Cloud Computing: The Gaps Between Meets and Needs

By Vince DiMemmo (Part 4 of a 4-part series)

Mind the Gap – Where Demand is Being Met and Where It Is Not

Integration of private clouds not being addressed by cloud providers

The biggest gap revealed by our survey is the increasing attention being placed by enterprise on cloud middleware. This does not appear high on the agenda of cloud providers. Aligned to a strong interest in private cloud this shows an increasingly serious engagement with cloud by enterprise where clearly interoperability between cloud and traditionally served applications is of importance.

The growth in enterprise cloud usage will be dictated by a cloud provider’s ability to offer PaaS type infrastructure services in the form of private, secure cloud with strong middleware and integration capabilities for applications within the heterogeneous enterprise environment.

The ability to deliver private clouds directly into the enterprise backbone in an integrated fashion will be key to cloud providers capitalizing on an increasing desire of enterprise to make use of cloud. Being able to leverage Ethernet exchanges and latching into MPLS networks and VPNs will be an essential component in bringing cloud services to the enterprise.

Choice will also be important to enterprise so that they may properly manage technology risk and make reasoned decisions on which network, cloud and XaaS provider they use for a given purpose.

New cloud product offerings will recognize concerns over network performance

An area where the gap is recognized by both cloud provider and enterprise respondents is common concern over general network performance of cloud offerings.

As a pressure point recognized by both supply and demand sides, we predict an increased tiering of cloud provider products to include guaranteed resource allocations at the network layer.

This goes beyond the common CPU, Memory and Disk flexibility of common current cloud offerings. With latency increasing top of the agenda, service providers will need to look at their fundamental delivery architectures to ensure that cloud customers can map latency sensitive applications into cloud platforms.

What is common practice in high performance financial services applications will become increasingly applied to enterprise and mission critical line of business applications.

Enterprise will increasingly become the centre of the cloud economy

Our results still show a heavy leaning of cloud providers to state ‘other’ as their primary customers which can be read as cloud providers serving consumer and small-medium sized companies with enterprise customers landing in second-place.

We see this as an indicator of high value growth potential in enterprise-class cloud services, in contrast to more commodity offerings to smaller businesses, web providers and software development companies. Enterprise will ultimately drive choice and standardization in cloud services.

Opportunities exist for system integrators to assess the deployment of latency sensitive applications

As we predict enterprise cloud services to experience growth through a focus by software, infrastructure and integrators, our analysis showing that latency remains a top enterprise issue suggests that a very specific niche exists for systems integrators.

Differing applications have differing requirements regarding network performance, and require careful mapping to deployment architecture.

With clouds offering differing geographic reaches, network backbones and content delivery topologies, specific care needs to be taken when deploying an application in the clouds.

The demands of a medical imaging application, for example, is entirely different from that of a private investor trading platform, or an enterprise resource planning system for a global franchise.

As rigorous techniques are developed to map application requirements into cloud deployments, systems integrators will capitalize on the growth of enterprise services in the cloud.

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