Introduction: The reality of cloud services
Thirty-five percent. By 2014, analysts believe that thirty-five percent, or over one-third, of global enterprise IT budgets will be spent on cloud services. While today the percentage of organizations investing in these types of offerings is small, the implication is clear: “the cloud” is not another industry buzz word, but a broad category which will drive the next phase of IT projects. For IT and business managers already inundated with information about the promise of a cloud centric infrastructure the question is not whether or not to use the cloud, but how. Fortunately, the virtualization and consolidation projects that ignited this renewed interest in centralized computing also provide a guide for how to best realize the full potential of the cloud by establishing the criteria that any project should try to address: How does IT more effectively understand, optimize, and consolidate resources to deliver the highest use and highest ROI for the business?
Defining Cloud Services
When the term ‘cloud’ comes up most people envision Amazon Web Services, Google, or Salesforce.com. While these vendors are certainly the icons of the cloud vision, and are attempting to become a one-stop shop for all of an enterprise’s IT needs they are all public cloud solutions and represent one model for cloud services that an organization may adopt. In addition to the public cloud, private clouds where organizations manage applications and infrastructure independently from a central location, and hybrid clouds that combine both public and private clouds round out the cloud services continuum…