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FCW : November and December 2014
65 > organization to field calls from the internal users,” Kottas says. “ IT managers really don’t want the workers calling the service provider. The organization will need an IT staff that can determine if an issue is a software failure or something that the cloud service provider needs to take care of. Everything will still funnel through the IT department.” Growing Interest The flexibility that IaaS provides is fueling a growing interest in cloud services. Mark Bowker, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), says recent research conducted by his firm found that 33 percent of IT managers surveyed use IaaS, while another 27 percent plan to use it and 21 percent are very interested in IaaS. These IT managers have good reason to view IaaS favorably. Bowker says potential use cases for IaaS include providing remote backup and replication, supporting the computing and storage resource requirements for short-term test and development activities and even accommodating temporary, event- driven spikes or peak workloads. “ Let’s say the marketing department wants to launch a new campaign,” he says. “ With IaaS, they can consume computing resources on a temporary basis and then simply pay for what they use during the project.” Getting Started Bowker says it’s unrealistic to think that most organizations will transfer all of their infrastruc ture resources to the cloud overnight. He says most organizations will start slowly, building up confidence as they move forward. For starters, he says, any part of an organization that needs temporary access to resources for testing and developing applications makes a good candidate for IaaS. “The IT staff no longer has to worry about racking and stacking, servers needing new disk drives, or HVAC power and cooling issues or wiring and cabling,” Kottas says. “All of that is gone.” The flexibility that IaaS delivers also extends to budgeting. Moving IT infrastruc ture to the cloud reduces the capital expenditures an organization must make (it no longer has to buy servers and storage and networking hardware) and instead moves budgeting for IT to an operational expense. Many organizations also find significant cost savings in the cloud, as they purchase only the capacity they need. Anil Desai, an independent consultant who specializes in cloud computing and virtualization technology, says that while cost reductions can be significant, the real gains are in agility, flexibility and the ability of the organization to scale. He says IaaS appeals to IT managers because organizations can do more with the same resources — and focus more on the mission. “ Instead of working on servers and networking equipment, the internal IT staff can focus on deploying new applications, integrating systems and improving the organization’s web applications,” Desai says. “ That’s where the IT department really adds value.” VMware’s Kottas agrees, pointing out that as organizations move to IaaS, the IT staff becomes a broker; the IT department manages support of IT services. “ It still makes sense for the IT A HOST OF APPLICATIONS The vast majority of IT managers surveyed by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) plan to use Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, in some form in the years ahead. Among organizations currently using IaaS, the research group found that data protection ranks as the most common IaaS application. Mark Bowker, a senior analyst at ESG, says 44 percent of the 562 IT managers surveyed store backup and archive data in the cloud or use these services as offsite disaster recovery targets. And 43 percent of IT managers say they use IaaS for test and development environments, mainly because buying extra hardware and software licenses for that purpose can be inefficient. Other uses of IaaS that were cited by IT managers include: ¡ 37% Facilitate business intelligence/analytics ¡ 36% Function as primary storage for files ¡ 35% Run web servers ¡ 33% Provide an additional resource to accommodate spikes in workload ¡ 33% Run internal production applications ¡ 30% Use as temporary computing resources for temporary projects ¡ 28% Leverage for high-performance or scientific applications ¡ 27% Conduct application bursting SOURCE: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2014 Public Cloud Computing Trends, March 2014 CDWG.com | 800.808.4239 64-67 GSO145298.indd 2 9/23/14 11:37 AM