Cloud Computing, is it the future? .. or
0- One and only future of IT ?
1- Rapid growth ?
2- Security issues ?
3- Top challenge holding back Cloud adoption ?
4- Cloud Strategies ?
0- The one and only future of IT, or just another tool in the box?:
It is generally agreed that cloud computing technology is the future of IT: a research study carried out in July 2010 by Portio Research for Colt, entitled “European CIOs and Cloud Services”, reported that 86% of the 353 European CIOs surveyed believe that cloud services will be the operating method of the future. Some pundits think that cloud computing will entirely replace IT as know it.
However, most users disagree, and regard cloud as just another tool in the box. Forrester Research’s Q3 2010 found that over half of decision makers expected expenditure to stay about the same over the coming twelve months.
Why is this?:
- Cloud Computing is poised for rapid growth:
2012 looks to be the year cloud computing will take off in UK enterprises. In November 2011 Tech:Touchstone surveyed the delegates attending its UK Virtualisation/Cloud Computing Executive Summit. The survey revealed that cloud computing already has a significant share of UK large organization IT budgets: the firms surveyed are now spending 10% of their IT budgets on cloud computing services, and plan to increase that number to 28% in the next 2 years.
However, behind this average 10% figure there are two types or organizations: those that have embraced cloud as an important part of their future strategy and those that are still on the starting blocks. 43% of delegates surveyed were spending less than 1% of their IT budgets on cloud; the remaining 57% were spending on average 18%. The survey also confirmed that making the business case for cloud is becoming easier: earlier this year 60% of delegates at the June 2011 Tech:Touchstone Virtualisation/Cloud Computing Executive Summit with a zero spend on cloud were unsure of the financial benefits of cloud computing; now that figure is down to 27%.
Figure 1 :Top Reasons for zero budgets on cloud computing
2 Security issues dominate firms’ thinking on Cloud:
Many organizations are finding that security is the initial obstacle they must overcome to unlock the benefits of cloud computing. To find out what was holding back the reluctant 43% who had no firm plans for using cloud computing services, we asked them what they were worried about; 67% responded that they had technical or security concerns (See Figure 1).
We conclude that security concerns are a major barrier that hinders and delays firms from entering the cloud world; the survey also confirmed that cloud security is an issue for those already spending IT budget no cloud services. In fact security is the top topic about which both existing adopters and firms new to cloud computing firms seek information and help (See Figure 2).
The survey confirmed that security concerns underlie all firms’ strategies for adopting cloud services. Of the organizations surveyed:
• 69% reported that they had a specific interest in cloud security products and services. Firms are looking to outside expert vendors to help them find the right security solutions to meet their needs.
• 67% of delegates were interested in private cloud services. Private cloud is a solution which has the benefits of cloud technology without the security risks inherent in public cloud, so this confirms the degree to which security is a top concern.
• 46% were interested in hybrid cloud/public cloud services. Private cloud is not seen as the only way forward; almost half of firms would like to use hybrid or public cloud, once they can be convinced that these clouds can be made secure enough for each appropriate application.
• 39% are interested in cloud based communications services. Public cloud-based email, instant messaging, and unified communications (such as Microsoft lync on-line) are all growing in popularity; adequate security is the key to the future take-off of these services.
3- Security issues dominate firms’ thinking on Cloud:
• Risk of data loss. Sensitive data processed outside the enterprise brings with it an inherent level of risk.
• Regulatory compliance issues. Customers are ultimately responsible for the security and integrity of their own data.
• Data location. When you use the cloud, you probably won’t know exactly where your data is hosted.
• Data segregation. Data in the cloud is typically in a shared environment alongside data from other customers.
• Recovery. Ask your provider if it has “the ability to do a complete restoration, and how long it will take”.
• Investigative support. Investigating inappropriate or illegal activity may be impossible in cloud computing.
• Long-term viability. Ideally, your cloud computing provider will never go broke..
4- Performance is overlooked in planning Cloud strategies:
The performance of an application running on a server in the cloud depends on several factors:
- The server capacity allocated to the application. Cloud solutions are often used where the number of end-users is either highly variable or unknown; adequate server capacity is key to providing acceptable response time.
- Server location and application design. The speed of light may seen impossibly fast, but ‘chatty’ applications written with no regard for server location can involved hundreds of messages for every response, and will perform badly if the server is hundreds or thousands of miles away from the end-user.
- Network bandwidth. Inadequate network bandwidth acts as a throttle, requiring packets to queue for delivery. In the case of private clouds, this issue can be solved by providing sufficient network capacity; in public clouds it is more difficult. Public internet performance is highly variable and rarely covered by SLA; however the biggest bottlenecks are at international gateways and users can generally minimise performance issues by using a cloud service provider with a data center in their own country.
5- Plan your Cloud Strategy to suit your business needs:
The time to act is now: all firms should put in place a cloud strategy. We suggest using the following three imperatives to help you plan your cloud strategy:
I hope you liked my post and if you are looking for more information you can check the links I have enclosed,