1 THE CLOU D An increasing number of companies are storing software and data on virtual servers. With more cloud options than ever, this sector is only going to grow. CORP. In the late 1990s, the term cloud computing was used to describe sites like Hotmail and Yahoo that stored e- mail messages on their own servers rather than on your computer s hard drive. Over the last 15 years, though, the cloud has evolved dramatically. Now people can virtually store everything, from photos and documents to movies and music, while companies can use complex software to manage their businesses and generate data without building and housing their own servers. As much as the sector has matured, though, it s still in its early stages and is one of the technology industry s fastest-growing segments. Forrester Research, for instance, estimates that global software as a service (SaaS) revenues will hit $106 billion next year, up 21% from 2015 levels, while market research firm IDC says that spending on public cloud services will double to $127.5 billion by Historically, smaller companies have driven growth in this space. Cloud-based programs, many of which are as robust as the expensive enterprise software used by big businesses, have helped entrepreneurs compete with larger corporations. Now, however, companies of all sizes are using the cloud. According to Computerworld, 42% of IT decision-makers plan to increase spending on the cloud in 2015, with the majority of that growth coming from firms that have at least 1,000 employees. There was once a great deal of resistance to moving to the cloud, says Ken Birman, a computer science professor at Cornell University. But it s now a hugely successful market. There are a number of reasons why larger operations had initially been hesitant to make a move. Security concerns top the list. Companies often had existing software that served their needs. Another big inhibitor to investing in cloud computing was vendor lock-in, says Birman: Typically, a business would buy cloud storage space from a third-party company and they d be committed to using that service, and corporations were worried about locking in to one company. Businesses would wonder, What if that company stumbles or changes its pricing model how can I get out of that? says Birman. S1
2 The road to hybrid starts with private cloud. Cloud was built to make businesses and governments better, easier, faster. And now it does. HP Helion is the cloud portfolio that delivers on its promise. Maintaining control, protecting sensitive information, and brokering multiple clouds all starts with an open, agile private cloud. That s why we re #1 in private cloud solutions, again.* Learn about our promise at hp.com/go/hybrid *Source: Synergy Research Group. Copyright 2015 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
3 All-in-One Package This issue has given rise to value-added intermediaries, or businesses such as telecom companies that offer customers numerous services, including software, data storage space, and broadband connections. These companies can easily switch a user from one application to another, and they allow businesses to access There was once a great deal of resistance to moving to the cloud, but it s now a hugely successful market. all of their cloud computing needs in one place. Intermediaries who want to sell such all-inone packages tend to work with a platform provider that integrates multiple services and deploys cloud solutions. Renton, Wash. based technology company Odin is one such platform company. The Odin Service Automation platform, which the company sells to telecoms and other large online service providers, allows SMBs to access multiple cloud-based applications, move applications into the cloud, utilize public and/or private clouds, expand or contract storage space, and more. Providers can offer and bundle services and products from over 600 sources including services they host themselves as well as syndicated services like Microsoft Office 365. By allowing its clients to give customers an all-in-one cloud solution, Odin helps businesses spend less time on IT-related tasks. When a business hires someone, they can now easily add an additional mail user, says Birger Steen, Odin s CEO. They can also add more capacity to their broadband connection and acquire more services from their service provider. We enable service providers to offer that to their clients. Ken Birman, Cornell University Rise of the Hybrid Cloud Another trend that Birman and other industry watchers are seeing is the evolution of the hybrid cloud, where companies make use of both public and private clouds. A private cloud is a virtual server that can only be accessed by one company. Typically, the company builds and manages it itself on its own premises. A public cloud is owned and operated by a third party, and multiple companies use that provider s storage space and software. Previously, companies would often use just one or the other, or a business would start with a private cloud and then move into a public cloud, which is a less expensive way to access storage space. As the sector has evolved, though, a number of businesses are finding uses for both types of cloud. Cloud is really a hybrid world that gives IT the ability to move applications to a cloud that makes sense either in its own data center or the public cloud, says Bobby Patrick, Hewlett-Packard s chief marketing officer of HP Cloud. There are good reasons to use both. A business may have confidential documents that it wants to host on its own server versus one owned by another company, but it could also have less sensitive information that s fine to store on a thirdparty platform. Companies often develop their own software in a private cloud, and then move it to the public cloud to sell. Finally, they may build an application on a public cloud, to move to a private cloud for security later. It can be a lot of work for a company to manage private and public clouds on their own. For this reason, Hewlett-Packard created HP Helion OpenStack, enabling organizations to become internal service providers, and allowing clients to more easily build, manage, and use a hybrid cloud. The company built its platform on OpenStack, a community of thousands with significant contributions from companies like HP and the leading open-source cloud-computing project software, which comes with all of the building blocks and components needed to build out an elegant cloud platform. Because it s built on open source, the platform is constantly being refined and improved. With HP s product, setting up a private cloud and moving nimbly between the private and public spaces is simpler. With HP Helion, businesses can more easily deploy a private cloud, says Patrick. They can use it to monitor and control S3
5 multiple clouds, and they can operate a cloud that is designed for always-on availability. Spending on public cloud services will double to $127.5 billion by Private Payas-You-Go While private clouds are generally cheaper to operate than the traditional company server, it can still be expensive to build one. However, that truism is also changing. Dimension Data, an ICT solutions and service provider with offices around the world, offers customers in-demand private cloud solutions hosted on the company s servers. Unlike the public cloud, where 100 companies could share server space, a business can have its own dedicated servers, even though they re housed in Dimension Data s facilities. This model allows Dimension Data to provide a cheaper pay-as-you-go price the usual payment method for public cloud offerings. We re taking one of the most popular International Data Corporation (IDC) features of the public cloud, which is pay-as-you-go, and applying it to the private cloud model, says Pam Casale, a senior vice president at Dimension Data. The company also offers public cloud space and hybrid options, and it has tools to help users manage both environments. Hybrid cloud is giving way to a host of new features and functions, she says. For instance, our Dimension Data CloudControl system gives the enterprise s IT department the ability to manage their business across multiple platforms. As much as cloud computing has grown up, there s still plenty of evolution ahead, says Birman. Eventually, the vast majority of corporations will be in the cloud, third-party offerings will become more secure, and more computing power in general will move off expensive internal servers and onto virtual storage space. Cloud is a far more useful computing model, and it s being done with far less power being wasted, says Birman. This benefits everyone. Delivering the Solutions You Need to Succeed in the Cloud Odin provides the software that powers the cloud ecosystem, from small and local hosters to some of the world s largest telecommunication companies. By partnering with Odin, service providers unlock access to the most complete platform for delivering cloud services including: Web server management Server virtualization Billing automation Provisioning ILLUSTRATION BY JAMES YANG