I have run across two very good articles lately that I highly recommend checking out.
The first one is from Sun's Greg Matter, titled The World Only Needs Five Computers. I had to laugh though at a sentence where he states "...hyperscale, pan-global broadband computing services giants". While I understand where he is going with the description, it just reminded me of the dack.com Web Economy Bullshit Generator. Anyway -- I really found it to be an interesting read and it actually made me think twice about my previous stance on the Sun Black Box product. For some reason I still just think of trailer-park like locations around the globe where people park their Black Box up to power and bandwidth.
The second article was Isabel Wang's There's a World Market for Maybe 5 Hosting Providers. I actually think 5 might be pushing it! :) Again....a very good article with some nice insight to the market. I've been around some good size hosting providers and the very small ones and it's very easy to see how the small ones will continue to be assimilated or go out of business.
The HUGE data centers being built now days by Google, Microsoft, HP and others make you wonder if a smaller data center has much place in this continued consolidation of real estate. I liked the analogy to Sam Walton and Walmart made by TW Gardner in Isabel's post. The only thing is that since this is technology-related, the pace of change will inevitably be much faster.