When it comes to IT infrastructure decisions, including the choice of where to host business-critical applications, enterprises are amid a reality check. Enterprise IT leaders know it’s time to move on from the days when computing models were built exclusively on mainframe and client server computing models, but they’re still working out what the next model will actually look like, based on the large-scale adoption of cloud computing.
Many think the next era of computing will be rooted in hybrid infrastructure, in which legacy systems and other on-premise infrastructure integrate and interconnect with cloud-based workloads and applications – multi-sourcing of compute resources. The challenge with predictions is obviously that they are based on opinions and assumptions. So to get to the facts, Interxion and IDG Connect commissioned an independent survey of 625 IT decision-makers across Europe to investigate questions including:
- Will enterprise cloud adoption become a reality in 2015?
- Which cloud adoption model will prevail: public, private or hybrid?
- What percentage of workloads will move to the cloud and which percentage will remain in the data center?
- What will the role of corporate data centers be in the cloud era?
- Will data center outsourcing become more common?
- How will on-premise and cloud-based IT infrastructure be connected?
- What will cloud 2020 look like?
- The results produced findings that demonstrate the importance of the data center in cloud’s evolution.
Clouds Have Waves
According to our survey, 50 percent of enterprises have already adopted cloud models, and 45 percent of those enterprises have deployed a hybrid model, using both a corporate data center and private or public cloud services. By 2016, 85 percent of all enterprises will have adopted cloud services to some extent, with 80 percent of those enterprises choosing a hybrid IT model. Our view is that the first wave of enterprise cloud adoption began with specific applications and workloads, often in an SaaS deployment model. This wave has already happened. Today, we’re in the second enterprise cloud wave that will involve the large-scale transition of workloads to the cloud in the form of IaaS or PaaS. This wave will feature hybrid IT and is expected to happen over the next five years. But as appealing and as likely as a cloud-based future is for enterprises, there are still obstacles to be navigated before widespread adoption.
Resolving Networking Challenges
According to our survey the barriers enterprises face to cloud adoption include security (53 percent) and network performance (47 percent). These inhibitors shouldn’t be surprising. Whenever enterprises have to sacrifice control over their information to another party, as they do when they rely on the cloud, they’re going to be concerned about compromising security and performance. However, the big question isn’t really, “What problems are holding up cloud adoption?” but rather, “How can enterprises resolve these networking issues?” The survey clearly shows that there would be a 69 percent increase in cloud-based workloads if these networking issues could be resolved. Private connection services such as AWS Direct Connect, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute or IBM Direct Link are likely catalysts for cloud adoption as they can resolve networking issues.
The Role of the Data Center is Changing
Data centers are becoming the connection point between traditional IT and various cloud platforms, and colocation data centers are increasingly being recognized by enterprise IT departments as the ideal locations to build their hybrid IT solutions. Colocation facilities offer a combination of connectivity options, such as private connections to the major cloud platforms, Internet, IP Peering (via Internet Exchanges) and access to all major WAN providers and local and international private cloud providers within the facility. This connectivity and cloud-rich environment simplifies the task of enterprise IT departments to architect their own hybrid IT solutions.
Hybrid IT is the next wave of computing and will continue to drive enterprise IT architecture in the next five years. European enterprises will continue to “drive in the middle lane” mixing tried-and-trusted deployment models and a (large) number of cloud platforms, dynamically assigning workloads to the most appropriate deployment model.