I've waxed lyrically for a very long time about the distinction between CODB (cost of doing business) vs CA (competitive advantage) in IT, commoditisation of IT and the need for a "national" grid of utility computing resources.
We covered many of these subject in detail, along with 3D printing & worth based development back in Euro 2004.
So it is interesting to see how things have developed since that time and a lot of the new companies arriving on the scene.
There are so many it is difficult to keep track, but I noticed recently this announcement of a SaaSGrid. The concepts seem similar to our Borg system (which we've been using internally since about 2003) and Zimki (which previously was called libapi and internally is known as fish - more on the naming of Zimki.).
A platform you can build another application on, you charge for it with a utility pricing model and you sell it forward with a utility pricing model. Excellent.
Though they don't seem to have launched yet, it is interesting. However, there is one disappointment for me - "do it all without technological lock-in" and "host it with patent pending scaling and reliability technology ...".
The key to generating a true federated grid and avoiding any lock-in, is and has always been an open and free standard (i.e. running code, an open source reference model for implementation which defines the standard). I'm talking at OSCON this year and most of my talk will be on this matter.
The people behind SaaSGrid seem to be Matt and Sinclair from SaaSBlogs. They seem smart enough cookies, and I wish them best of success.
I hope they consider the whole open standards issue of a federated grid, because this is where the real battle will be fought and is it really to everyones interest to create multiple competing standards?