It’s the all new revised fifth edition of the popular real-life fantasy game we call Datacenters and Dragons

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DM (Datacenter Manager): “Through the increasingly cloudy windows of the datacenter you see empty racks and abandoned servers where once there were rumored to be blinking lights and application consoles. Only a few brave and stalwart applications remain, somehow immune to the siren-like call of the Cloud Empire through the ancient and long forgotten secret rituals found only in the now-lost COBOL copybook. As you stand, awestruck at the destructive power of the Empire, a shadow falls across the remaining rack, dimming the few remaining fluorescent lights. It is…a cloud dragon. As you stand, powerless to move in your abject terror, the cloud dragon breathes on another rack and its case dissolves. A huge claw lifts the application server and clutches it to its breast, another treasure to add to its growing hoard. And then, just as you are finally able to move, it reaches out with the other claw and bats aside the operators with a powerful blow, scattering them beyond the now ethereal walls of the datacenter. Then it turns its cloudy eye on you and rears back, drawing in its breath as it prepares to breathe on you. Roll initiative.”

The cries of “Change or die” and “IT is dead” and “cloud is a threat to IT” are becoming more and more common across the greater kingdoms of IT, pitting cloud as the evil dragon that you will either agree to serve as part of a much larger, nebulous empire known as ‘the cloud’ or you’ll find yourself asking “would you like fries with that?”  

According to some industry pundits, cloud computing has already passed from the realm of hype into a technology that is seriously impacting the business of IT. The basis for such claims point to small organizations for whom cloud computing makes the most sense (at least early on) and at large organizations like HP who are reducing the size of their IT staff based on their cloud computing efforts.

IT as we know it, some say, is doomed*.

Yet surveys and research conducted in the past year show a very different story – cloud computing is an intriguing option that is more interesting as a way to transform IT into a more efficient business resource than it is as an off-premise, wash-your-hands of the problem outsourcing option. In fact, a Vanson Bourne survey pdf-icon conducted on behalf of cloud provider RackSpace shows a very different story; at the beginning of 2009 less than 1/3 of small businesses were even considering cloud computing and only 11 percent of UK mid-sized businesses were using cloud as part of their strategy, though more than half indicated cloud would be incorporated in the future.