Dell reviews: Public cloud SPs to become giant IT buyers
By Carol Ko 04-Jan-2011
What specific trends in cloud computing have you observed in the past year?
Chan: This year we have seen a high degree of interest in on premise, private cloud solutions for mainstream enterprise applications, along with a significant interest in subscription SaaS for IT management, sales force automation, and office productivity.
SMB customers have been most interested in SaaS as a method to reduce infrastructure costs and alleviate the need for in-house IT specialists. Large enterprises, which traditionally have well-established IT department have been most focused on increasing efficiency of delivering computing resources and moving into the role of "broker." Consulting to help IT leaders transition into this role and complete tasks such as development of a service catalog, piloting new virtualization technologies, and evaluation of public cloud alternatives to their current practices, have been of increasing interest.
|"Large enterprises [are] moving into the role of "broker." |
-- Ricky Chan, Dell China/HK
For many enterprises, building a private cloud is simply the next step on an evolutionary path that began with data center consolidation. When a company has established a strong virtualization underpinning and is working with traditional applications, an evolutionary approach to the private cloud makes perfect sense.
However, for some enterprises, taking a revolutionary approach to private clouds may be more efficient and much more appropriate. This revolutionary approach makes use of "new world" applications that are both written and deployed in the cloud. Unlike enterprise applications, which are not architected to be used at scale, these cloud-native applications are designed from the ground up for scalability and use across a multitude of servers. As a result, they run more efficiently, are more responsive and deliver a better end user experience.
To help enterprises understand and begin moving down the revolutionary path to cloud computing, Dell has initiated a number of key strategic partnerships through its cloud ISV partner program and its development of specialized private cloud solutions. Through our support in Perot/BearingPoint services arm, we help customers or ISV partners to modernize and transform applications to achieve the atomicity and parallelism needed in cloud computing environment.
Besides seeing the application architecture transformation above, end user access to cloud through various mobile devices such as smartphones will also be another technology evolution. Dell has introduced to market various mobile devices, including the latest Dell "Streak," Android Smartphone. Standardization in mobile OS is happening.
Finally, apart from application modernization and mobile device access, data center design to support large scale homogeneous cloud computing environment is another important topic. In order to achieve "Green," and to reduce overall opex associated when running a cloud, customized/optimized servers, rack-based solutions, and container-based data center solutions have been adopted by some large cloud operators. Dell looks at data center itself as one large giant computer. We've introduced revolutionary approach such as modular data center in the market, which helps to dramatically shorten the lead time in building a data center and drive data center efficiency to the next level.
We continue to see room for improvement in next generation of data center for further optimization in cloud environment, from server, storage, and even to network.
What specific trends in cloud computing do you foresee for the next three years?
Chan: Dell is seeing the IT industry is going through a major change or evolution, we called this "Virtual Era." When we look back at our IT history, we've only seen a few major shifts, mainframe, mini, client/server, Internet computing, etc.
In the new "Virtual Era," virtualization/cloud is becoming the key technology driver will be the fundamental change in the way people use IT or access information. Efficiency will be the core business benefit from this transformation.
Firstly, part of small and medium business customers' product demand (both hardware and software) will change to cloud service subscription. Traditionally, end user customers buy and own "products," employ a vendor to provide implementation and ongoing support services. We may call it "on-premise solutions." In the next three years, we foresee that more small and medium size end user customers will subscribe cloud services due to lower costs, instead of owning "on-premise solutions."
Secondly, the product (hardware and software) purchasing power will move from small and medium size commercial customers to certain public cloud service providers. These emerging public cloud service providers will become giant customers of both hardware and software. In recent years, many well-known public cloud service providers have become customers of Dell's DCS (Data Center Solutions) and the volume of their purchase can exceed many of those at the multinational corporation level.
Thirdly, large enterprise customers will build their own private cloud infrastructure for higher efficiency primarily. Moreover, centralized private cloud within a group can help the IT team in head office strengthen their control in IT resources and governance over their subsidiaries. For these reasons, many of our customers are actively planning private cloud infrastructure based on Dell VIS (Virtualized Integrated System).
Lastly, as cloud services become more widely available and accessible, there not boundaries for local public cloud service providers to expand beyond their geographic location. On the other hand, their competitions can also come from other parts of the world.