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Cloud challenges explored

Iland has published the findings of a new global survey conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) and commissioned by iland. The survey findings, reported in a study entitled, ‘Casualties of Cloud Wars: Customers Are Paying the Price,’ reveal that ‘while tech giants fight cloud wars, customers are suffering from overwhelming cloud failure rates and multiple unexpected challenges.’

The survey asked more than 400 professionals across the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific to share their experiences with IaaS providers. The majority of respondents reported experiencing challenges and failures, ‘though they continue to soldier on in the cloud’. IT is moving forward with cloud because without it, keeping pace with the innovation needed to remain competitive in most industries is nearly impossible.

Key survey findings include:

  • Respondents used an average of three cloud vendors, indicating an ongoing effort to find the ‘right’ cloud solution, risk mitigation policies that require the diversification of providers, department-level fragmentation, and no pressing need to standardise on a single vendor.
  • In addition to commonly discussed cloud benefits like cost and rapid scalability, 49 percent of respondents view disaster recovery as a key advantage to hosting workloads in the public cloud.
  • Customers of VMware vCloud-based service providers report the highest success (67 percent) and lowest failure rates (33 percent), defined as stalled or unsuccessful (tried but failed) adoption.
  • Public cloud customers of Rackspace reported the highest failure rates (63 percent), followed by Amazon Web Services (57 percent) and Microsoft Azure (44 percent).
  • 88 percent of respondents experienced at least one unexpected challenge. At the top of the list were pricing challenges stemming from complex pricing models and hidden fees that can rapidly counteract the cost-savings benefit of cloud. Performance issues, which can be experienced with some cloud platforms, were also concerning.
  • 80 percent of respondents reported that they required some amount of professional services to get started in the cloud in key areas like: security/compliance (57 percent), integration with existing data centre services (47 percent) and disaster recovery planning (45 percent).
  • Better VMware vSphere integration was cited as a requirement by 45 percent of respondents. Lack of integration can vastly complicate management of both a VMware on-premise environment and a differing public cloud platform.
  • 46 percent noted the need for improved virtual machine scaling and resource scalability capabilities. Scalability, both of individual VMs and the entire cloud footprint, is core to the promise of cloud but far from straightforward in most clouds.
  • 52 percent of respondents expressed the need for better management dashboards. Currently, many public cloud vendors do not provide visibility into detailed real-time and historical data on performance and billing, complicating the management of public clouds and associated budgets.
  • 98 percent agreed that high quality, highly available phone-based support is critical to their cloud implementations. Many public clouds offer separate, costly support contracts that both surprise customers and negatively impact cost reduction goals.
  • APAC, EMEA and US respondents agree (97 percent) that targeting workloads toward data centres in specific regions for compliance and data sovereignty is important or very important. This, too, is offered at a premium with most clouds.
  • 43 percent of respondents called for more transparent pricing, emphasising the challenge of inscrutable and multi-faceted cloud pricing models and the resulting bills.

More details.

•Date: 1st July 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Cloud computing

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