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VMware spells out limits to the cloud

VMware spells out limits to the cloud

Virtualisation leader says businesses will never put all their workload to the public cloud

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People and processes are barriers to cloud adoption, not technology and security, according to VMware.

“Technologically, the issues [around cloud adoption] aren’t significant. The biggest issues are people and process issues,” said Tod Nielsen, president at VMware, who was in London for VMware Forum 2011.  

“People ask about security and privacy. But when you get to the heart of the issue, those issues are about people not trusting each other. People want to control what they own.”

The government initiative, the G-Cloud, is an example of this, Nielsen said: “Some of their barriers are not the vision or technology, but getting each department of the UK to give up control so there can be a pool of cloud resources.”

Although businesses could be forgiven for being concerned about security when a recent survey found that the majority of cloud computing providers allocate only up to 10 percent of IT resources to security. Cloud providers were found to be more focused on delivering benefits such as reduced costs and speed of deployment, the study from the Ponemon Institute for CA Technologies said.

Nielson believes that while organisations will eventually become 100 percent virtualised, he does not think that they will ever put their entire businesses in a public cloud.

“Today, the average enterprise can envision 30 percent of their workload being in the public cloud, but the majority will be in their private cloud. They will move simple things like SaaS applications and more generic workloads in there, such as development, testing and simple applications, but we don’t see a day where 100 percent of workloads will be in the cloud.

“Every CIO we talk to says their strategy is a hybrid cloud,” he said.

The technology services of the future will also revolve more around the end user, with the iPad being an example of the post-PC era, Nielsen said.

The end-user experience and requirements have driven VMware’s recent strategic acquisitions, of enterprise microblogging platform Socialcast, online presentation software provider SlideRocket and open source email and collaboration platform Zimbra.

“We are not completely sure what the new desktop is, but it will have a social aspect, collaboration and presentations.

“IT will have to focus on how to deliver applications, data and so on, to their constituents, to whatever device they want,” Nielsen added.

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  • randybias While people and processes are certainly an important issue for cloud I think characterizing technology as insignificant is an oversimplificationFirstly whats important to understand here is that people and processes are better thought of as culture One cant succeed in the new cloud world without cultural changes to IT Even VMware knows this and has said publicly that much of their justification for acquiring Mozy from parent EMC was to have DNA in the business with experience running large online servicesWhich brings us to where technology really matters The odds of significant cultural change within the enterprise are very large One approach to fixing this is to attempt top-down organizational change which as every knows is difficult or impossible Another approach is by embracing technology that embodies some of this cultural change effectively requiring the change to occurHeres an example Credit Suisse was a very early implementer of private clouds Their very first self-service private cloud was deployed in roughly 2005-2006 Immediately after deployment the internal IT support staff felt threatened because of the self-service nature and deployed a ticket wall in defense This ticket wall required internal developers and cloud users to open a new support ticket whenever spinning up a virtual machine The IT support stuff helpdesk would then use that cloud users credentials to turn on the VM for them and close the ticket with the appropriate informationObviously this slowed adoption and made usage of the cloud difficult Eventually the ticket wall was torn down as you might expect allowing users to self-service from the Credit Suisse internal cloudTechnology can and does drive cultural change as we can see in our every day lives and hence it has a key role to play in changed people and processesIts hard to swallow VMwares position here which I believe is largely being advocated because of failures on their part to successfully deliver meaningful next generation cloud technology that can change culture Instead they have resorted to incremental poorly constructed enterprise computing technology with the cloud label attachedLead follow or get out of the way but dont spread FUD
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