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Red Hat 2014 Predictions - Promise Turned Into Reality: Enterprise IaaS Adoption in 2014

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Chuck Dubuque, Director Product Marketing, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat

Promise Turned Into Reality: Enterprise IaaS Adoption in 2014

It seems like we've been extolling the virtues of IaaS in the enterprise for years, but much of that has been centered around promise, rather than reality.

2014, however, will be the year that promise turns into true deployments.

The proof-of-concept phase will come to an end next year. Enterprises will truly begin to look at Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and OpenStack as true solutions that can help them better run their businesses. This will be driven by several factors, including:

The Need to Capitalize on and Consolidate Existing Investments:

Enterprises have invested a lot in virtualization over the last few years, making strides in server consolidation and breaking down silos. Unfortunately, these investments are already being threatened by newer technologies that may not fall under the same envelope as the solutions they've implemented. Compounding this with the fact that enterprises are running into manageability issues and suffering from the high cost of sprawl and you have a potential recipe for disaster.

The desire to consolidate and manage this increasingly complex infrastructure will be a key driver of enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) adoption in 2014. IaaS will allow organizations to pull seemingly disparate solutions together into a cohesive, workable whole, one that's easier to manage and maintain. All of this will be driven primarily by open source solutions, which, by their nature, promote the building of a hybrid environment.

The Proliferation of More Credible Options:

In 2014 there will be more credible options than ever before for an open and interoperable infrastructure that matches what developers need and want. Part of that is because so many vendors have thrown their hats into the IaaS and, particularly, OpenStack rings. But this is being driven by organizations' desire to not have to experience vendor lock-in. They want open, hybrid environments.

Those demands are being heard, and, as a result, 2014 will see more solutions that meet their needs than ever before. Enterprises who have never been comfortable with the idea of vendor lock-in will have increasing opportunities to create and benefit from an infrastructure that is both secure and interoperable, without the need to rely on a single vendor.

The Maturity of Open Source Virtualization Solutions Toward Enterprise-readiness:

Many organizations already understand that open communities are where most of the innovation is happening in software and infrastructure development. But these organizations are often suspicious of innovation - as much as they appreciate how open source technology makes them more agile and responsive, they are often worried that it may not be quite ready for prime time. This was exemplified in 2013, when we saw a great proliferation of IaaS and, in particular, OpenStack vendors. Regardless of the buzz around each of these, there were still question marks about how to make these solutions malleable for enterprises.

2014 will be a much different story. For example, we will begin to see a maturity and consolidation of OpenStack distributions, which will separate the truly viable players that can find success in the enterprise from those that will not. The solutions will become more stable, reliable, and ideal for enterprise consumption. We will also begin to see the growth of other open source technologies, such as KVM, which will continue to help spur enterprise-class virtualization.

The Availability of Truly Complete Solutions:

When an enterprise purchases a piece of software, they typically look for it to be as complete as possible. This means investing in both the technology and the expertise surrounding it. As such, in 2014 we will see customers looking closely at vendors who are not just distributing the same repackaged bit, but who also possess a very deep knowledge of IaaS. We'll begin to see established players gain a better foothold in the market, due to their rich background in virtualization.

In order to "deepen their bench," these organizations will also begin to work toward establishing very strong ecosystems consisting of partners, customers, and other third parties. This will provide them with the ability to offer customers a great deal of support, additional features, and functionality. Possessing a wide and varied ecosystem will prove to be an important competitive selling point - one that tips the scales toward IaaS and OpenStack adoption in 2014

The road to the enterprise has, up to this point, been a bit of a windy one for IaaS and OpenStack. In 2014, however, we'll see things begin to straighten out significantly, as the road truly opens up for enterprise-ready virtualization solutions.


About the Author

Chuck Dubuque is the Director of Product Marketing for Virtualization and OpenStack at Red Hat, including the products Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Prior to joining Red Hat, he worked for three years at a mid-sized VAR where he led both the marketing and engineering of enterprise hardware and software, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, VMware, Microsoft Windows Server, NetApp, IBM, Cisco, and Dell. Earlier in his career, Chuck spent eight years in the biotechnology space in marketing and business development. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford Graduate School of Business. 
Published Thursday, December 12, 2013 6:32 AM by David Marshall
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