I D C T E C H N O L O G Y S P O T L I G H T. P o r t a b i lity: C h a r t i n g t h e Path T ow ard the Open Hyb r i d C l o u d

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1 I D C T E C H N O L O G Y S P O T L I G H T P o r t a b i lity: C h a r t i n g t h e Path T ow ard the Open Hyb r i d C l o u d September 2013 Adapted from OpenStack: Approaching Critical Mass by Gary Chen, IDC # Sponsored by Red Hat and Intel Cloud computing and open hybrid clouds are part of a sweeping transformation across all facets of the IT industry. IDC survey data shows a significant percentage of IT budget increasingly moving to cloud initiatives rather than allocated to traditional IT. It also shows a shift initially toward private cloud, and then a major ramp-up toward public cloud implementations. Over time, hybrid clouds, consisting of both public and private elements, will be widely adopted. Hybrid clouds that are open are a key aspect of a viable enterprise cloud strategy. With the hybrid cloud model, the portability of workloads and data is key to fully leveraging the benefits of a multiple cloud model. Open source technology has a critical role to play in this area as companies begin gearing up to place more and more business and mission-critical workloads into their cloud environments. Service providers are building their cloud platforms on open source based on the ability to customize and lower costs. Open source cloud platforms are also making a play in the enterprise with packaged cloud stacks like OpenStack offering integrated private clouds. This Technology Spotlight discusses the importance of these trends and the role of the Red Hat Intel alliance in moving them forward. Introduction Cloud computing is the impetus for a sweeping transformation across all facets of the IT industry, upending established business and technology models. The benefits of cloud computing, including open hybrid clouds, are increased business agility, lower total cost of ownership, and operational efficiency. Adoption will be driven by these key advantages as well as ease of use, speed of deployment, flexible pricing models, and reduction of in-house support costs. Adoption will also be enhanced by the emergence of technologies that amplify the value of the cloud model, including affordable wireless broadband access; the proliferation of rich-function mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; the virtualization of servers, storage, and networking; and the growth of Big Data and cloud-based analytics. IDC survey data shows a significant percentage of IT budget increasingly moving to cloud initiatives rather than being allocated to traditional IT. IDC's 2012 CloudTrack Survey indicated that IT budget allocated to cloud (private or public) is on average 37% of the IT budget, and customers estimate that it will grow to 49% in two years. The emergence of a variety of IT cloud services including public, private, and hybrid gives IT departments greater flexibility in adopting the cloud model, matching the right offerings to their particular requirements. IDC data also shows a shift initially toward private cloud and then a major ramp-up toward public cloud implementations. Private clouds allow enterprises to gain the benefits of cloud computing but manage risks by keeping the compute and data on premises. Enterprises clearly want the capabilities of public clouds in their datacenters, with survey data showing a 69% planned utilization. But these IDC 1545

2 shifts are not always "either/or" scenarios. The reality is that hybrid clouds, consisting of both public and private elements, will eventually be widely adopted. While enterprises will become more comfortable, over time shifting workloads off premises to public clouds, there will always be some core set of critical capabilities that enterprises will want to keep on premises. When hybrid clouds come into the picture, the subject of openness is one that is often invoked and with good reason. Hybrid clouds that are open are a key aspect of a viable enterprise cloud strategy. IDC's 2012 Cloud System Software Survey shows that 68% of customers consider hybrid cloud a key factor or requirement for cloud development and use. With the hybrid cloud model, the portability of workloads and data is key to fully leveraging the benefits of a multiple cloud model. IDC's 2012 Cloud System Software Survey shows that the ability to port and access data was the top characteristic for an open cloud. Clearly, open source technology has a critical role to play as companies begin gearing up to place more and more business and mission-critical workloads into their cloud environments. In fact, IDC's 2012 Cloud System Software Survey shows that 47% of enterprises are increasing their open source and Linux spend for cloud. Open source has been successful in cloud development because of several factors. Service providers are building their cloud platforms on open source based on the ability to customize and lower costs. Open source cloud platforms are also making a play in the enterprise, with packaged cloud stacks like OpenStack offering integrated private clouds. Linux has proven to be very popular as a guest operating system (OS) in the cloud, a cost-effective yet fully featured OS that can be easily integrated into cloud images and adapts well to many business models. Trends in Openness, Hybrids, and Standardization As cloud technology matures, IT departments taking a second look at consumption and service models are revising performance goals and objectives. Specific features and performance are of course still important in a cloud environment, especially for certain workloads. But the framework has expanded, with the emphasis now shifting from single applications to enterprise and cloudwide performance. Another key trend is the increasing popularity of deploying multivendor hypervisors in virtualized environments. Although still early days, the use of secondary hypervisors has increased dramatically, giving IT shops viable enterprise-class choices from an array of vendors. Although multi-hypervisor adoption is still modest today, interest has been rising steadily as alternatives have improved. In addition, IDC expects that number to at least double over the next few years. Enterprises now view cloud as a new environment, separate from their virtualized servers, and there is a high degree of willingness to deploy new hypervisors specifically for cloud environments. In this situation, the role of cloud system software is to abstract the differences between hypervisors and manage them differently than they are managed in traditional virtualization management frameworks. The Role of Openness There has been much industry discussion recently concerning the role of openness in cloud development and environments. Open cloud approaches will continue to be important as enterprises gradually move to hybrid clouds and the process of sourcing services from multiple clouds. Openness hinges on several important areas including open standards, the openness of APIs, and workload portability. There are a number of open initiatives and standards currently being developed, with collaboration by major vendors, service providers, and customers including OVA (Open Virtualization Alliance), ODCA (Open Data Center Alliance), W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), OpenStack, and DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force) IDC

3 Open standards allow for effective multivendor solutions. A recent IDC survey asked enterprise IT respondents about what characteristics they value for openness. In that survey, the following items were cited: The ability to port and access data The option to run the cloud platform on-premise Community Open APIs The ability to run on Linux In this context, cloud computing serves to shift the API focus from OS to cloud and application services. Further, the degree to which APIs are open has a big impact on cloud interoperability and the portability of workloads. Portability in Perspective Workload portability is key in allowing the integration of private and public clouds under the hybrid model. It also serves to prevent service provider lock-in, which is a major concern among IT departments considering or implementing cloud environments. The issue of workload portability exists on several levels. Simply being able to migrate virtual machines (VMs) between public and private is only the tip of the iceberg. An entire environment and dependencies surrounding the VM must be dealt with, such as SLAs, storage, networking, security requirements, and audit controls. At the application level, API compatibility and the behavior of the dependent services are critical. As the market matures a process taking place very rapidly open source technology will continue to play a key role in open cloud development. IDC cloud system software data on the importance of open source in cloud and spending on open source for cloud shows that open source, open APIs, and open standards for cloud are key considerations for 72% of enterprises. It also shows that 47% of enterprises are increasing their spend on open source and Linux for cloud utilization. The Benefits of Cloud Portability and Standardization One of the key benefits of openness is the portability that is enabled across on-premise and offpremise clouds. It is essential that the data supporting a given application be portable. As cloud infrastructure is developed, switching between services needs to be easily manageable and cost effective. There is a need to ensure that the cloud provides appropriate APIs to support the necessary data export and conversion that need to take place. The challenge for IT managers going forward will be to balance short-term needs for cloud resources with proprietary approaches that can cause lock-in problems later and long-term planning to reduce future risks. It's worth noting that IT managers are increasingly concerned about lock-in to software tools and programming interfaces. Open cloud approaches provide a way to avoid the problems associated with this. Moving to a virtual machine, regardless of the underlying platform, represents the first step toward achieving portability. VMs are becoming a fundamental building block for IaaS and some PaaS clouds. As described previously, enterprises today are increasingly likely to have mixed virtualization environments. In fact, IDC survey data shows that 33% of enterprises now have a dual virtualization strategy. Open source approaches can cost-effectively offer high-performance capability to help move toward these goals. Many public and private clouds have been developed using emerging open source cloud 2013 IDC 3

4 system software. An open common architecture can ease migration and portability. But openness needs to be executed in an optimal fashion. Ideally, APIs should be open to everyone, fully and openly documented, and extensible. In addition, open source projects should involve many commercial offerings and vendors to ensure a rich field of development capabilities. Red Hat's and Intel's Approach to Hybrid Open Cloud Development Red Hat and Intel are both key players in open cloud development. Working together through their partnership and in various industry forums and organizations, both vendors support key industry initiatives including ODCA, OCP (Open Compute Forum), OpenStack, and OVA. Their approach to joint development centers on open standards, open APIs, and open source work being done across the industry. This approach to open cloud development offers several distinct advantages for enterprises and allows IT to leverage and capitalize on existing infrastructure and investments and avoid adding more siloed systems, which can further complicate resource management. The overall intent of this partnership is to not limit resources to any one vendor's strategy, thereby encouraging the process of innovation. The Red Hat Intel strategy supports the open cloud model, which is characterized by multiple languages, frameworks, and open application APIs. This strategy allows for interoperable, portable, and secure clouds, regardless of virtualization product deployed. It also enables multivendor solutions across servers, storage, networks, virtualization, OS/apps environments, and management solutions. Public cloud providers are gravitating to KVM/Linux and open source cloud platforms for reasons of cost and customizability. An important part of this focus is developing sustainable and robust communities for both users and developers. Efforts around standards and open APIs are focused on ultimately providing optimal workload portability between clouds. Challenges There is a large base of proprietary and closed systems currently in place. The Intel/Red Hat approach faces competition from vendors with an installed base that are motivated to maintain their base of existing customers. Standards take a long time to become fully formed and ratified. This can serve to lead users with more immediate needs to select solutions that have short-term benefits and deprioritize the benefits of openness. In addition, users need to be educated about what open cloud means for IT departments engaged in cloud development. Commitment to and implementation of open cloud requires both broad industry buy-in and collaboration, which are often difficult with competing vendor interests. However, as companies become more aware of the specific challenges associated with cloud implementations, and the benefits of an open cloud, these educational efforts could become a powerful force to motivate the industry to produce open and interoperable solutions in order to benefit IT organizations. Conclusion IDC believes that hybrid clouds, consisting of both public and private elements, will eventually be widely adopted. Hybrid clouds that are open are a key aspect of a viable cloud strategy within the enterprise, and open source technology has a critical role to play as companies begin gearing up to place more and more business and mission-critical workloads into their cloud environments. Open standards allow for effective multivendor solutions, including the ability to port and access data, the option to run the cloud platform on-premise, and the benefits of having open APIs. The degree to which APIs are open has a big impact on cloud interoperability and the portability of workloads. This is key in allowing the integration of private and public clouds under the hybrid model and prevents IDC

5 service provider lock-in, a major concern among IT departments considering or implementing cloud environments. The Red Hat/Intel approach to joint development centers on open standards, open APIs, and open source while leveraging previous successes in fostering the use of open source operating systems and applications in datacenters. IDC believes that to the extent that the Red Hat and Intel partnership can address the challenges described in this paper, their joint efforts are well positioned to enable and drive the open hybrid cloud model across the industry. A B O U T T H I S P U B L I C A T I ON This publication was produced by IDC Go-to-Market Services. The opinion, analysis, and research results presented herein are drawn from more detailed research and analysis independently conducted and published by IDC, unless specific vendor sponsorship is noted. IDC Go-to-Market Services makes IDC content available in a wide range of formats for distribution by various companies. A license to distribute IDC content does not imply endorsement of or opinion about the licensee. C O P Y R I G H T A N D R E S T R I C T I O N S Any IDC information or reference to IDC that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from IDC. For permission requests contact the GMS information line at or Translation and/or localization of this document requires an additional license from IDC. For more information on IDC visit For more information on IDC GMS visit Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F IDC 5

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