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Research Report - End-User
Demystifying Cloud
Date: 01/08/2013 Length: 35 pages Cost: $795.00

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Abstract:
Narrowing and ultimately closing the gap between enterprise IT and the business has been a core challenge for decades. Private cloud is the "delivery vehicle" that ultimately will enable enterprise IT to bridge this divide and equip the entire organization with the agility and efficiency required to better compete in the marketplace. 

This Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) research report examines how small, medium, and large enterprises across industries have implemented private cloud technologies to deliver business value. Observing the roles of IT operations staff, application developers, and business stakeholders throughout this process provides a unique perspective on customer requirements and challenges. Cloud today constitutes a central platform, where IT operations staff provision building blocks (software and hardware), which then are consumed by application developers and business stakeholders. The more easily developers and line of business staff can take advantage of these building blocks, the better they will be able to turn IT into a competitive differentiator for the entire organization.

While a growing number of application developers and business users are taking advantage of cloud today, there are still significant roadblocks on the journey of turning IT into a true differentiator. The study found a surprising lack of integration of private cloud technologies with existing IT management systems. This deficit can quickly lead to technology silos, where private cloud adds to the existing datacenter complexity instead of providing a consolidation and unification layer.

For a significant share of enterprises, the lack of private cloud integration planning has led to budget overruns and longer than anticipated durations of private cloud implementation projects. As a result, ease of use and ease of implementation are todayís core requirements when it comes to evaluating private cloud technologies.

This EMA research report identified security, storage, and a general lack of datacenter automation as the critical challenges of private cloud. The ability of private cloud vendors to help customers overcome these challenges will be key. Further lessons from this research are:

- Multi-hypervisor strategies are real and fueled by private cloud adoption
- The public cloud constitutes the third most common hypervisor and must therefore be governed by the private cloud
- Workload portability and cloud bursting are becoming more and more critical
- Converged infrastructure is becoming more popular as a foundation for cloud

The Demystifying Cloud research project provides guidance to organizations considering the purchase of cloud technologies, by allowing them to learn from the lessons of enterprises that already have been through the initial release of their private cloud deployment. Private cloud technology vendors may find this research interesting, as it will help them better understand customer pain points and therefore provide inspiration for their product roadmap.
Author:

Torsten Volk, Former EMA Analyst

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