Hybrid Clouds Floating To Enterprise Forefront

At the Cloud Computing Conference and Expo, speakers raise the prospect of private clouds working with public clouds.
The top barrier to using the public cloud is the issue of security, with concerns of regulatory compliance thrown in, he noted. Unisys is offering both consulting and a "cloud-in-a-box" approach to helping clients establish private clouds. Unisys announced Monday a Secure Private Cloud Solution to become available in December and complement its Secure Cloud Solution, aimed at public clouds and launched earlier this year.

The Secure Private Cloud Solution will take the protections Unisys offers for operation in the public cloud and "put them in an appliance form factor" for use behind the corporate firewall. A hybrid cloud version of the product will appear in the first quarter of 2010, Gross said.

The Secure Private Cloud Solution seeks to not only implement a virtual private network for the movement of data in encrypted form, but also "to cloak your data" from prying eyes, except to those authorized to see it. "Even if someone removes a complete disk, there's not a byte that can be read" except by an authorized person, he said.

Unisys has a consultant workforce of 3,000 worldwide to offer Cloud Transformation Services, including, current state assessment, design and planning, installation and application migration into a private cloud computing environment.

"We can help manage a private cloud in your data center (monitoring as a service). We can monitor, resume and restore (in case of a failure) applications," he said.

The third speaker was Agatha Poon, Yankee Group analyst for the cloud, who said that despite the keen interest in Amazon's EC2 public cloud, most companies would prefer to do their cloud computing behind the firewall in a private cloud. She asked the audience for a show of hands of how many had implemented a private cloud, and at most 2 or 3 raised hands were raised.

The lack of implementation is not a measure of lack of interest, she continued. "Enterprise IT no longer believes cloud computing is hype. Instead, they believe that it's an evolving concept that will take years to mature," she said.

More than half of large enterprises, up to 57-58%, according to a chart shown by Poon, prefer the prospect of the private cloud to public cloud computing. Small business isn't far behind in the same preference, with roughly 47% saying they want their cloud computing to be done in a private cloud.

Nevertheless, IT budgets already show a shift toward the cloud. The Yankee Group this fall asked representatives of enterprises and small businesses about their plans to take up cloud computing, either as software as a service, platform as a service, or infrastructure as a service, over the next 12 to 24 months.

Over the next 12-24 months, those spending less than one-third of their budget on cloud resources will decline from 91% to 75%. Conversely, those spending more than a third of their budget will grow to 25% of respondents, she said. The current total that says they will spend a third of their budget on cloud services is 9%.

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