Despite recent attempts by vendors to boost enterprise public cloud adoption, enterprise IT is hesitant to undergo an entire architecture rebuild in the cloud.
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It really was a bad idea to say, 'If you want to play over here, you have to play by our rules.
general manager of the server business unit, AMD
Verizon Cloud's new Infrastructure as a Service platform and object storage service is designed to allow enterprises more flexibility and portability of legacy workloads into the public cloud. Citrix, meanwhile, recently rolled out version 4.2 of its CloudPlatform, designed to run both legacy applications and "cloud-native" applications within the same control plane.
While Verizon Cloud beta tester Bryson Koehler, chief information officer and executive vice president at The Weather Company, based in Atlanta, said he's enthusiastic about adopting the new Verizon Cloud, it's unclear how many other enterprises will follow.
The Weather Company, which runs The Weather Channel cable network and Weather.com, has undergone its own transformation into a big data analytics company and has rewritten many of the applications it has designed from scratch, Koehler said.
"There are very few enterprises that go through a wholesale rebuild and re-architecture of their entire company at the same time," he said. "We just happen to be in a position where that's what we needed to do."
Estimates of the actual rate of public cloud adoption among enterprises to date vary widely. According to TechTarget's March 2013 Cloud Pulse survey, 39% of 1297 respondents said they use the public cloud, which topped the private and hybrid categories at 28% and 33% respectively.
But Verizon and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) painted a less sanguine picture of enterprise public cloud adoption last week. A Forrester research survey cited by one AMD executive pegged enterprise public cloud adoption to date at just 10%.
"Where are the enterprises in the public cloud?" said Andrew Feldman, general manager of the server business unit at AMD, during a presentation to press last week.
Verizon Cloud's infrastructure overhaul
Verizon's previous cloud offerings suffered from scalability limitations, said Feldman and Verizon Terremark Chief Technology Officer John Considine.
Additionally, they said public cloud service providers have misjudged the market with the mentality that enterprises would run cloud-native applications there.
"It really was a bad idea to say, 'If you want to play over here you have to play by our rules,'" Feldman said.
In Verizon's data centers, secure partitions separate every virtual machine (VM), hypervisor and customer; security is enforced in hardware, and AMD and Verizon collaborated on a method of layering data encryption, data inspection and firewall capabilities onto each VM's traffic.
Users can also extend private networks into the public cloud with no changes to policies, addresses and security configurations.
Citrix public cloud partner offers improved CloudPlatform
"Our new cloud is built with hybrid in mind," since that seems to be where most enterprises will end up deploying in the cloud, said Chandler Vaughn, senior vice president of products for Codero, a cloud hosting provider based in Austin, Texas, and that is using CloudPlatform 4.2 to deliver services to customers.
Vaughn said CloudPlatform 4.2's new networking model, which offers support for private and public virtual local area networks per VM, among other features, will help with hybrid cloud deployments where networks need to remain consistent on both sides.
Vaughn said he watched enterprise public cloud adoption evolve from before 2009 when enterprises remained on the sidelines to a different world in 2013.
"Now we've seen the pendulum swing back to the idea that cloud is for everyone, but not everything," he said. "It's core to enterprises' strategies, but they don't want to get rid of dedicated gear."
CloudPlatform 4.2 also offers the concept of Amazon Web Services (AWS)-like Availability Zones for the first time. New compatibility with VMware Inc. allows ESXi VMs to be managed through vCenter.
For enterprises deploying traditional workloads, CloudPlatform 4.2 offers support for virtual private clouds, dedicated private cloud isolation, integration with Cisco's Unified Computing System, object storage and Network as a Service support. Support for AWS application programming interfaces and a new third-party plug-in framework allow organizations to build custom extensions to CloudPlatform.
Codero's Vaughn said he wants to see CloudStack build in bare-metal provisioning, as well.