The “Cloud Wars” are not benefiting all companies, as IaaS implementations with the largest providers are failing at shocking rates, according to survey results. Enterprise Management Associates surveyed over 400 professionals about their experiences with IaaS providers (PDF), and found that 88 percent were surprised by at least one unexpected challenge.
Rackspace fared the worst of the major providers, with 63 percent of those who had attempted to implement a public cloud with Rackspace saying the attempt had stalled or failed. AWS did only slightly better, with 57 percent reporting their attempt was unsuccessful, while Microsoft Azure implementation stalled or failed only 44 percent of the time.
Implementations with VMware-based providers were successful for two-thirds of respondents.
Among the commonly experienced but unexpected challenges, confusing and unpredictable price, noisy neighbors, expensive service contracts, downtime, service management learning curve, and scalability were all named by between 33 and 38 percent of those surveyed.
“Stories about successful cloud implementations are captivating, but the reality is that cloud is more complex than many news headlines make it out to be,” Dennis Drogseth, vice president, EMA said. “Companies must be self-aware. Unless they have an experienced staff that can manipulate the mass-market systems of the big providers, they should seek cloud vendors that take a different, personalized approach.”
Despite often being an add-on service, “high quality, highly available” phone support is critical for 98 percent of companies, according to the survey.
Professional services were required to adopt cloud services for 80 percent of respondents, for help with key areas such as security, compliance, and integration.
A drastic price cut by Google, a series of more incremental reductions by AWS, and corresponding moves by Azure have made cloud computing and storage much less expensive than it was even recently.