Interop Crowd Eyes Cloud, Virtualization

The survey, which was conducted by network performance management and troubleshooting vendor Network Instruments, fell in line with the general cloud consensus of Interop that if you don't embrace the cloud you risk being left behind.

"Even though in five years it may be called something different, clouds are here to stay," IBM's vice president of strategy and enterprise initiatives of systems and software and cloud computing CTO Kristof Kloeckner said during his Interop keynote, later adding: 'If you're not already engaged in a cloud project, you and your organization better get going."

And the Interop audience has gotten going. The Network Instruments survey found that among 104 network engineers, IT managers and executives at Interop, 41 percent use some form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), such as or Google Apps. Meanwhile, 29 percent have deployed private clouds and 19 percent rely on some form of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

The survey found that 33 percent of those queried identified lower infrastructure costs as the primary reason their organization is adopting cloud services. Additionally, 30 percent migrated to cloud services to take advantage of greater IT flexibility in responding to business challenges. Only 3 percent of those surveyed said they didn't see any benefits in cloud computing.

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Those not eyeing the cloud, however, said their largest concern in migrating to cloud services is the impact the bandwidth costs could have on their budgets. Twenty-seven percent feared Internet bandwidth would exceed their forecasted budgets. Another 12 percent feared their company was too small for cloud services. Still, 11 percent said they had no concerns regarding implementing cloud services.

Lastly, 22 percent of Interop attendees polled about their cloud plans said they lack the tools needed to monitor and manage the cloud and cloud activities, while other troubleshooting concerns included 15 percent citing a lack of knowledge in managing cloud issues and 12 percent worried they'd be unable to resolve delays caused by cloud service providers.

While Interop attendees continue to investigate their futures in the cloud and eye the possibility of cloud services, a second Network Instruments survey found the use of virtualization technologies -- which are seen by many as a building block to cloud computing -- is growing among the Interop faithful.

In a separate survey of 105 IT managers, directors and network engineers, Network Instruments found that 61 percent have deployed virtualization, 55 percent have virtualized mission critical servers and 28 percent have deployed virtual desktops.

The cost savings bubbled to the surface as the leading driver for virtualization, with 84 percent of survey-takers citing it as the impetus for their move to virtualization. Other factors included simplifying management, 41 percent, and being able to deploy servers faster, 31 percent.

Meanwhile, 36 percent said the lack of monitoring tools was the biggest problem plaguing virtual deployments and 20 percent indicated virtual environments consumed too much time. Thirty percent, however, said they had no significant issues with virtualization.