News & Insights for the AI Journey|Monday, August 19, 2019
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Verizon Survey: Hybrid Cloud Now ‘Mainstream’ 

Verizon's annual report on enterprise cloud adoption argues that a shift is underway from embracing the cloud for mission-critical workloads to a more aggressive use of cloud platforms to develop new customer-facing use cases and other revenue generators. The transition is accelerating as workloads are steadily moved to hybrid cloud infrastructure.

For enterprises, the transformation means mature cloud technology is now part of the "established order," concludes that annual cloud survey released by Verizon (NYSE: VZ) on Monday (Nov. 9).

The giant carrier said 53 percent of those polled said they are now using between two and four cloud providers. Eighty-four percent said cloud usage increased over the previous year and about half of companies surveyed said they expect to shift at least 75 percent of their workloads to the cloud by 2018.

"In just a couple of years, we believe that significantly over half of all workloads — across companies of all kinds — will be running in the cloud," the Verizon survey asserts.

The survey found that the majority of enterprises are "taking a measured approach, striving to create an enterprise-class infrastructure using standard components from cloud providers tied together using APIs and orchestration services. We call these companies the pragmatists."

The Verizon survey also finds further evidence of the steady shift to hybrid cloud infrastructure as enterprises with heavy investments in legacy applications continue to merge private and public clouds with on-premises and colocation infrastructure.

Citing findings that half of companies surveyed are now using a mix of public and private clouds along with traditional IT infrastructure, the survey authors declared, "Hybrid cloud is now mainstream." Another reason is growing workload portability: The survey found that 48 percent of enterprises polled said they have workload portability across public and private cloud resources. The most common workloads shifting between private and public clouds are web applications along with database and storage capabilities.

Source: Verizon

One-third of respondents said their cloud infrastructure was "much more" reliable than on-premise (27 percent said reliability was the same) while 60 percent said data security was about the same or somewhat less secure, according to the survey.

At least one cloud-based networking-as-a-service vendor took issue with Verizon's conclusion that increased cloud adoption means the technology provides enterprises with less of a competitive advantage. "The cloud is no longer just being integrated into existing infrastructure, but infrastructure is being built around it from the get-go," countered Elad Rave, CEO of Teridion. "As more complex, resource-intensive tasks become commonplace in the enterprise, it is imperative now more than ever to ensure everything works seamlessly across both on-prem and cloud infrastructure.

"We anticipate that enterprises will continue to move larger, more critical workloads in the cloud, but as they do they need to be prepared for how that will affect their network. As enterprises increasingly rely on a new class of cloud-based apps and services, we will have to rethink how best to achieve high-performance networking, turning to the cloud for the same flexibility and speed that is enabling these applications," Rave added.

In May, Gartner ranked Verizon among a growing list of "niche players" on its closely watched "Magic Quadrant" of cloud infrastructure-as-a-service providers. Verizon gained relatively high marks from the market analyst for "completeness of vision" but ranked near the bottom in terms of its "ability to execute." Amazon Web Services has led the Gartner rankings for five consecutive years.

Verizon's reputation as a reliable cloud services provider was dinged earlier this year when a planned weekend upgrade resulted in a 40-hour cloud outage. The carrier eventually said the outage stemmed from an upgrade of its cloud platform to a "pure virtualized infrastructure" that included virtual machines, networks, storage volumes and associated snapshots being made "network addressable."

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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