Enterprises See Hybrid Cloud, SDN and IoT as the Future of IT: Survey

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As cloud adoption continues to rise, enterprises with hybrid clouds rose to 20 percent (up from 15 percent last year), and a third of enterprises said the Internet of Things IoT is the single biggest phenomenon to drive future cloud adoption, followed by hyperscale and Software Defined Networking, according to an annual survey released by Canonical.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, surveyed more than 3,000 CIOs, managers, software developers, engineers and others from a wide range of organizations in different sectors. This large sample group sheds light into what enterprise infrastructure looks like, how it’s managed and what it’s being used for.

Canonical also summarized its survey in an infographic.

According to the survey, more than three-quarters of enterprises were deploying workloads to a cloud environment in 2014 (up from 64 percent last year), with 35 percent on private clouds and 23 percent public. Hybrid cloud stands at 20 percent, but is quickly gaining in popularity.

Overall, 55.7 percent of respondents said they expect “significant growth” in their organization’s use of cloud services in the next 12 months. Additionally, 51.9 percent are planning on building private cloud infrastructure, and 40 percent are planning hybrid clouds.

Private Clouds

The most popular platforms for private clouds are Openstack (with 25.3 percent marketshare) and VMWare vCloud (with 17.9 percent). Eucalyptus, Piston and Cloudstack clouds make up a combined 4.8 percent of all private clouds. Two-thirds of OpenStack users are deploying mission-critical functions to it, and nearly half are deploying infrastructure and virtualized environments.

Enterprises see hybrid cloud as a compromise between the cost savings and technical benefits of the public cloud on one hand with the control and security of a private cloud on the other.

Public Cloud and Hybrid Cloud

Enterprise public clouds usage went from 27 percent to 23 percent in the time between last year’s survey and now. This decrease in public cloud suggests that the recent price cuts by major public cloud providers didn’t seem to have had a major impact on public cloud adoption. Still, public cloud plays a key role in hybrid clouds.

Among the most popular public cloud services were Google Cloud (30 percent) and Amazon EC2 (21.1 percent). The next largest cloud service was Microsoft Azure which 6.6 percent of public cloud customers used.


The survey also showed how enterprises are using containerization software Docker. It is being used in a few production environments, but it’s still clearly in its early stages – typically used for databases (49.4 percent of cases) and development/testing applications (44.4 percent).

Cause for Cloud Adoption

IoT is expected to significantly add to the number of connected devices, rising to an estimated 25 billion by 2020, and demanding new cloud approaches to service delivery. However, the second biggest driver of future cloud adoption was evenly divided between hyperscale and SDN, which unlock new possibilities for growing enterprise data volumes and networking respectively.

However, respondents said the largest impediments to cloud adoption is security and data privacy (34.5 percent), cost (26.1 percent) and complexity (22.4 percent). And more than half said cloud privacy and security must be improved to allow for IoT – which is, again, the single biggest driver of future cloud adoption. As always, the future isn’t entirely certain.

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