“IT is not just the hoster of equipment and managing it. Your job is delivery of service levels at cost and with agility,” according to Thomas Bittman, an analyst for research firm Gartner. This agility is what companies across the globe are coming to expect from cloud providers as the industry trends in that direction, and with many businesses disappointed in their current cloud service, providers have a long road ahead of them to convince IT departments that a move a private-cloud is a smart one.
Gartner currently estimates that 45 percent of x86-based servers are carrying VM-based workloads, and that number is expected to quickly increase. In 2012, it is predicted that 58 percent of all servers will be virtual, heading toward 77 percent by 2015. Right now, VMware is the market leader, with Microsoft and Citrix hot on their heels. All three providers must work to develop private cloud solutions that deliver a truly automated experience.
According to Gartner, the speed of IT services is largely determined by the type of infrastructure that a company has in place, and a move from a virtualized environment to a private cloud managed either in-house or by a provider is the first step in speeding up IT response. But while providers may insist that a true cloud must be fully automated, the lack of mature tools on the market makes that something not easily achieved. Many companies are still using in-house or custom built management tools to keep track of metrics and network use, and there is a disconnect between providers and customers when it comes to what can be delivered.
Nonetheless, Gartner maintains that private clouds will give companies the edge over current virtualization techniques in terms of speed and agility.