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Cloud computing growing, but presenting challenges

By Max Burkhalter
June 29, 2012
The cloud, though still a relatively young technology, is already being deployed on a large scale in many organizations. As the technology continues to mature, many businesses find themselves needing to prioritize the network and make strategic upgrades to both office and data center systems in response to the cloud. These investments may need to continue, as cloud spending is continuing to rise, a recent Dimensional Research study found.

Approximately 31 percent of respondents to the survey said that they are currently running a cloud setup that functions as the primary element of their IT system. While this may not represent the vast majority of participants, it still represents considerable growth in how much organizations are willing to depend on cloud computing technology.

However, 88 percent of those polled by Dimensional Research told the analysis firm that they have experienced some challenges when they have made the transition to the cloud. Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research, explained that one of the major difficulties accompanying cloud deployment is a lack of communication between business units.

"Our research reveals high optimism and expectations among CIOs and IT executives for cloud adoption and value, but also hurdles including the anticipation that IT will end up operating cloud applications bought by other areas of the business and without input from IT. In overcoming these and other hurdles to adoption, good communication is essential, but not always existent. One silver lining: BI can help solve problems caused by siloed SaaS applications," said Diane Hagglund.

Bandwidth issues are among the easiest traps to fall into when business units begin investing in the cloud in unpredictable ways that are not overseen by IT. At its core, cloud computing depends heavily on virtualization, a technology that puts more data in less hardware and enables the delivery of multiple applications through a single network port. When the cloud is thrown into the mix, the bandwidth issues created by virtualization are further complicated, especially since applications and other data-rich solutions are often delivered through the web, not a dedicated data center network connection.

Because of these attributes, cloud computing tends to use so much bandwidth that it needs to be accompanied by strategic network upgrade, especially in the WAN systems. There are a variety of ways to meet cloud requirements, with investment in MAN solutions a prime option, as the technology allows for fiber-optic cable connectivity between branch offices, streamlining cloud delivery in a metropolitan region, making the WAN less important.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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