Cloud research: Is the outlook bright or murky?
From views on security to private clouds, an international survey of datacentre managers has thrown up some intriguing results, says Clive Longbottom.
Quocirca recently completed a research project for Oracle that solicited 919 datacentre managers' views on cloud computing.
Overall, the findings showed there was a positive view of cloud, with just under half stating that cloud would be either an important part of their future IT platform or a complete game-changer.
However, 16 per cent stated that cloud would have no part in their organisation's future at all, or dismissed cloud as a passing fad. That many of these respondents will already be using cloud services for receiving antivirus and application updates, while their employees use such services as Google Maps and LinkedIn, seems to have passed them by.
Cloud security as a show-stopper
Some 40 per cent of respondents stated that cloud security was either a complete show-stopper for them or it was the major issue they felt had to be addressed to make cloud more appealing to them.
At the other end of the scale, more than 25 per cent saw cloud security as being no more of an issue than any other issue with cloud, nearly 25 per cent felt a different approach to cloud security was required, but that this was no big deal, and five per cent felt cloud security was no different to any other IT security issue they had to deal with.
When asked about existing cloud platforms, it was interesting that many respondents were still playing a wait-and-see game. Some 25 per cent stated that they believed an incumbent IT vendor - such as Dell, HP, IBM or Oracle - would come along and usurp current cloud platform providers such as Google and Amazon.
A similar number felt the amount of available cloud platforms provided plenty of options for organisations, with a similar number stating they felt it was too early to make a choice and that cloud had yet to mature sufficiently.
Private cloud opinions
When looking at how respondents viewed the building of private clouds, there was a marked match with where they were already. Those who already had a homogeneous environment - for example, Intel-based Windows - were looking for a cloud platform that was homogeneous.
Those on a heterogeneous platform, such as a mix of Intel-based Windows and Linux, maybe with Risc-based Unix, were looking for a cloud platform that could abstract from the hardware to provide a homogeneous cloud environment at the software level.
The research was carried out across nine different geographies, and the cloud views were most positive in the USA, Germany and Switzerland and the Nordics. The Middle East, Italy and Iberia had the lowest expectations and perceptions of cloud.
The US is in the vanguard because most cloud activity is from vendors based within the USA itself. Germany and Switzerland take an architectural approach to computing, and for many, cloud computing provides...