He added: "This is an extraordinary convergence. The last time we had this kind of convergence was in the late 80s early 90s when it became possible to write applications on a Windows desktop and then publish them to a Windows server."
Convergence is not only happening at the software layer, but also at the infrastructure layer. Shuttleworth pointed OpenStack as an example of how private cloud vendors are collaborating together to make it easier for end users to essentially plug and play different components.
In the case of Ubuntu, the platform running on phones is the same one that is running in the cloud, so there is a possibility that some of the workloads will eventually be condensed down to run on ultra-lightweight hardware.
"There is a real interest in the industry to see whether some of the economic benefits that we've seen at the edge of the network cloud move to the centre of the network as well," said Shuttleworth.
He added that in many cases the real economics are not governed by the horsepower of the machine at the centre, but by the balance of storage I/O with CPU capabilities and network I/O. It is therefore likely that the ecosystem at the heart of the data centre will also become more open over the next five years.
"The industry has learnt from mistakes it has made in the past -- none of us want to opt into a walled garden. If you trap users in an environment, you lose," he concluded.
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