Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) new Elastic Block Computing initiative raises the bar for what will be possible with cloud computing. And when you think about how much more efficient this technology is compared to that in use by traditional data centers, it's obvious that companies like Amazon and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) have a huge advantage compared to incumbents like AT&T (NYSE:T).
Amazon's EBC is a very cool way of achieving storage in the network cloud: it preserves the "instance" when data is retrieved or a transaction executed, so that the instance can be re-used without the database being queried again. I'm thinking of it as a sort of cache-in-the-cloud.
Add EBC to part of Amazon's existing cloud operation -- EC2, which resizes computing capacity based on need, and suddenly there's a virtue in not being tied to legacy data centers (and legacy enterprise customers for that matter). The true potential of the cloud will become realized when the benefits of sharing can be distributed throughout the entire computing chain. First it was server and software. Now, it's storage.