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Could Resource-as-a-Service be the Next Big Thing?

Cloud computing is going through interesting times of innovation. First we saw Software-as-a-Service where software was no more installed on the machine it was used on; then came along Infrastructure-as-a-Service, which recognized the need for scalable infrastructure at a fraction of the cost. But newer models of cloud computing are being dreamed up, and the latest to join the ranks is Resource-as-a-Service.

The need for Resource-as-a-Service

The idea of resources delivered as a service was first presented in a recent research paper by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The key understanding to RaaS is that the time of technology ownership is reducing drastically. Whereas earlier companies used to invest in infrastructure and hold it for years, this has now come down to a few months, thanks to cloud computing. The research poses an interesting question – can we achieved greater efficiency by reducing the ownership time even further?

A new look at resources

RaaS leads us into an era where computer resources are also treated as commodities. So you’ll be able to buy computing power, machine cycles (a nanosecond each), storage memory, RAM, as well as other I/O resources as needed. But how are the resources going to be distributed in a complex scenario? The research paper explains that the business model will simulate a free market where the economic forces of supply and demand will determine who gets how many resources. Companies will get a baseline of resources, as well as what the research calls “economic agents” that will work to optimize acquisition and use of resources.

While still in its early stages, RaaS represents another key-shift in how we see technology and resources.