European enterprises are currently spending almost one-third of their annual IT budget on cloud computing, spread over private, public and "hybrid" clouds, according to research. But what are the different cloud platforms and how should companies approach their entry into the cloud.
The research mentioned was conducted among 455 senior IT staff at large firms, with the data collected by IDG Research Services on behalf of server virtualisation software firm, VMware.
Spending on the cloud and going private first
The study explored the views of IT leaders involved in the purchase process for cloud computing systems across seven EMEA countries, including the UK, and found that 31 percent of IT budgets are now allocated to cloud computing. Of the work taking place in the cloud, the study found that most of it involves private clouds (54 percent), followed by 24 percent in public clouds and 22 percent in public/private hybrid clouds.
Many companies are first looking to move to the cloud using a private cloud model using their internal data centre to distribute applications and services and share data across departments, staff and partners.
Once they master this way of working they are then often moving towards externally hosted cloud services through relying on public clouds, or adopting the hybrid cloud model by integrating external cloud services with their on-premise private clouds.
James Staten, an analyst at Forrester, says, "Not everything will move to the cloud as there are many business processes, data sets and workflows that require specific hardware or proprietary solutions that can’t take advantage of cloud economics."
Enter the cloud today
That said, Forrester's "Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready" report, which is part of Forrester’s "Playbook on Cloud Computing", urges CIOs to "leverage cloud services today and reap the early education from doing so" to gain competitive advantage in the future.
The Playbook on Cloud Computing is a framework for adopting the cloud, going into detail on the benefits and disadvantages of public and private clouds and cloud economics.
The Make the Cloud Enterprise Ready report says, "Long term, enterprises will have a hybrid portfolio of cloud and non-cloud workload deployments to optimise resource and agility requirements."
It adds: "In this future state the majority of system workloads will be cloud-resident while your own systems of record will evolve to cloud at a slower but deliberate pace. The end result will be a mixed environment managed through a decision tree and a series of workload automation systems that ensure governance and regulatory compliance across this portfolio."
Go public or hybrid
The report also warns that those companies that have chosen a private cloud architecture as their main cloud strategy will not realise the savings that can be made through public cloud services or through an architecture that combines both public and private cloud IT capabilities - usually known as a hybrid cloud architecture.
A different global survey of 468 CIOs on the attitudes and concerns relating to cloud computing, commissioned by data management systems firm Compuware, saw CIOs rate cloud computing as their top investment priority in both the short and long term.
Those CIOs said the integration between private, public, and hybrid clouds were the most important trend in the cloud computing space over the next five years.
Proctor and Gamble chooses HP
Procter & Gamble (P&G) recently signed a "multi-year agreement" with HP to deliver an "always on" operating environment using the cloud, to allow the consumer goods company to keep products moving on time, from production to purchase.
HP had already been a crucial IT partner at P&G for over eight years before this deal was signed, but it is now offering further automation and integration for the services it delivers and supports, covering areas like manufacturing, procurement, distribution and finance.
“'Always on' isn’t just a concept, it’s a critical business driver for us. The HP team has proven its ability to deliver with quality and flexibility,” says Filippo Passerini, CIO at P&G.
The introduction of ‘always on’ will include consolidating some of P&G’s core infrastructure from a private cloud model into a hybrid cloud environment, using HP Enterprise Cloud Services, including HP storage, networking, virtualisation and security solutions.
Steve Dietch, HP enterprise vice president for worldwide cloud operations, says, "Regardless of whether we're helping people build a cloud, or if a customer consumes cloud services from us, what we offer is built on one architecture."
HP : An upgraded cloud offering
HP recently updated its software for managing cloud deployments, including its flagship HP CloudSystem platform, a collection of technologies and services for running IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) deployments in-house or through a managed service.
HP CloudSystem also allows customers to move their workloads from internal private HP CloudSystem deployments to a hosted environment in an HP public cloud or from other providers like Amazon.
HP's CloudSystem management software, called CloudSystem Matrix, can also now be purchased as stand-alone software. Previously it was only available to buy as part of a package that combined HP hardware and software.
But Dietch says, "We're providing the software for those customers who choose to go to virtual environments first, who don't need physical management capabilities."
HP CloudSystem Matrix includes a self-service portal, as well as automatic provisioning and capacity-planning capabilities. It can run on any x86-based server.
In addition, HP's Cloud Service Automation software can also be unbundled from the main HP CloudSystem package, if required. HP's Cloud Service Automation software allows organisations to manage applications across both private and public cloud deployments.
And on top of all this, HP has also upgraded its HP Application Performance Management operations management software, which assists staff in their cloud management duties.
Cloud support form anywhere you are
No matter where you are in the cloud adoption lifecycle, HP has the people, processes and proven track record to make a real difference, and help you take a direct route to the cloud.
With HP as your partner, you’ll be on your way to reaping the benefits of cloud computing, because HP offers the most extensive range of cloud computing expertise, products and services.
Contact HP today and learn more about the solutions discussed in this paper and how HP can help make your journey to the cloud a smooth one To learn more about HP Converged Cloud solutions, go to:
HP CloudSystem at hp.com/go/cloudsystem
HP Converged Cloud at hp.com/go/cloud
HP Cloud Demos at hp.com/go/cloudsystemdemos
For more information on HP cloud services, visit http://www.hp.com/uk/cloudinaday