Cloud Computing Moving Behind Hype To Real-World Use

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Midsize and larger enterprises are already deploying cloud computing, sometimes openly and sometimes on the sly, as the concept of working in the cloud is starting to move beyond the hype stage.

Cloud computing is still in its early stages, but adoption of the technology is coming fast, according to a panel on cloud computing held at the Nth Generation Technical Symposium, a three-day customer event held this week by Nth Generation, a San Diego-based solution provider.

IT managers from nearly 200 midsize and larger enterprise customers, mainly from Southern California, interacted with a panel of executives from six vendors working with solution providers to build cloud infrastructures.

Nearly half of the audience members believe that cloud computing has moved beyond the hype phase, with private cloud cited by 23 percent of the respondents to an on-the-spot electronic poll as their primary use of cloud computing, followed by 16 percent who cited software-as-a-service, eight percent who cited co-location, and six percent who cited infrastructure-as-a-service. However, 42 percent said they are not doing any services on the cloud.

Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Red Hat's Cloud Computing business unit, said cloud computing today is still in the early stages of disruption.

"It's not dissimilar to the early days of Linux," Crenshaw said. "There was a lot of experimentation under the radar before Linux moved to the big screen. Customers have been experimenting with the cloud for two to three years."

A lot of enterprises are investing in private clouds, or at least in shared services that can be moved towards the cloud, said Nick van der Zweep, director of virtualization at Hewlett-Packard.

There is actually a lot of experimentation going on in cloud computing, said Steve Herrod, CTO and senior vice president of R&D at VMware.

"I tend to find that when companies say they are not in the cloud, that one or two people are already working around their IT department and moving in that direction," Herrod said. "So if you responded 'no,' your company may already be doing it but you don't know."


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