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IT Prefers Private Over Public Cloud

When enterprise IT managers were asked about their top priorities and concerned about moving enterprise apps to cloud environments, one thing stood out: they prefer private clouds over public clouds.

The survey found -- to no one’s surprise, I’m sure -- that “large enterprises are migrating front-office and back-office applications to the cloud.” So far this year, over a third (39 percent) of enterprises moved their e-mail and collaboration systems to virtual infrastructure; a third moved their IT management apps, and one fifth moved sales and marketing. One-third of respondents predict that they’ve move finance, ERP, or HR applications to the cloud; 23 percent will move their e-mail and collaboration software, and 21 percent expect to move their IT management applications there.

In terms of the “big picture,” 37 percent of companies say that they’ve eventually migrate 61 percent or more of their applications to a private cloud; 6 percent says they’ll move those apps to a public cloud.  Long term, the future isn't bright for public clouds: 51 percent said that no more than 5 percent of their applications will ever move to a public cloud.

One reason for the popularity of private clouds could be that resolving applications in cloud environments is getting harder. Slow application performance was reported by 41 percent as their biggest problem (and was also the most costly problem), followed by “slow time to identify the root cause of issues” (20 percent), multi-tenant storage contention (18 percent), and inter-application shared resource contention (also 18 percent).

The cloud may be a mixed blessing. Moving apps to the cloud is supposed to relieve IT from a variety of tasks and ease responsibility for their maintenance; IT is thus (in theory) freed up to work on higher-priority tasks. Furthermore, the cloud is supposed to give IT “the ability to quickly move a high-priority application to a more optimal resource when performance begins to suffer.” According to a release from Precise, a transaction performance management vendor and the survey’s sponsor, “A majority of the survey respondents (26 percent) report that they expect application performance will improve in the cloud, yet most predicted that it will take longer to pinpoint the causes of problems after applications move to the cloud (37 percent).”

When comparing their virtualizing experience to their expectations, 46 percent cited "About the same cost as expected," and 29 percent said it was "easier to maintain than expected."  Fifteen percent said it was "a lot less expensive than expected," with the same percentage citing "completed faster than expected."  (Multiple responses were allowed for this question.)

The release quotes Zohar Gilad, executive vice president as Precise: “When a problem occurs, virtualization is the enemy of visibility. Compounded with dynamic provisioning in the cloud and server cluster architecture, it's difficult to determine which server, VM, or application instance is to blame when troubleshooting.”

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 09/09/2011 at 11:53 AM