Every now and again you see a chart that really spins your head around. Last week the Amazon Web Services blog posted a chart of the bandwidth growth of Amazon's utility computing services compared to Amazon's global web sites. The red line representing the data transfer for Amazon S3 and EC2 goes straight up, zooming past Amazon's retail operation in mid-2007 and continuing its word trajectory. There are no numbers quantifying the bandwidth usage, but it's hard not to be impressed with the trend.
I found the charge to a link from James Hamilton of Microsoft, who has years of experience with industrial-strength computing, and sees this as a sign of things to come:
There is no question that cloud computing is going to a big part of the future of server-side systems. What I find interesting is the speed with which this is happening. ... It's unusual for a new model to grow so fast and it's close to unprecedented to see so much early growth in the enterprise. However, when the potential savings are this large, big things can happen.