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Early Enterprise Cloud Deployments Likely To Be Hybrid

Are early adopters of cloud services likely to go the pure hosted route, build private clouds run within an enterprise, or deploy a hybrid approach of the two?

That was a topic debated Wednesday at the Interop New York conference. Certain data and applications cannot run in the cloud due to regulatory, compliance or security concerns. Yet other applications make more economic sense to run in the cloud or offer faster deployment options. The hybrid approach allows for the best of both worlds.

"My view is we're debating whether a model like this with the right policy constraints can get the enterprise to a place where it is cloud-like and eventually migrating toward a cloud environment," said Alistair Croll, principal analyst at Bitcurrent, speaking during an Interop session he moderated.

"A hybrid model gets people comfortable in the shorter term," said Tyson Hartman, CTO of Avanade, a subsidiary of Accenture that deploys Microsoft-based solutions. That's been the case with the company's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) for hosting Exchange, SharePoint and Dynamics applications.

Hartman said in an interview following the session that he anticipates Microsoft's new Azure cloud services, launched this week at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles, will follow that same pattern. "We are doing a lot of hybrid work with BPOS because people can realize the cloud operating model business benefits," he said. "I think as Azure gets more predominant, we will see these hybrid models emerge."

Indeed, a survey of 500 C-level IT executives by Kelton Research commissioned by Avanade found a 300 percent spike over the past nine months in plans to either test or start deploying cloud services. However, 95 percent of them plan on a hybrid approach, according to a study released last month.

Still, some on the panel questioned whether that will make sense over the long term. "I think there's value in private clouds and value in public clouds but they are very separate things," said Anders Lofgren, chief research officer at TheInfoPro, an IT research firm. "I think the hybrid cloud complicates something that's already really complex."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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