What is the reality of the cloud? That's the question that a new Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey set out to answer. As it turns out, reality is somewhat different then the cloud-everywhere-right-now hype permeating every facet of the IT landscape.
"When we looked at where IT professionals are in terms of cloud adoption, we found out that five percent of them have more than 50 percent of their applications in the cloud," Inbar Lasser-Raab a senior director at Cisco told Enterprise Networking Planet. "That wasn't what we expected."
The future looks a little cloudier, however, with 20 percent of those surveyed reporting they expect 50 percent or more of their applications to be in the cloud by the end of the year.
Cloud's top challenges
Among the top challenges for moving to the cloud is the network, with 37 percent noting they would be hesitant to change their network infrastructure to facilitate the cloud. The study also, as usual, uncovered security concerns. Availability and reliability was another key concern coming in at 67 percent and cloud application performance concerns were cited by 60 percent of respondents.
In terms of which applications companies are moving to the cloud first, 25 percent said storage, 20 percent for ERP, email came in at 16 percent and collaboration apps rounded out the list with 15 percent.
"I wasn't surprised that storage was number one," Lasser-Raab said. "For efficiency and cutting costs, storage is an obvious place to start."
Unicorns vs. the cloud
While cloud offers benefits, it also has the potential to introduce a non-trivial amount of complexity into a network administrator's job. In fact, Cisco's study found that 39 percent of respondents would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes, than deal with the challenges of public/private cloud deployment. One out of four reported they are more likely to see a UFO or Unicorn before starting and finishing an entire cloud migration in the next six months.
"Our customers are finding it difficult to move from where they are today to a world where their applications will be in the cloud," Lasser-Raab said. "It's clear that they have to start with getting the network ready for cloud so they can have the performance and operation efficiency to make the transition, after that it's all about the applications."