European Businesses Taking Meaningful Strides Toward Cloud Computing

Pan European research shows that enterprises are beginning to deploy virtualization and cloud business strategies, but highlights concerns over security

GENEVA, Jul 05, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — European enterprises are beginning to embrace the business opportunities offered by virtualizing assets and accessing applications through the cloud, according to new research*, commissioned by Brocade (BRCD 4.97, 0.00, 0.00%) . The research shows that 60 percent of enterprises expect to have started the planning and migration to a distributed — or cloud — computing model within the next two years. Key business drivers for doing so are to reduce cost (30 percent), improve business efficiency (21 percent) and enhance business agility (16 percent).

The findings appear to confirm recent research by analyst firm IDC, which identified that cloud IT services are currently worth GBP 10.7bn globally, a figure that is estimated to grow to around GBP 27bn by 2013.

For enterprise organizations, investment in the majority of cases is in the development of a private cloud infrastructure due, in part, to concerns over security. Over a third of respondents cited security as the most significant barrier to cloud adoption, closely followed by the complexities of virtualizing data centers, network infrastructure and bandwidth. The research also analyzed the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) space, and while enterprises are embracing the cloud and the business advantages it brings, SMEs appear to be slightly slower to adopt with only 42 percent predicting a move to the cloud within the next two years; unsurprisingly, 63 percent of these plan to opt for a hosted solution.

Other key research findings include:

— More than a quarter of large organizations are planning to migrate a cloud model within the next two years; 11 percent within one year

— A quarter of organizations stated that the ability to consolidate the number of data centers was also a critical driver

— The availability of bandwidth was also a deciding factor amongst 14 percent of respondents

The findings reinforce Brocade’s vision that data centers and networks will evolve to a highly virtualized, services-on-demand state enabled through the cloud. Brocade recently outlined its vision, called Brocade One(TM), at its annual Technology Day. Brocade One is a unifying network architecture and strategy that enables customers to simplify the complexity of virtualizing their applications. By removing network layers, simplifying management and protecting existing technology investments, Brocade One helps customers migrate to a world where information and services are available anywhere in the cloud.

“As data centers become distributed, the network infrastructure must take on the characteristics of a data center. For the cloud to achieve its true promise, the network needs to deliver high performance, scalability and security,” said Alberto Soto, Vice President, EMEA, at Brocade. “What our research tells us is that companies are now recognizing the profound positive economic implications of adopting cloud solutions and are ready to make the journey of adoption, but only with a sound infrastructure in place.”

Brocade also recently unveiled several powerful innovations designed to radically simplify network architectures to better support a highly virtualized IT model. These innovations include a wide variety of unique and powerful technology advancements customized to support virtualized data centers, including:

— Brocade Virtual Cluster Switching(TM) (VCS): A new class of Brocade-developed technologies designed to address the unique requirements of virtualized data centers. Brocade VCS overcomes the limitations of conventional Ethernet networking by applying non-stop operations, any-to-any connectivity and the intelligence of fabric switching

— Brocade Virtual Access Layer: A logical layer between Brocade converged fabric and server virtualization hypervisors that will help ensure a consistent interface and set of services for virtual machines (VMs) connected to the network. Brocade VAL is designed to be vendor-agnostic and will support all major hypervisors by utilizing industry-standard technologies, including the emerging Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) and Virtual Ethernet Bridging (VEB) standards

— Brocade Open Virtual Compute Blocks: Brocade is working with leading systems and IT infrastructure vendors to build tested and verified data center blueprints for highly scalable and cost-effective deployment of VMs on converged fabrics

— Brocade Network Advisor: A best-in-class element management toolset that will help provide industry-standard and customized support for industry-leading network management, storage management, virtualization management and data center orchestration tools

— Multiprotocol Support: Brocade converged fabrics are designed to transport all types of network and storage traffic over a single wire to reduce complexity and help ensure a simplified migration path from current technologies

“We’re in the midst of a major innovation cycle in IT — moving from infrastructure designed to automate existing processes to services-oriented architectures that speeds delivery of innovative new services. The days when the majority of computing power was in the data center are behind us. Today, we have incredibly smart end points with lots of computing power that are remote, distributed and mobile. Information and applications are virtualized and can reside anywhere within the cloud. Our findings show that European adoption is on the rise, but businesses need to address a number of very real challenges to reap the benefits of the cloud,” added Soto.

For more information visit www.brocade.com/brocadeone.

* The fieldwork was conducted across 200 CIOs from across Europe during spring 2010.

About Brocade

Brocade(R) (BRCD 4.97, 0.00, 0.00%) develops extraordinary networking solutions that enable today’s complex, data-intensive businesses to optimize information connectivity and maximize the business value of their data. For more information, visit www.brocade.com

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