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Cisco Live Snapshot: Cloud Computing Adoption Surges Ahead

Cloud Benefits Clear Despite Debate Over Definitions Shows Network Instruments Onsite Survey

According to a survey conducted during Cisco Live, 71 percent of organizations have implemented some form of cloud computing, despite an unclear understanding as to the actual definition of the technology. From the exhibition floor, Network Instruments polled 184 network engineers, managers, and directors and found:

Widespread Cloud Adoption: Of the 71 percent having adopted cloud computing solutions, half of these respondents deployed some form of private cloud. Forty-six percent implemented some form of Software as a Service (SaaS), such as SalesForce.com or Google Apps. Thirty-two percent utilize Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. A smaller number (16 percent) rely on some form of Platform as a Service (PaaS), such as Microsoft Azure and SalesForce.com's Force.

Meaning of the Cloud Debatable: The term "cloud computing" meant different things to respondents. To the majority, it meant any IT services accessed via public Internet (46 percent). For other respondents, the term referred to computer resources and storage that can be accessed on-demand (34 percent). A smaller number of respondents stated cloud computing pertained to the outsourcing of hosting and management of computing resources to third-party providers (30 percent).

Real Gains Realized: The survey asked those who had implemented cloud computing to discuss how performance had changed after implementation. Sixty-four percent reported that application availability improved. The second area of improvement reported was a reduction in the costs of managing IT infrastructure (48 percent).

Technology Trouble Spots: While several respondents indicated their organizations saw definite gains from the technology, others observed network performance stayed the same or declined. Sixty-five percent indicated that security of corporate data declined or remained the same, compared to 35 percent that saw security improvements. With regards to troubleshooting performance problems, 61 percent reported no change or faced increased difficulty in detecting and solving problems.

"With proper planning and tools to ensure visibility from the user to the cloud provider, Cisco Live attendees are successfully deploying cloud services," said Brad Reinboldt, product marketing manager at Network Instruments. "I was a bit surprised by the number of companies lacking tools to detect and troubleshoot cloud performance issues, as they risk running into significant problems that jeopardize any cost savings they may have initially gained."

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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