Security issues, regulation and legal responsibilities are still a concern among companies considering public cloud computing, yet variants of using private cloud remain attractive, according to a new report.

The Data Center Industry Census 2011 found that on a global scale, market investments in outsourcing are set to rise to $8 billion in 2012 for many users of data center services. A DatacenterDynamics report, “Technology Cycles and Cloud," also found that a substantial proportion of racks are and will be outsourced. In quantitative terms, the research sample indicates the United States is the largest market with 210,000 racks outsourced either to third party suppliers or to other offices. Yet variations exist in the proportion of outsourced racks from region to region; from as little as 3% in the Middle East, to as much as 28% in China and 30% in India.

The “Technology Cycles and Cloud” report is based upon the responses of 3,800 data center owners and customers across many vertical markets gathered and analyzed by DatacenterDynamics. The research results reveal that up to a point, much of the infrastructure essential for normal day-to-day operations is on a shopping list for major upgrade on cycles of two to four years.

Adoption and consideration of new technologies is in line with the state of development of data center markets; the more “advanced” the market, the more likely it is that owners and operators are focused on areas like the efficiency and management of their facilities, notes the report. The technology areas differentiated from “staple requirements” and “special requirements” include two variants of cloud (private cloud and cloud infrastructure), together with Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, data center automation, modular design principles and the upgrade of systems management.

Nick Parfitt, a researcher at DatacenterDynamics said: “It is evident that outsourcing fulfills different roles in the evolution of markets; as an entry point for organizations which have not yet evolved the capacity requirement to operate their own environments, or as an exit point in developed markets where the pace of increased IT requirements has exceeded in-house capacity.”

As far as cloud services are concerned, interest in public cloud is broadly similar across markets at different stages of development, with cloud infrastructure and private cloud being the preferred options in order of importance. However, the research indicates that neither variants of private cloud are likely to replace other outsourcing options any time in the near future and that the technology is being considered as part of a portfolio approach to managing outsourced services.

Driven by the perception of the vulnerability of public cloud to security threats and legal issues, the findings suggest that cloud options will be far more commonly developed as part of a company’s existing infrastructure, either in-house by client companies or on dedicated infrastructure by service providers.

“The implementation of modular design principles and automated operations is squarely aimed at eliminating the hazard of human intervention and therefore human error within data centers; it is perceived to be a matter of good risk management practice,” added Parfitt.

This article first appeared on the Insurance Networking News web site.


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