Prepare for even denser cloud coverage

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I find the festive break a good time to read some of the more serious and some of the funny reflections and predictions for our industry. 

In an article about the past decade of the cloud I read a great analogy. It said that in much the same way we have come to recognise that being in a plane is safer than being in a car, so too are enterprises drawing the same conclusion about cloud versus on-premises. Inevitably breaches still happen but some are self-inflicted, and hard graft by vendors is ensuring that less happen in the future. 

Research just released shows that enterprise IT annual spending over the last decade on cloud infrastructure has gone from virtually zero to almost $100 billion. In fact, it claims 2019 marks the first time that enterprises have spent more on cloud services than they did on data centre equipment. 

We are past the point of referring to cloud as an ‘emerging’ technology and yet its widespreadadoption has only come about in the past five years. A survey* of CIOs revealed that 88% of organisations felt more confident about their use of cloud technologies than at any point in the last three years. Certainly its range of applications shows no sign of abating and continues to grow.

Almost every company, irrespective of its size or industry, uses at least one form of cloud service. Not a huge surprise really given that cloud computing offers tangible benefits; 

  • they’re quicker and easier to deploy
  • they scale with little or no IT involvement
  • they are automatically updated to the latest release level
  • IT departments don’t have to procure and maintain hardware and software in-house

In short, they can simplify and reduce the cost and complexity of IT service delivery and now your wired, wireless and data centre access networks can also enjoy the same benefits.

I’m talking here about cloud networking. Unlike on-premises solutions, it simplifies tasks and enables enterprises to deploy locations in minutes, offering unprecedented levels of centralised control and network visibility. It also allows for seamless growth.

System infrastructure, which includes server and storage equipment and networking, is forecast to experience the fastest growth in cloud shift, with a projected 27.2%1 CAGR (2017-2022) for cloud versus a 1.8% CAGR for non-cloud.

There are a number of vendors out there marketing cloud networking and many of the solutions look similar at face value. But not all clouds are created equal so when you’re evaluating solutions be aware of the following pitfalls:

  • Forced upgrades 
  • Lost connectivity or features
  • Availability
  • Different feature sets for cloud and on-premises deployment options
  • Unproven
  • No seamless upgrade path

There has been some debate in the media about unchecked costs of cloud so, again, it’s important to evaluate that. For example, a third party economic validation assessment of Extreme networking solutions showed significant cost savings in several key areas such as 35%1lower costs for daily network administration.

Done properly, cloud networking puts an end to complex, inflexible on-premises networks of the past and enables enterprises to be more responsive, more operationally efficient and better able to innovate.

But to return briefly to my festive readings and some ‘resolutions’ for 2020. One that resonated particularly with our business messaging was the call to stop using antiquated technology. If someone in your enterprise tells you not to upgrade as ‘it ain’t broke’ remind them that security never sleeps.

† Synergy Research Group ‘The Decade’s Mega trends in numbers –Part 1’ 6 January, 2020

* Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey 2019 ‘A changing perspective’

1 Extreme Cloud Networking 2020 Buyers Guide

Richard Gilliard

Renovotec is the UK’s largest independent rugged hardware and maintenance, software and services company. Managing Director Richard Gilliard has helped lead the organisation for over 25 years, supporting customers across many sectors including warehousing and distribution, transport and logistics, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, seaports and field mobility. Richard's drive is to enable firms through…

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