IT infrastructure ownership slows as the cloud takes over

Traditional enterprise IT architectures are slowly diminishing as the cloud and the virtualisation of network functions become the favoured options.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Traditional enterprise IT architectures are expected to account for only 25 percent of deployments by 2016, according to Brocade, as the network solutions provider expects that as businesses move away from owning their own data storage infrastructure, they will run and operate on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Brocade systems engineer manager ANZ Phil Coates said cloud deployments will become the preferred network system for businesses, as it will overcome any scalability, fluidity, and flexibility challenges.

"What a lot of our customers are doing today is deploying storage systems on an as-need basis. So, if you give me a processor, I can deploy software on it, turn it into a switch or a router, and get workload up and running straight away," he said.

"For customers who are using these functions on as-need basis, they're being rented on an hourly basis and loading workload from their data centres, deploying virtual centres, and utilising it for a few hours or a few days, making them more flexible and agile."

Coates also said that the company is seeing customers purchase infrastructure as a service over choosing to own hardware, so they no longer have to consider their network infrastructure or data storage system as a capex.

One company that has already taken the step towards adapting to this shift is the Stargate Group, an Australian application service provider to the mortgage finance sector, where it now runs approximately 200 virtual machines.

Stargate Group service and support general manager Unal Altay said the cloud is very lucrative, and the company has started to see many cost benefits.

"From a strategy perspective, having all the backups offline is much cheaper, but that's where all benefits of cloud is going to come from; rethinking the way you actually plan your IT infrastructure," he said.

"Until now, we've had gone out, bought the hardware, plugged it in, leave it in the racks, and not worry about what was paid for. But pay as you go has a lot of benefits, especially around storage. You might have certain data you don't want to keep for too long, but you've got financial data you have to keep for at least seven years.

"At the moment, you go out and buy a storage area network unit, but you pay for it regardless, whether you're using it or not. Being able to grow the data and pay as you go is a great idea."

Channel Partners founder and president Greg Eckstein said that while organisations understand the benefits of the cloud, there is also a large concern, particularly surrounding security, which indicates that more education is needed.

"Cloud is a concern for businesses who are asking questions, such as 'where is data exactly going?' and 'what data should I put up into the cloud?'," he said.

"There is also a still a very big security concern of where the data is exactly going when the cloud space is being shared with others. It only suits a certain segment, such as startups who want to keep costs down."

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