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F5 Study Shows Cloud Computing Gaining Critical Mass

Survey reveals more than 80% of large enterprise IT managers are at least in trial stage for cloud computing initiatives

F5 Networks, Inc., a provider of Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today announced the results of a survey that shows how large enterprises are implementing cloud computing. The study reveals that among large enterprises, cloud computing is gaining critical mass, with more than 80 percent of respondents at least in trial stages for public and private cloud computing deployments. Additionally, despite the maturing rate of adoption of cloud computing among enterprises, the study shows that there is considerable confusion and concern around the definition of cloud computing.

"It's no surprise that large enterprises are attracted to cloud computing because of the promise of an agile, scalable IT infrastructure and reduced costs," said Jason Needham, Sr. Director of Product Management at F5. "However, this survey shows that despite interest in the cloud, widespread enterprise adoption of cloud computing is contingent upon solving access, security, and performance concerns. As organizations turn to the cloud to increase IT agility, it is important for them to understand the technical components of the cloud and how the cloud will affect the network before developing an implementation strategy."

The survey found that IT managers are aggressively adopting cloud computing. Half of respondents reported that they have already deployed a public cloud computing implementation. In addition, private cloud computing models are also enjoying broad acceptance in enterprises, with 45 percent of respondents currently using private clouds. Consequently, cloud computing is also meriting budgetary consideration, with 66 percent of respondents indicating that they have a dedicated budget for cloud computing initiatives.

Although cloud computing is gaining rapid adoption, respondents had little agreement on how to define the term. The survey tested six industry definitions of cloud computing and found the survey participants were unable to choose any of them as being "just right." As part of the study, F5 conducted a focus group with enterprise IT managers, network architects, and cloud service providers to determine a strong definition for cloud computing. The focus group arrived upon the following definition:

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the "cloud" that supports them. Furthermore, cloud computing employs a model for enabling available, convenient, and on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Cloud computing is more than SaaS - Although Software as a Service (SaaS) is an important component of cloud computing, respondents ranked SaaS behind Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as the most important components of cloud computing.
  • Core cloud computing technologies - Enterprises employ a wide range of technologies in their cloud computing platforms. Access Control was the top concern for people, whereby 90 percent of respondents named Access Control as somewhat/very important for building the cloud. Network Security and Virtualization were also named as key technologies.
  • Cloud computing influencers - The people within the enterprise that influence cloud computing decisions go well beyond IT. Respondents named IT, application development, and line of business (LOB) stakeholders as the top influencers for cloud computing decisions.

F5 and Cloud Computing
F5 offers the enabling solution for enterprises and cloud providers to implement dynamic, scalable IT infrastructures by consolidating and virtualizing vital application resources. By ensuring the availability, security, and acceleration of application and data services within cloud environments, F5® solutions provide the visibility and control necessary to maximize the value of cloud computing investments.

About the Survey
The 2009 F5 cloud computing survey was commissioned by F5 Networks to highlight business trends regarding cloud computing. Conducted by independent market research firm Applied Research West during June-July 2009, the survey polled more than 250 IT managers in large enterprises throughout North America.

Additional Resources

More Stories By Holly Hagerman

As a senior partner at Connect Public Relations, Holly Hagerman directs public relations processes within the organization and provides strategic counsel to our clients. Hagerman has more than 17 years of experience leading strategic PR programs for network infrastructure, PC peripheral and telecommunications companies, including Lexmark International, Internet Security Systems, F5 Networks, AskMe.com, Efficient Networks, and Siemens Information and Communication Networks. Hagerman specializes in developing communication programs that reach diverse audiences -- from business and financial media to industry influencers and vertical market media. She has vast experience building multi-faceted PR programs that include executive visibility, message development, media and analyst relations, product evaluations, corporate profiles, IPOs, and acquisitions.

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