Moving to the Cloud? Now What?
Insights from a cloud survey
September 23, 2011
Zohar Gilad
Share this

Given all the talk about virtualization and cloud computing these days, and the number of vendors promoting related products, it should come as no surprise that enterprise companies are rapidly migrating applications to virtual and cloud environments. A recent survey of IT managers in North America, conducted by Precise, revealed that 41 percent of companies have migrated sales and marketing, HR, finance and/or ERP applications to the cloud this year. Participants told us that they would continue their aggressive push to the cloud next year.

Here are a few highlights:

• In 2011, 39% of organizations moved email and collaboration systems to virtual infrastructure, followed by IT management (33%) sales & marketing (20%) finance/HR/ERP (21%) and security (13%).

• In 2012, 33% of respondents report that they will move finance/ERP /HR applications to the cloud, followed by e-mail and collaboration software (23%) and IT management applications (21%).

Given the public perception that security and reliability are weaker in the public cloud, enterprises are favoring private clouds today and in the near future, according to our survey. Eventually, 37% of companies say they will migrate 61% or more of their applications to a private cloud environment, while only 6% of companies will do the same on a public cloud service.

This is all positive news. In a volatile global economy, virtualization and cloud computing offers enhanced agility, scalability and efficiencies for companies needing to do more with less. As the virtualization and cloud industry has matured, there are now many flavors and service providers to choose from, as dictated by your unique needs and budget. Many companies expect that after migrating, they will have more flexibility to meet business objectives and will also save money on capital investments and staff. These are valid expectations, which have already proven out in companies large and small in the past few years.

It's not all rosy, of course. The cloud is still a new infrastructure, one which is much more dynamic and flexible compared with older, static networks, physical servers and rigid legacy applications. The cloud can create more complexity and risk if an organization is unprepared to manage security, reliability, and transaction performance through the various physical and virtual layers. Because of the nature of dynamic provisioning in the cloud and server cluster architecture, it's difficult to determine which server, VM, or application instance is to blame when troubleshooting issues.

Another potential pitfall is that the shared-resource model of the cloud can become a double-edged sword. The cloud architecture can save costs through optimization of resources, yet it also increases the chances of resource contention by orders of magnitude. Your slow application may be a result of someone else's app residing on the same server or sharing the same storage pool.

The survey found that IT's number-one virtualization concern is maintaining performance and being able to effectively troubleshoot problems. After slow performance (41%), the second leading problem of managing applications in the cloud is slow time to identify the root cause of issues. This is a tough balancing act for the CIO, who needs to deliver IT agility for the business, yet at the same time deliver adequate protection for data and applications. IT service delivery folks are increasingly looking at products and services that will help run critical applications in production. It's kind of like buying insurance -- you really need it when you’re talking about high-priority business applications.

Application management technology must step up for cloud computing. It needs to see through all the virtual layers where there is constant change from moving VMs and contention on resources. The only answer is automation -- at a much grander and faster pace than in the past. It is the win-win-win for CIOs: agile provisioning, lower cost, and reliable applications.

About Zohar Gilad

Zohar Gilad is Executive Vice President, Products, Marketing and Channels at Precise Software. Before joining Precise, Zohar held several senior executive positions with Mercury Interactive, acquired by HP in 2006. At Mercury, Zohar drove expansion into new markets, creating new product categories: Load Testing, Quality Management, Application Management, and finally Business Technology Optimization. From 2000-2003, as the General Manager of the Application Management business unit, he helped grow the business from $0 to about $100M a year. Prior to joining Mercury, Zohar held software development positions at IBM and Daisy Systems.

Related Links:

Share this

The Latest

September 29, 2020

More than 80% of organizations have experienced a significant increase in pressure on digital services since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study conducted by PagerDuty ...

September 28, 2020

In Episode 9, Sean McDermott, President, CEO and Founder of Windward Consulting Group, joins the AI+ITOPS Podcast to discuss how the pandemic has impacted IT and is driving the need for AIOps ...

September 25, 2020

Michael Olson on the AI+ITOPS Podcast: "I really see AIOps as being a core requirement for observability because it ... applies intelligence to your telemetry data and your incident data ... to potentially predict problems before they happen."

September 24, 2020

Enterprise ITOM and ITSM teams have been welcoming of AIOps, believing that it has the potential to deliver great value to them as their IT environments become more distributed, hybrid and complex. Not so with DevOps teams. It's safe to say they've kept AIOps at arm's length, because they don't think it's relevant nor useful for what they do. Instead, to manage the software code they develop and deploy, they've focused on observability ...

September 23, 2020

The post-pandemic environment has resulted in a major shift on where SREs will be located, with nearly 50% of SREs believing they will be working remotely post COVID-19, as compared to only 19% prior to the pandemic, according to the 2020 SRE Survey Report from Catchpoint and the DevOps Institute ...

September 22, 2020

All application traffic travels across the network. While application performance management tools can offer insight into how critical applications are functioning, they do not provide visibility into the broader network environment. In order to optimize application performance, you need a few key capabilities. Let's explore three steps that can help NetOps teams better support the critical applications upon which your business depends ...

September 21, 2020

In Episode 8, Michael Olson, Director of Product Marketing at New Relic, joins the AI+ITOPS Podcast to discuss how AIOps provides real benefits to IT teams ...

September 18, 2020

Will Cappelli on the AI+ITOPS Podcast: "I'll predict that in 5 years time, APM as we know it will have been completely mutated into an observability plus dynamic analytics capability."

September 17, 2020
One of the benefits of doing the EMA Radar Report: AIOps- A Guide for Investing in Innovation was getting data from all 17 vendors on critical areas ranging from deployment and adoption challenges, to cost and pricing, to architectural and functionality insights across everything from heuristics, to automation, and data assimilation ...
September 16, 2020

When you consider that the average end-user interacts with at least 8 applications, then think about how important those applications are in the overall success of the business and how often the interface between the application and the hardware needs to be updated, it's a potential minefield for business operations. Any single update could explode in your face at any time ...