To say that the cloud is a common facet of enterprise infrastructure is something of a mistake. While many organizations have embraced the cloud as a means to ramp up storage capacity or even burst workloads during peak activity periods, few have integrated cloud infrastructure into their normal data environments in ways that leading experts say leverages the true value of the technology.
But that may be about to change. New market research is starting to suggest that attitudes are shifting and enterprise executives are warming up to the idea of the cloud as a full functioning extension, or even a replacement, of on-premise infrastructure.
First up is Gartner, which reported recently that cloud computing is on pace to make up half of the total IT market by 2016, with nearly half of all large enterprises deploying hybrid clouds by 2017. The company says virtualization, orchestration, high-speed networking and other cloud-enabling technologies have reached a point at which enterprise executives can finally see the advantages that cloud architectures have over traditional infrastructure, particularly as the industry starts to confront the realities of mobile computing, social networking, Big Data and other trends. The big question for many, however, is whether they will be strictly consumers of cloud services or a provider as well.