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Meta-Cloud: a Coexistence of Distinct Service Providers

CIOs have recognized that they must plan for a world where many cloud platforms coexist together, supporting the diverse needs of user groups within their midst. To some informed cloud service buyers, the notion of a one-size-fits-all public cloud offering now seems absurd.

Granted, a typical IT manager's role could be simpler if they only used one vendor for all use cases and associated cloud applications. But the savvy Line of Business leaders won't let that happen -- they'll continue to demand best-fit solutions. It's an important Hybrid IT infrastructure strategy.

IHS Markit interviewed the key decision makers at 158 North American organizations about the adoption of on-premises cloud architecture within the enterprise, purchase of off-premises cloud services now, and how they plan to evolve their use of off-premises cloud services over the next two years.

Cloud Computing Market Development Trends

Enterprise respondents to the cloud services survey plan to spend 17 percent of their IT budgets on off-premises cloud services by 2017 -- that's estimated to be an increase of 58 percent over 2015.

Moreover, survey respondents expect to increase or maintain adoption in all categories of cloud computing services through 2018 -- including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud as a service (CaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).


That said, here's the key revelation from this market study: survey respondents indicate they will likely use many different cloud service providers. On average, they anticipate using as many as eight distinct cloud service providers by 2018 -- driven primarily by the specialized needs of their internal business users.

The adoption of multiple cloud service providers is in-line with the IHS market outlook for off-premises public and private cloud computing services, which projects a move to a distributed architecture enabling a 'cloud of clouds' -- what they've referred to as a Meta-Cloud model.

Demand for a Cloud Coexistence Strategies

IHS analysts believe that the Meta-Cloud model will become increasingly important, as consuming off-premises cloud services from many different vendors will likely be a management challenge for most enterprise IT organizations.

According to the IHS assessment, there are significant opportunities for vendors that act as cloud service brokers. They'll provide a single connection to an enterprise with a service-level agreement (SLA) and single point of management by which the IT organization can access a variety of purpose-build cloud services.

With an average of 22 percent of physical servers, 17 percent of virtual machines and 12 percent of Linux containers expected to be in use within off-premises data centers by 2018, network equipment vendors must demonstrate how their equipment can be part of a cohesive hybrid cloud deployment -- where interoperability between network management, server virtualization and data center orchestration software is a critical factor for success.

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