SINGAPORE--CIOs in the Asia-Pacific region, who have previously indicated interest in embarking on public cloud projects, are performing an about turn as continued concerns regarding the security, performance and availability of such services drive them to look at private cloud deployments instead, according to an analyst.
Chris Morris, director of IDC Asia-Pacific's practice group, said that 2011 will be a "big year for private clouds" as more CIOs look to the safer option of creating a virtualized, cloud computing datacenter environment within the company.
He went on to note in his presentation at a conference Monday that security concerns over transacting in a public cloud environment, as well as worries about possible downtime and poor performance of public cloud services, have made CIOs wary.
However, he added that such concerns over public cloud security are mostly "unfounded".
IDC's findings are corroborated by a Springboard Research study which came out earlier in August. According to the Springboard report, 34 percent of respondents indicated a preference for private cloud deployment, while 14 percent opted for public cloud services.
The report also pointed out that 45 percent of organizations in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, had adopted or were planning cloud initiatives.
IDC's Morris said that in order to capitalize on this shift in mindset, virtually all major IT suppliers have made a concerted push in 2010 to offer private cloud products. In some cases, he noted that it was just a matter of rebranding existing products with a "cloud" tag, while there were also many merger-and-acquisition (M&A) activities going on that were driven by the cloud compute momentum.
One example of cloud-based M&A activities was the recent bidding war between Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Dell Computers over storage virtualization company 3Par, which, according to Morris, has "never made a profit" all this time. HP eventually outbid Dell at US$33 per share, or US$2.4 billion, with the deal expected to be ratified by the end of the year.
Hosted cloud solutions wanted
The IDC analyst also pointed out that because most companies have under-invested in skilled manpower and IT resources during the recession period of 2009, many organizations thinking of private cloud deployments will go for a "hosted private cloud" offering. This essentially means the cloud environment will be managed by a third-party cloud vendor but with access given only to the client company, thus making this a private cloud, Morris stated.
"Many users, when faced with technologies that they have limited experience in, are considering external located private clouds or [hosted private clouds]. These [cloud deployments] provide a very attractive, fast-track option for many organizations and will figure prominently in the next three years," according to a separate IDC report.
The hosted private cloud is one of three different private cloud offerings now available in the market, he stated.
The other two deployment modes, according to Morris, are" enterprise private cloud" and "managed private cloud". The former indicates that the company owns the virtualized data center and manages the entire cloud operation. The latter sees the company owning the computing resources but leaving the management of the private cloud to third-party vendors, he explained.
The IDC analyst also mentioned that while cost savings remain the top determinant of which cloud deployment model to pursue, applications, particularly mission-critical ones, are one of the "most apparent" factors, too.
According to a study conducted by the research firm, Morris pointed out that e-mail and collaboration apps are presently the most deployed software in a private cloud environment.
However, that order will change in 2013 as storage as well as management- and science and engineering-based apps start to top the list, he added.