June 7, 2010 — IDC's European Cloud Provider's Technology Investment Survey indicates eighty-five percent of the organizations surveyed expect their business to expand.

IDC's research shows a difference in approach to technology between the smaller European cloud providers and the large global providers. Open source has much higher use in European cloud providers than traditional enterprises. Reliability is highly prized in systems supporting public clouds, followed by price, supplier service capability and energy efficiency.

Only one in five cloud providers is evaluating the scalable infrastructure propositions offered by systems vendors, but of those that have evaluated them, 88 percent plan to standardize on them. Converged infrastructure propositions (systems that combine storage, networking, and compute) are less attractive than scalable propositions, with 54 percent of companies surveyed saying that converged infrastructure is not attractive to them.

"It is a myth that cloud providers are running a substantially more efficient infrastructure than traditional enterprise data centers,” Thomas Meyer, vice president, Research, in IDC's Systems and Infrastructure group, said in the press release. “To be cost competitive, cloud providers need to work with their suppliers to evaluate new technologies and drive greater efficiency in their data centers."

Managing operational cost is critical to an efficient data center, according to Nathaniel Martinez, program director in IDC's Systems and Infrastructure group. He said in the announcement, "Only 20 percent of the CIOs who find the converged infrastructure proposition attractive do so because of reduced equipment cost. The majority are concerned with reducing power consumption and floor space use and increasing the flexibility of their infrastructure to scale to meet the demands of new users."

IDC's European Cloud Providers' Technology Investment includes an analysis of subjects such as growth plans for these suppliers, pricing models, approaches to managing the data center, uptake of virtualization, and attitudes to new systems designs.

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