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The Cloud Divide: Survey Finds Big Differences in Attitudes, Knowledge
By Kimberly Koerth
January 15, 2014 - News

Performance is the top challenge for businesses that already have two feet in the cloud, according to a new study.

Internet infrastructure services provider Internap Network Services Corp. polled 250 business decision-makers to gain insight into public cloud adoption, requirements and challenges. Respondents covered a range of industries, including software and Internet, hosting and IT infrastructure, media and entertainment, gaming, health care, education and financial services.

The survey highlighted the significant differences in public-cloud infrastructure concerns between the cloud-wise – organizations that are currently using cloud services – and the cloud-wary – organizations that are not using cloud services and have no near-term plans to do so.

The survey shed light on new challenges for organizations as they operate fast, big-data applications in the cloud and revealed the common misconception that virtualization is a required characteristic of public clouds.

While 40 percent of the cloud-wary said cloud security was a concern, only 15 percent of the cloud-wise said it was a significant challenge. The top challenges cloud-wise organizations have encountered are performance, cost at scale and reliability. About 15 percent each said compliance, security and limited configurations were challenges they'd faced.

Two-thirds of respondents said virtualization was a defining characteristic of a public cloud, even though public clouds do not require virtualization. A similar amount said a "bare-metal" cloud, which combines the speed and reliability of dedicated, single-tenant servers with the agility, self-service and flexible billing of virtualized, multi-tenant public cloud offerings, would appeal to them. This is often because of the higher performance of dedicated servers, with 35 percent saying they would actually prefer a bare-metal cloud over a virtual cloud.

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