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Critical workloads, private deployments and market opportunities abound in the cloud


on 10 September 2013

This article was last updated 9 years ago.

In our annual Server and Cloud Survey we asked over 5,800 Ubuntu users from six continents to share their experience of using Ubuntu server and cloud, as well as how they use cloud and plans for the future. The 2013 results just in revealed some interesting themes around cloud adoption, deployments and market opportunities. Overall, the research showed that today there is a greater level of trust in cloud environments. This is leading to more deployments of mission-critical workloads to the cloud – a positive trend for increasing adoption rates. Results showed that private clouds are the choice for the majority of enterprises, however many are still evaluating how to effectively orchestrate services, which presents a big market opportunity for vendors. Here are the big takeaways from this year’s survey:

  1. 1. More mission-critical workloads are being deployed in the cloud

    The worldwide cloud market is projected to be worth $131 billion this year and the industry is continuing to grow exponentially. As it grows, a key change is taking place; companies today are not only hosting email or non-critical applications, but are also deploying a wide range of business applications and workloads. It’s a sign that the cloud is coming of age.

    The 2013 Server and Cloud Survey found that 64 percent of respondents are already deploying, or plan to deploy workloads to the cloud. 55 percent consider cloud environments ready for mission-critical workloads – up from 22% in 2012. Specific types of mission-critical workloads enterprises are deploying to the cloud include; Web server workloads (51 percent), database (44 percent), backup (42 percent), file server (30 percent).

    These findings show greater trust in the cloud, especially as 59 percent are using such environments for production now, rather than just test and development (60 percent) or extra server capacity (53 percent).

  2. 2. OpenStack and Ubuntu private cloud deployments preferred

    There’s been a lot of focus on public clouds lately as many providers are bringing offers to market and looking to make a name for themselves in a crowded market. However, our survey shows that enterprises today prefer private clouds and that OpenStack is an increasingly viable option to meet their flexibility, scalability and accessibility needs.

    We found that 41 percent of respondents are currently using private clouds, while just 27 percent are using public clouds and 15 percent using hybrid clouds. And, while it could be argued that hybrid is tied in with public cloud usage, the projections for the type of cloud infrastructure expected to be built over the next year show private infrastructure leading the charge at 52 percent.

    With so many cloud options these days, it’s also encouraging to see OpenStack being selected as the private cloud infrastructure of choice with 42 percent using OpenStack. And, because most OpenStack clouds run on Ubuntu, it’s no surprise that 75 percent have near-term plans to deploy more Ubuntu servers and 70 percent consider Ubuntu as a viable platform for their cloud-based deployments.

    It’s clear that the private cloud space will be one to watch, especially as both OpenStack and Ubuntu become increasingly prominent in enterprise settings. But we foresee that companies will likely move more toward a hybrid model where they can choose the best option for whatever their needs may be at a given time, and enable the flexibility to move seamlessly between private and public infrastructures.

  3. 3. Cloud orchestration tools show market opportunity

    While traditionally there’s been some uncertainty around cloud orchestration tools, the Server and Cloud Survey shows a promising trend for the cloud service orchestration market generally. In fact, it seems many are realising the importance of sophisticated configuration management tools and are increasingly using them instead of home-baked bash scripts. And, with the increasing complexity of cloud environments, people are becoming more sophisticated in their use of such tools, moving beyond configuration management tools to cloud orchestration tools like Juju, which offer a more service-centric view of cloud environments and allow for more flexibility in scaling out and re-configuring services.

    The 2013 Server and Cloud Survey shows that 24 percent of respondents are using Puppet as their service orchestration tool and 16 percent are using Juju, which is much newer to the market (check out our latest Juju upgrade!). But, what’s arguably more interesting is that the growth in the use of service orchestration tool has not matched that of the cloud adoption. This is likely to be due to the value of management tools being marginal for small implementations in cloud but their value grows exponentially as implementations scale. Therefore we expect to see the adoption of orchestration tools showing an uptick in the near future.

    Be sure to also check out our SlideShare on the results. In the meantime, we’d be interested to hear your thoughts on these trends – whether from personal experience or market observation. Leave us a comment below!

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