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Cisco: Network Tops Cloud Challenges

Software-as-a-service adoption expected to quadruple this year, in spite of serious obstacles, finds Cisco survey released at Interop.

Interop 2012 Product Preview
Interop 2012 Product Preview
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Enterprise cloud adoption is expected to grow significantly in 2012, but some serious obstacles to even wider adoption remain, according to a survey of Cisco Systems customers released at the Interop 2012 conference this week in Las Vegas. Also at the networking industry's premier event, Cisco unveiled a new router and related technology that provides to voice networks the same level of security and control that enterprises demand on their data networks.

The 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey of 100 IT executives in each of 13 countries reveals that while only 5% of them are using cloud computing technology today to deliver the majority of the software applications they use in their businesses, that adoption rate is expected to quadruple to 20% by the end of this year.

"The reason so many are moving the majority of their apps to the cloud is because there are more cloud applications out there, more choice, and then there's the maturity of the process," said Inbar Lasser-Raab, senior marketing director of the Cisco Services Routing Technology Group (SRTG).

The cloud adoption process is maturing, she said, because enterprises are becoming more familiar with what cloud computing is, how it works, and how it can be implemented within their organizations.

While the adoption of cloud computing is on a growth curve, the process is nonetheless complex, time-consuming, and includes many pitfalls, the survey showed. The number one challenge to cloud adoption is networking issues, identified by 37% of the IT professionals surveyed.

Cloud computing started in the data center, but as cloud adoption grew, enterprises discovered the limitations of their current wide area network (WAN) infrastructure, Lasser-Raab said. Depending on the application, the infrastructure may need to be upgraded. In the case of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployment, for example, a typical WAN link today can support 20 virtual desktop sessions, but may not deliver the sub-50 millisecond latency limit required in a service level agreement (SLA).

"So there are a lot of considerations that they didn't plan for as they moved the applications to the cloud, but they found out through the process," she said.

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

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