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The first is the cloud as a model, or the private cloud which offers an environment that is virtualized, consolidated, programmable, automated and green, but is in-house and not in a shared public cloud infrastructure.
The second, he said, is the cloud as a supplement, a model that lets companies add new capabilities at a cheaper cost compared to on-premise systems. Using the cloud to supplement IT is low risk, requires no capital outlay or new staff, saves money and is attractive in a rough economy.
The cloud as a replacement is the third cloud computing model, and the model in which all infrastructure moves to the cloud. Currently, large companies are still working toward the cloud as a replacement model, but it is being adopted by some smaller companies.
Fourth is the cloud as a democratizer model, where everyone is essentially an IT guy in which users can leverage the cloud their own way.
And lastly, Carr said, the fifth model is the cloud as a revolution when IT and business processes align to create a solid and sustainable cloud computing ecosystem.
Overall, Carr told the COMDEXvirtual crowd during his keynote, the cloud is a framework for innovation and has become a disruptive technology. And its path will continue in coming years. While he doesn't advise diving head first into cloud computing, it's wise to investigate and strategize now to prepare for the cloud boom. Failure to take the cloud seriously, he warned, could have dire consequences for both IT suppliers like VARs and IT consumers which could risk being left at a competitive disadvantage.
"Do you want to be the disruptor or the disrupted?" Carr asked. "Certainly I think we can all agree that at the very least it's much more fun to be the disruptor and not be the disrupted."
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