VMware: Asean cloud adoption fragmented

While cloud computing uptake varies across Southeast Asia, interest among businesses, particularly on server virtualization technologies, is gathering pace, says company exec.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Enterprises based in Southeast Asia, in general, are increasingly looking to tap their internal IT resources as well as capitalize on the benefits of third-party cloud-based services, a VMware executive has noted. However, the appetite and maturity level for cloud computing differs across the various geographic markets.

Citing a Springboard Research study, Ed Lenta, Asean general manager at VMware, said 37 percent of Asean companies polled indicated that they were either considering or were using private cloud deployments internally while 43 percent indicated they would use both public and private clouds.

Zooming in on the survey, which was conducted in October 2010, he added that 23 percent of Singapore-based businesses were already utilizing cloud computing technologies. Over in Malaysia and Thailand, 21 percent of those polled indicated the same.

Springboard found that Japan, Australia and India were the top cloud markets with adoption at 36 percent, 31 percent and 27 percent, respectively, he said in a media briefing here Monday.

As for push factors influencing companies to embrace cloud computing, Lenta said most businesses in Southeast Asia view reducing hardware costs as the major driver. Singapore, on the other hand, is an exception as many companies have embarked on server virtualization and are now looking at gaining business agility and cost efficiency through implementing features such as chargeback and self-provisioning, he noted.

Markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, in the meantime, are at the other end of the spectrum, the executive said. Driving customer awareness and server consolidation are VMware's main priorities in these markets, Lenta said.

Lenta also identified small and midsize businesses (SMBs) as key to driving cloud computing adoption in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan. Citing a March 2011 report from AMI-Partners, Lenta noted that Asia-Pacific SMBs will invest US$11.4 billion in cloud computing offerings this year with the majority of these investments coming from businesses based in Korea, China and Australia.

VMware powers SingTel's cloud
Besides equipping businesses with virtualization tools, VMware is also empowering cloud service providers through its vCloud product line. VMware CEO Paul Maritz, who was present at the briefing, highlighted the company's partnership with local telco SingTel as an example. Announced last September, the partnership saw VMware provide the cloud platform, management and security features for SingTel's infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering, or PowerON Compute, he noted.

SingTel is one of seven industry partners utilizing the virtualization vendor's vCloud Datacenter Services, Maritz added. The others are Softbank, CSC, Colt, Verizon Business, BlueLock and Terremark.

The CEO pointed out that companies are currently spending 42 percent to maintain their IT infrastructure when they should be looking to free up funds to invest in applications that can transform how businesses are run. Cloud computing would allow companies to do so, he stressed.

"Our endpoint would be to evolve enterprises to provide IT resources as a service but, for now, we have to start where our customers are, namely private or hybrid cloud networks," Maritz explained.

Also at the briefing Monday was Bill Chang, executive vice president of SingTel's business group, who revealed that about 100 businesses have to date expressed an interest to sign up with SingTel for the service. The telco's IaaS package, he added, will be available on trial for free to its enterprise customers from April. Following the trial, which is expected to run for one to two months, SingTel will launch the PowerON Compute service commercially with pricing details.

Editorial standards