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Enterprises Seek Multi-Cloud Approach to IT, Cloud Competition Remains Fierce: Report

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With nearly all organizations running cloud applications or experimenting with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, larger enterprises remain cautious when it comes to cloud adoption and are looking for strategies for adopting cloud that incorporate varying combinations of public, private, and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

This is one of the key findings of the annual “State of the Cloud Survey” from cloud automation and control software provider RightScale. More than 1,000 organizations were surveyed, roughly a quarter of whom were companies with more than 1,000 employees.

Compared to smaller organizations that may be able to rely on a single public or private cloud to provide most of their IT needs, larger enterprises often have more complex requirements and see hybrid and multi-cloud implementations as an end goal. Among enterprise respondents, 74 percent have a multi-cloud strategy, and nearly half (48 percent) are planning for hybrid clouds.

Although more enterprises are adopting cloud solutions, only a little more than half of them have defined the business value they want to get from cloud initiatives or outlined their security policies. And even fewer enterprises have defined policies for choosing cloud services, made disaster recovery plans, or implemented cost management strategies.

This indicates that many enterprises may actually be moving forward with cloud services without necessarily being prepared.

However, the challenges of cloud security decline as cloud solutions mature and IT departments learn more about cloud security features and best practices.

Additionally, organizations are finding more benefits from being about to deploy different types of workloads in the cloud. Test and development applications are the most likely applications to be deployed on the cloud, followed by customer web apps, internal web apps, batch processing, and mobile apps.

Next-Gen IT: Cloud, DevOps, and Self-Service

According to RightScale’s report, cloud adoption is part of the next-generation corporate IT formula that includes cloud, self-service, and DevOps. Self-service allows end users to provision their own services and attempt to solve their own problems. DevOps is basically an approach to software development that increases collaboration between operations teams and developers.

The Public/Private Cloud Leaderboard

AWS continues to be the most popular public cloud among respondents with 54 percent of respondents currently running applications on it. The second most used cloud, Rackspace Public Cloud, was only used by 12 percent of respondents.

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Public cloud adoption, however, is radically different between larger enterprises and smaller organizations. AWS remains in first place across both segments, but SMBs are more likely to use Rackspace or Google App Engine, and enterprises tend to use VMware vCHS and Azure.

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Private cloud is even more competitive than last year, and IT departments still have a difficult decision to make between open-source solutions (ie. OpenStack) and proprietary solutions (ie. VMware). Compared to last year, OpenStack adoption went up while VMware vCloud Director showed declines. Still, VMware vSphere remains the most popular private cloud technology, followed by vCloud Director, Microsoft System Center, and OpenStack.

This year’s State of the Cloud Survey paints a picture of a cloud marketplace that’s gaining maturity, but IT departments are still confronted with difficult decisions about their cloud strategy.

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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