Cloud computing has become a buzzword. Any IT-vendor is doing its best to deliver some sort of cloud service.
See this Dilbert strip of October 21 which illustrates wel the ‘we need to do cloud’ thing.Link to strip.
However in many cases this cloud offering has nothing to do with cloud. For infrastructure service models more than once traditional dedicated hosting is sold as ‘cloud’ because it has a pay as you go model. Shared service centers, where IT-infrastructure is used by several consumers, is sold as ”cloud’ which in fact is a virtual datacenter we have known for many years. You won’t see vCloud Director or other solutions here. Just hypervisors.
So what is cloud?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) the definition of Cloud Computing has 5 essential characteristics. One of them is :
On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
The NIST definition of cloud computing is:
“Cloud Computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. “
Abiquo, vendor of cloud software platform performed a survey at VMworld Europe 2012 in Barcelona about cloud computing.
The survey found out that almost half (46%) of cloud services are manually provisioned by an IT administrator for the end user without automation. The study reveals a worrying landscape of technology rather than service focused cloud implementations.
The survey found that despite 75% of delegates reporting that their company offered private, public or hybrid cloud services to customers, just 15% of these provide a ‘self-service’ interface that enables the end user to select and provision cloud IT services for themselves – the ultimate purpose of cloud computing. 39% of delegates also revealed that there is no cloud management interface for customers to access services.
In addition, bringing cloud services online is a lengthy process for most customers. The most common SLA for provisioning a customer request is ‘within three days’, for 37% of customers. Just 15% of IT professionals interviewed commit to providing virtual cloud services to customers within three hours, although a further 25% are able to spin-up services within 24 hours. This represents significant delays in the provision of new services into cloud environments, and a lost opportunity in term s of productivity and efficiency gains.
Continue reading the press release here.