The state of cloud deployments is a glass-half-empty/glass-half-full thing. On the one hand, businesses are still dealing with only basic goals for cloud deployments. On the other hand, they have plenty of room to grow and enjoy new benefits.
Riverbed Technology, a company that works to improve the performance of networks and networked apps, surveyed users at the recent Amazon Web Services AWS re:Invent conference to find out how companies are using infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
The study has some built-in biases: It was vendor-sponsored and conducted at a conference of companies already committed to IaaS. Still, taken with the proper grain of salt, the survey (which Riverbed says it will have up on its site Tuesday) offers interesting insights.
Nearly all respondents (96%) are engaging in IaaS deployments, and 53% have deployed at least one app. "For those not yet deployed, 83% expect to have at least one app deployed to the public cloud platforms within the next 6 months," according to the study.
State of Cloud Deployment
The high degree of cloud penetration is not surprising at an IaaS conference. But it's a reflection of the industry at large. A CompTIA study found 90% of businesses rely on the cloud.
Testing and development was the top use for web applications (85% of respondents) but was nearly tied by public-facing websites or web applications (84%). Noncritical business apps are being deployed by 79% of respondents, backup archiving by 70%, and business-critical apps by 69%.
The biggest concerns: Reliability (90%), performance (88%), security (86%), and cost (84%).
Biggest Cloud Concerns
The top four goals: Scalability (87%), reduced app deployment time (81%), cost savings (81%), and improve availability (81%).
Top 4 Goals for Using IaaS
Riverbed made several recommendations for companies looking to succeed with IaaS. It recommends that companies engage network, security, and application operations teams early in an IaaS project. Companies also need to build for worst-case user volume and location to avoid scale and latency issues. And they need to map application dependencies, especially between cloud, third-party, and on-premises components.
Reading over the study, I was impressed by how basic companies goals are. Even among the companies that Riverbed surveyed (presumably all early adopters), the primary goals are to cut costs, improve scalability, reduce app deployment time, and improve availability.
Those are all laudable goals, but they're just the beginning of what companies can get from the cloud. They can transform business and achieve new levels of flexibility. They can connect with partners, customers and employees in new ways. They take better advantage of mobile technology and more.
— Mitch Wagner, , Editor in Chief, Internet Evolution