. Joe Weinman, of Telx, argues that instead the network has become “pervasively intelligent” and will only get smarter."
"Why Data Centers Have a Big Impact on the Economy"
GigaOM, October 27, 2012

"Data Centers have come under attack as terminally wasteful and “dirty” enterprises that offer little in the way of jobs Joe Weinman, senior VP at Telx, disputes that, and says in fact they indirectly employee countless thousands across many industries."
"The Power of IT (it's not all in energy consumption)"
GigaOM, September 26, 2012

"In its series on data centers and power the New York Times ignored many of the strides the industry is making toward energy efficiency, but it the bigger problem is that it ignored the potential of the web to reduce our energy consumption."
"If IT Doesn't Matter, Explain Google"
Cloud Connect Blog, July 24, 2012

"IT, in terms of both applications and the infrastructure to run them, is becoming increasingly pervasive in our society, with the cloud playing a larger and larger role. CIOs and business executives understandably need to consider how best to leverage this technology. Is IT just plumbing, as relevant to the strategic needs of the business as, say, parking lot design or lighting fixture selection? Or is it a strategic weapon that when wielded properly can win battles, or even wars, in today’s hyper-competitive global marketplace?"
"Does Cloud Computing Matter?"
Forbes, May 1, 2012

"Cloud computing is top of mind for computer geeks, information technology (IT) providers, web and mobile start-ups, and most CIOs (chief information officers), but should other senior executives care? After all, can CxOs afford to take time out from global growth concerns, foreign corrupt practice allegations, dysfunction in D.C., and other business exigencies merely to immerse themselves in abstruse technology plumbing? To be a leadership priority, “computing” in general and the “cloud” in particular—a network-centric, pay-per-use, on-demand service model for IT—would have to be strategic..."
"Is the Internet Going Down the Tubes?"
GigaOM, June 26, 2012

"I had the good fortune to meet up with Andrew Blum at Structure 2012, who was in San Francisco on a tour for his recently published book, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet. In this brief video, he addresses some of the things he discovered in his global tour of interconnection hubs, landing sites, and other physical components that are part of the vast, yet largely unseen infrastructure that are enabling you to read these words right now..."
"Back to the future at the IEEE TTM"
GigaOM, June 10, 2012

"I recently participated in the second annual IEEE Technology Time Machine symposium in Dresden, Germany, the chip-making center of Europe. In Hong Kong last year, the IEEE’s (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) inaugural TTM event covered chips, devices, networks and systems. This year in “Silicon Saxony,” there were discussions on everything from emerging nanotechnologies to application-layer services. Speakers included such industry leaders and academic luminaries as James Truchard, CEO of National Instruments, and UC Berkeley professor Leon Chua, who correctly postulated a fourth basic fundamental component: the memristor. Here are some highlights from the symposium..."
"2020 via time machine: chips, devices, & tech"
GigaOM, Jun 11, 2011

"I had the privilege of keynoting the inaugural IEEE Technology Time Machine Symposium last week in Hong Kong, where I listened to the world’s leading academics, engineers, executives, and government officials project what the world will look like in 2020. Their predictions were based on revolutionary technologies for processing, sensors, and displays becoming integrated into global systems that can do everything from enhance the human experience to improve environmental sustainability."
"2020 via time machine: networks and systems"
GigaOM, Jun 12, 2011

"Last week’s IEEE Technology Time Machine Symposium brought together leading academics, engineers, executives, and government officials from around the world, to engage in presentations and dialogue regarding the evolution of technology over the next decade. In yesterday’s post, I reviewed some of the insights regarding devices and technologies. Today, we’ll address networks and larger-scale systems such as smart grids."
"The Value of the Cloud"
HP Networking Blog, May 14, 2011

"The topic of cloud economics—or 'Cloudonomics'—continues to be a surprisingly complex one with a diverse set of viewpoints and inconsistent data. I believe that no topic in cloud computing is more important, because without a rock-solid business and financial rationale, no amount of technological sophistication will really matter."
"Cloud Economics and the Customer Experience"
InformationWeek, March 24, 2011

"Businesses must ensure that cloud-enabled applications are tuned for optimal performance by paying close attention to network latency and other details of cloud architecture.

I recently participated in a lively debate that revolved around three primary economic justifications for cloud computing: cost, revenue, and risk. But, there’s a fourth that Web 2.0 firms know all about—the total customer experience..."
"Is Pay-Per-Use for Broadband Inevitable?"
GigaOM.com, December 11, 2010

"Exactly 20 years ago this month, Tim Berners-Lee invented the browser, HTML, and the World Wide Web, but things really took off six years later when America Online switched from pay-by-the minute dial-up to unlimited flat-rate plans, causing usage per sub to more than triple. Recently, however, wire-line and wireless providers are circling back, either trialing or instituting tiered or pay-per-use pricing, and in the world of cloud computing, pay-per-use is touted as a major benefit. Pricing plans may seem like an arcane topic for marketing professionals, but are driving fundamental questions regarding global capital expenditures and the sustainability of the current content and network ecosystem. If pay-per-use prevails, what are the implications on industry structure and new business opportunities?"
"Predictions 2011: If Pay-Per-Use Comes to Broadband, Then What?"
GigaOM.com, December 12, 2010

"In yesterday’s post, I outlined arguments from a much lengthier analysis regarding recent carrier announcements concerning tiered pricing for broadband services. Not only is such pay-per-use a clear trend, but arguably the natural outcome of rational consumer decision-making, as light users actively choose not to subsidize heavy ones by paying for more capital-intensive resources than they use. However, if pricing plans are no longer “unlimited,” but increasingly granular and usage-sensitive, one can predict massive disruptions in the current ecosystem and reversal of some trends of the last few years. However, as with all such shifts, this will create new opportunities and drive new technology breakthroughs. Here are some thoughts on such a future..."
"How Can Carriers Thrive?"
HP Telecom IQ, November, 2010

"In today's macroeconomic maelstrom complicated by rapid technology change, evolving customer needs, and a shifting regulatory environment, how can carriers grow and prosper? Where should they enhance strategic competitive differentiation via internal development of proprietary capabilities, and where should they rely on upstream partners who have a critical mass of expertise and can achieve scale economies by amortizing innovation investments across a wide base of customers? "
"Lazy, Hazy, Crazy: The 10 Laws of Behavioral Cloudonomics"
GigaOM.com, June, 2010

"A couple of years ago, I proposed the 10 Laws of Cloudonomics, an attempt to address the economics of cloud computing. Beyond the cloud, though, neo-classical economics has been augmented in recent years by behavioral economics, where psychological anomalies modulate pure rationality. Indeed, purchasing and adoption of clouds are no less subject to human behavior, hence I offer the 10 Laws of Behavioral Cloudonomics."
"Cloud Computing Could Boost IT Demand"
InformationWeek, May, 2010

"The cloud of ash from Iceland that disrupted travel recently is a sign of substantial, yet largely hidden activity in the Earth's infrastructure. Similarly, the emergence of cloud computing is concealing tectonic shifts in the IT infrastructure business, rearranging relationships between enterprises, service providers, and tech vendors....."
"The Cloud in the Enterprise: Big Switch or Little Niche?"
GigaOM.com, April, 2010

"Cloud computing — where mega-data centers serve up webmail, search results, unified communications, or computing and storage for a fee — is top of mind for enterprise CIOs these days. Ultimately, however, the future of cloud adoption will depend less on the technology involved and more on strategic and economic factors...."
"What If Metcalfe's Law Is Wrong?"
GigaOM.com, March, 2010

"Networks — be they telecom, social, transportation or otherwise — are the fabric of modern society. They provide immense value to consumers and businesses alike, enhancing mutual relationships and enabling the distribution of goods, services and information. But does this value grow as the size of the networks grow? And if so, how much?..."
"Time To Do The Math On Cloud Computing"
InformationWeek, March, 2010

"At the upcoming Cloud Connect conference, we will evaluate a variety of scenarios that determine where and when the move to cloud computing makes financial sense."
"Tuning In to the Big Picture on Video: How Falling Prices Have Created Video Ubiquity"
GigaOm, February, 2010

"With Super Bowl XLIV just hours away, it’s a little late to run out and take advantage of the insane sales on big-screen TVs. But that doesn’t matter as much as it would have a few years ago, as prices have been heading steadily lower not just for displays, but all elements in the video value chain..."
"Hedging Your Options for the Cloud"
GigaOm, December, 2009

"With the second decade of the millennium now just weeks away, I thought I’d offer up some possibilities for the cloud computing market as it continues to evolve. Cloud services — whether infrastructure, platform or software — share similarities with other on-demand, pay-per-use offerings such as airlines or car rentals. But what’s past in those industries may be prologue for the cloud. Here are some key aspects of those services that could become integral to the cloud in the coming decade."
"The Cloud: It's Not Just About the Internet"
VON (Voice of Networks), December, 2009

"While there’s no doubt that Internet access to cloud services such as apps, docs, mail, and CRM is a vital use-case, there are more types of endpoints than browsers, and there is more to networking than the Internet."
"Mathematical Proof of the Inevitability of Cloud Computing"
Cloudonomics.com, November, 2009

"In the emerging business model and technology known as cloud computing, there has been discussion regarding whether a private solution, a cloud-based utility service, or a mix of the two is optimal. My analysis examines the conditions under which dedicated capacity, on-demand capacity, or a hybrid of the two are lowest cost. The analysis applies not just to cloud computing, but also to similar decisions, e.g.: buy a house or rent it; rent a house or stay in a hotel; buy a car or rent it; rent a car or take a taxi; and so forth."
"Compelling Cases for Clouds"
GigaOm, November, 2009

"What are cloud services uniquely good for and why? After all, CIOs aren’t going to leverage online services offered on demand just because they’re available, but for compelling business reasons. There are helpful compilations of use cases (PDF) from a technical viewpoint; here I’ve identified key cloud rationales from a strategic perspective..." Deeper analysis
"Four and a Half Ways to Deal with Data During Cloudbursts"
GigaOm, July, 2009

"Cloudbursting is an approach to handling spikes in demand that overwhelm enterprise computing resources by acquiring additional resources from a cloud services provider. It’s a little like having unexpected houseguests and not enough beds for them to sleep in; some of them will have to be put up in a hotel. While such “peaking through the clouds” promises to maximize agility while minimizing cost, there’s the nagging question of what exactly to do about the data such distributed applications require or generate..."
"Peaking Through The Clouds"
New York Times, GigaOm, June, 2009

"Cloud infrastructure services are particularly good at supporting variable demand and peaks with unpredictable timing or amplitude. Peaks are a challenge for CIOs, because forecasting too low may lead to poor performance or service unavailability, and guessing too high means paying for unneeded capacity. Peaking through clouds, instead of handling peaks with your own resources, can minimize cost while enhancing flexibility..."
"How Clouds Can Complement Consolidation"
GigaOm, June, 2009

"As businesses struggle to remain viable, much less grow, cost management is an imperative. Massive data center consolidation, automation and virtualization can drastically reduce costs — reportedly up to a billion dollars annually, in at least one case. However, money isn’t everything: CIOs need to balance what I’ll call the Six FACETS of IT: Flexibility, Availability, Cost, Experience, Timeliness and Security..."
"McKinsey Cloud Report's Popularity Disproves Its Own Analysis"
Information Week, May, 2009

"The sudden spike of interest in McKinsey's cloud computing report, ironically, demonstrates why the consulting company got its cost analysis wrong. Since the report focused on Amazon EC2, I thought I'd use Amazon's own Alexa web monitoring service to provide data that proves why that's so..."
"Why McKinsey's Cloud Report Missed the Mark"
GigaOm, April, 2009

"Sixty years ago, the first Kinsey Report was released, challenging conventional beliefs and causing consternation in the community. Last week, a McKinsey report did more or less the same thing, showing that for most enterprise customers, moving applications to cloud infrastructure would more than double their total costs..."
"Another Half-Dozen Half-Truths About the Cloud"
GigaOm, April, 2009

"Last week, I reviewed six half-truths of the cloud. Here are six more commonly held views that, while not completely wrong, may not be entirely accurate..."
"Six Half-Truths About the Cloud"
GigaOm, April, 2009

"Is there any subject in IT today with more promise — or more confusion — than cloud computing? Current enthusiasm could have you believing that clouds will be taking over all IT, saving you boatloads of money, and saving the planet..."
"Ten Reasons Why Telcos Will Dominate Enterprise Cloud Computing" (Cached PDF)
On Demand Enterprise, November, 2008

Cloud conference regular and AT&T cloud evangelist Joe Weinman lays out 10 reasons why large, "global integrated service providers" (read: telcos) are better equipped than their Web-centric counterparts to power enterprise cloud computing and cloud services initiatives...
"The Ten Laws of Cloudonomics"
BusinessWeek, GigaOm, September, 2008

Here's what makes public utility cloud services different—and how they can give you a sustainable strategic advantage...
"Is the cloud right for you? Ask yourself these five questions"
GigaOm, August, 2008

"Is cloud computing right for you? For the fledgling startup, the appeal of the cloud is obvious. Given how easily an entrepreneur’s vision can be stymied by a lack of technical and operations expertise, leveraging an Amazon EC2 or Google App Engine could provide the only viable option..."
AT&T and the Future of Convergence
CIO Canada, March 2007.
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