Public Cloud Not Widely Used -- Yet

by Sean Michael Kerner

A new Cisco sponsored study of public cloud computing usage found deployments are still in the early stages, as security and stability top the list of concerns.

More on virtualization technology and public cloud

The cloud is a topic that is top of mind for many in enterprise IT, but how widely is it actually being deployed now? Networking vendor Cisco this week issued a pair of separate studies looking at cloud and virtualization deployments which may shed some light.

According to the new Cisco Connected World global study of IT professionals in 13 countries, only 18 percent of global respondents indicated that they are actually now using cloud computing in any capacity. Digging deeper into specific geographies shows that different countries have higher rates of cloud adoption. Brazil and Germany top the list for cloud penetration, with both countries tied at 27 percent. India follows at 26 percent, and the United States comes in at 23 percent.

Cisco's Connected World report also asked about intentions, and that's where the future looks brighter for cloud computing. Approximately 88 percent of survey respondents said they have plans to use the cloud to store some portion of their enterprise application and data inside of the next three years.

The Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) issued its own report based on responses from a separate survey of 43 enterprises in the United States, Europe and India. According to the IBSG study, Cisco is forecasting that 12 percent of enterprise workloads will be running on a public cloud by 2013. In total, Cisco is projecting the total value of the public cloud computing services market to be worth approximately $44 billion.

Underlying the move to cloud infrastructures is the use of virtualization technology, which is a topic examined in the Connected World report.

"We know that virtualization is a big deal, but we wanted to know what percentage of production environments were actually virtualized," Craig Huitema, director of data center solutions at Cisco told InternetNews.com. "Interestingly enough two-thirds of respondents said that less than half of their environment is actually virtualized."

The top inhibitor to more widespread adoption of virtualization noted by respondents was security, which topped the list at 20 percent. Following in second was stability of virtualized environment at 18 percent, while 16 percent noted that difficulties in building operational processes for virtualized environment was an inhibitor.

"There are all sort of questions that ultimately impact the stability of a virtualized environment and the ability to troubleshoot," Huitema said.

In terms of why global enterprises are deploying virtualization, return on investment is a key driver.

"The expectation is that people will be saving significant dollars through the use of server virtualization," Huitema said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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This article was originally published on Thursday Dec 9th 2010
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