Recently, just about every technology company on the planet has been busy repainting their offerings with a cloud brush. They’re layering it on thick, rebranding themselves with a reckless abandon that we haven’t seen since the “dot com” era, more than a decade ago. Even though the cloud hype meter is revving uncontrollably, there’s actually plenty of real innovation and disruption happening beneath the surface. Unfortunately, it can be tough for enterprises to cut through the buzzwords and marketing double-speak and articulate a cloud strategy that makes sense and meets the needs of the business.
This three-part blog series approaches things from the bottom of the cloud-layered cake: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Almost every enterprise already has a sizable investment in their server and storage infrastructure. Some operate their own data centers. Many colocate their infrastructure with a third-party data center service provider.
IaaS offers the same infrastructure building blocks — servers and storage — where the capacity is provided as a service and “on demand” — in the cloud. No longer do enterprises have to build and buy their own server and storage environments — they can simply pay for the capacity that they need, when they need it. The public IaaS cloud offers capacity to anyone willing to pay for it, similar to the electric utility grid.
Sounds straightforward enough, right? However, what sort of benefits does IaaS bring to the average enterprise? Can it help cut their costs? Help them be more agile and competitive? Are there security and compliance concerns? What about jurisdiction and data privacy issues? Will enterprises be at a disadvantage if they don’t get on the IaaS bandwagon?
There’s no doubt that IaaS (and everything built on-top of it) is going to dramatically alter and transform enterprise IT. In fact, it will likely happen faster than many think. Over the last few years, IT has come to stand for Internet Technology, and as a result, consumers of IT are demanding that it start to move at Internet speed. Enterprises are eager to realize the benefits of the public cloud, but they also want their flexibility, control and security requirements to be met. Luckily, it’s possible for enterprises to have their cloud cake and eat it too.
My next post discusses why I think the best solution to this problem is hybrid.
Also, check out our Cloud Buyer’s Guide for more info.