A new forecast from IDC illustrates the double-edged sword that is cloud computing, and it’s certain to cheer up HP, Dell and other big server vendors. While the cloud has the potential to vastly reduce the number of physical — and often underutilized — computer servers and data centers, in the near term its growth will drive up hardware sales. IDC predicts that public cloud server spending will reach $718 million in 2014 from $582 million in 2009. But that’s peanuts compared to the $5.7 billion in sales private clouds will generate in 2014 (from 2.6 billion in 2009).
That’s a lot of servers! But as InfoWorld’s David Linthicum points out, ultimately this initial burst will settle into a cloudy future of energy efficient, server-lite IT infrastructures. Just don’t expect that to start to happen until the tail end of the 2010’s and early 2020’s.
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