More than 400 IT professionals at multinational companies responded to Virtela’s recent survey on top IT infrastructure priorities for 2011 and improvement areas for managed service providers (MSPs), and the results provide an exciting glimpse into the year ahead.
Topping the list of priorities are infrastructure management, security, data center consolidation, application acceleration and cloud solutions. Not surprising, really. Having just come back from PTC ’11 where cloud services seemed to be a recurring topic of conversation amongst our global partners, to the customers we speak to on a daily basis, cloud solutions are in high demand given their ability to deliver better, cheaper and faster ways to meet security, application acceleration and other needs. And with today’s IT leaders being tasked with security and compliance initiatives on top of the ongoing management and monitoring of networks, data centers, application speeds and overall business efficiency – it’s no wonder they ranked these as their top priorities for 2011.
It’s exciting – and engaging – to finally see cloud computing and storage gaining strong and lasting market adoption. And not to be always looking for the next IT trend, but I’ve felt for the last 12+ months that it’s been time for additional IT services to start making their way to the cloud…or at least delivered via a cloud-based format.
Well it looks like my wait is coming to an end, given announcements by my [new] company, Virtela, as well as other vendors making announcements over recent weeks, and even the recent Riverbed announcement. There appear to be two primary architectural approaches to offering cloud IT services – either integrated as single service offerings (e.g. WAN optimization tied to existing cloud compute or storage resource pools like Amazon EC2 (see #2 on diagram below), or as independent cloud-based service offerings – either single service or more holistic multi-service IT cloud platforms (see #3 on diagram below).