Weve been proving that were reliable at keeping services up, and if a service goes down, were transparent with users about what happened. We already offer 99.9% SLAs, Sheth said. Compare that to what enterprises are used to on their internal systems and were more reliable.
Sheth noted that there are still problems to solve, but many of these are more behavioral than technical.
In many ways the security model of the cloud is better than with internal data centers, he said. In the client-server model, a lot of sensitive information resides on the client. Patching is a nightmare, as well.
In the cloud, its easier to centralize and protect data, and you have the ability to quickly address security vulnerabilities.
Proving that protection to an auditor, though, is a different matter.
How long will it take until vendors actually solve these compliance, latency, data migration and security issues? Until [software vendors] see demand from their customers to move major business-critical applications into the cloud, theres no impetus for them to try to solve these problems, Simpson said.
Its a question of timing. Do you want to spend a lot of time, energy and money today on a market that may emerge three years from now, especially when your competitors are waiting until 2012 to act?
Everyone I talked to agreed that the biggest short-term benefits come with virtualization and virtualization has the added benefit of paving the road for future innovations and efficiencies tomorrow.
There are a lot of good options, today, to drive efficiencies: virtualization, high-density blade systems, high-performance switching platforms and high-density storage infrastructure, Stevens said.
If you take what you deployed seven or eight years ago and update it with available technologies, you can lower your data infrastructure costs by 30-50%.