Cloud Service Usage Now Mainstream in UK and Ireland

The increased uptake in cloud service adoption is truly a worldwide phenomenon. New research published by Cisco Systems demonstrates the dramatic shift in attitudes towards cloud services in the UK and Ireland.

The report -- entitled "Cisco CloudWatch 2012" -- is the second in Cisco's annual Cloud series and finds IT decision makers in a bullish mood, increasingly placing applications and services from across their business into the cloud and planning for further investment over the coming 12 months.

Furthermore, the message that cloud services can deliver significant cost reduction is now resonating within the IT community -- cost saving has become a top driver for adopting cloud applications.

Granted, security remains the number one concern when migrating services and applications to the cloud. But that concern is noticeably less pronounced than in last year's report.

The use of public cloud is up 11 percent, although private cloud still dominates.

Key findings of the market study include:
  • IT decision makers say that cloud is now on their agenda -- a resounding 90 percent up from just 52 percent in 2011.
  • Of this number, 31 percent consider cloud as being critical and underpinning much of the organizations' activity (this was just 7 percent in 2011).
  • Of those organizations where cloud is on the agenda, 85 percent are planning further investment in the next twelve months.
  • In CloudWatch 2011, reducing cost ranked fifth in a list of most important things when considering cloud -- in today's report it ranks as the number one priority.
  • 20 percent reduction in concerns over security (52 percent in 2012 compared to 72 percent in 2011).
  • 54 percent of respondents currently use private cloud (up from 34 percent in 2011) and public cloud usage is up from 18 percent in 2011 to 29 percent in 2012

Cisco commissioned independent research amongst IT decision makers across a broad range of vertical sectors including retail, finance, healthcare, public sector and service provider.

The results clearly show that cloud has moved from hype to reality, with cloud now seen as a mainstream element of IT strategy.

"This new report validates a shift that many of us in the IT industry have been witnessing first hand over the last 6-12 months. Cloud usage has now gone mainstream. After several years of ‘hype' across the IT industry, it now seems that cloud is maturing and organizations across a broad range of sectors are realizing the benefits of moving to a cloud model, said Ian Foddering, Chief Technology Officer and Technical Director, Cisco UK and Ireland.

Foddering continues, "Against this backdrop it's encouraging to see progressive companies realize the potential of cloud to revolutionize their respective industries. All these signs point towards a well-established market where the previously blurred boundaries of cloud computing are clearing. IT decision makers now more educated about the distinctions between cloud and managed services and more willing to invest."
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Unleashing Application-Driven Network Programmability

The ongoing transformation to a comprehensive Business Technology model requires savvy leaders to see beyond the traditional IT and networking silos within their organization -- thereby offering a cohesive portfolio of application-driven services to their key stakeholders.

Cisco has introduced a versatile and broad approach to network programmability -- Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE) -- aimed at helping customers drive the next wave of business innovation through trends such as cloud, mobility, social networking, and video.

Cisco ONE enables flexible, application-driven customization of network infrastructures to help realize business objectives such as: increased service velocity, resource optimization, and faster monetization of new services.

The Cisco Open Network Environment is delivered through a rich set of platform APIs, agents and controllers, and overlay network technologies. Cisco ONE complements current approaches to software-defined networking while encompassing the entire solution stack from transport to management and orchestration.

With Cisco's Open Network Environment customers can harness the intelligent network through programmability and abstraction across multiple layers, offering a choice of protocols, industry standards, and usage-based deployment models.

As part of the Open Network Environment, Cisco announced the One Platform Kit (onePK) which provides application programming interfaces (APIs) for developers across Cisco operating systems: Cisco IOS, IOS-XR, and NX-OS.

Cisco also announced proof-of-concept controller software and proof-of-concept OpenFlow agent for Software Defined Networking (SDN) research. Cisco is also enabling scalable virtual overlay networks for multi-tenant cloud deployments with the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch. New innovations include: OpenStack support, programmability, multi-hypervisor capability, and VXLAN gateway functionality.

"Our IT network engineers and computer science department researchers have been collaborating with Cisco to develop and advance SDN solutions that will help move SDN from the R&D lab to mainstream business and academic production environments," said Bruce Maas, vice provost for information technology and CIO at University of Wisconsin Madison. "We believe that programmable networks -- providing program interfaces to devices and software that take advantage of network intelligence -- will enable new research innovations that will advance science and boost economic development."

Cisco is collaborating on emerging network technologies with industry leaders, academic organizations, and standards bodies to meet their heterogeneous requirements for network programmability. Cisco's Open Network Environment supports a wide variety of deployment models including:
  • Universities and Research Organizations: Network partitioning or "campus network slicing" using proof-of-concept controller software and OpenFlow agents for SDN research.
  • Hyperscale Data centers: Network flow management with programmatic access via APIs.
  • Cloud Providers: Automated provisioning and programmable overlay network for scalable multi-tenancy.
  • Service Providers: Programmatic access, policy and analytics to optimize and monetize service delivery.
  • Enterprises: Private cloud automation for virtual workloads , including VDI.

Beta trials and phased general availability are scheduled to begin the last quarter of 2012.
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