ALU finds reluctance to embrace cloud
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The company conducted a survey on adoption of cloud services by enterprises and found that performance is the biggest inhibitor. Alcatel-Lucent queried 3,886 IT "decision makers" in seven countries or regions -- the U.S., U.K., France, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong -- and 66% of them expressed reluctance to put their mission critical services in the cloud for fear of outages and unacceptable latency.

Most agreed that the weaknesses (plural) in today's public cloud services are due to the lack of guaranteed performance.

Performance was also one of the big issues Cisco found in its most recent Global Cloud Networking Survey - the one that found that 33% of IT "decision makers" would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes than address network challenges associated with public or private cloud deployments. The biggest gripe in the Cisco survey though was data protection and security - 76% of the Cisco survey respondents predicted that their cloud applications are likely to be breached.

If they don't get bogged down by latency. In the Alcatel-Lucent survey, 40% of respondents reported service outages with the public cloud, while 25% complained there is not a resolution path when SLAs are not met.

Nearly half - 46% -- experienced unacceptable cloud service delays, Alcatel-Lucent found. So 54% found them acceptable? Other top concerns were security, cost and ease of use.

So trust is obviously a huge factor for enterprises considering cloud adoption. The Alcatel-Lucent study found that the "dominant" network service providers - the ones provisioning IT business communications services now, backed by guaranteed SLAs  -- generally fared better than cloud pioneers Amazon and Google as a trusted source of cloud services.

Performance, protection... and cloud is hot? Alcatel-Lucent, citing Gartner research, says cloud services will be a $177 billion market by 2015. Sounds like these IT "decision makers" better make some tough decisions regarding performance, reliability, security and other metrics, wrapped in airtight SLAs before attempting to adapt their own networks for the cloud.

The consequences could be huge: Alcatel-Lucent says a typical large enterprise supports between 250 and 750 IT applications. The Cisco survey found that only 5% of its respondents have been able to migrate at least half of their total applications to the cloud, but that number is expected to reach 20% by the end of 2012.

The reluctance to embrace the cloud was highest in the finance, insurance, healthcare and government verticals in the Alcatel-Lucent study. And less than half of the respondents - 44% -- are optimistic that the weaknesses in today's cloud services will be resolved and expect to expand the use of cloud services over the next three years.

Yet, they'll pay for it when it comes: a carrier-grade cloud is "four times more attractive" to IT and has the potential to generate "10 times more revenue" than existing cloud services, the Alcatel-Lucent study found.

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