Private Clouds Proving Their Popularity

By William Atkinson

Private clouds are the most popular cloud deployment model, according to the new 2013 Cloud Computing Survey conducted by Palmer Research and QuinStreet Enterprise. Also, software as a service (SaaS) is the most popular form of cloud computing service used by the respondents, besting both infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

The survey is based on reports from nearly 350 IT professionals and executives who are involved in the cloud computing purchase process. The full survey is available here.

It found that 65 percent of respondents use or plan to use a private cloud. Forty-six percent of respondents use or plan to use a public cloud, and 19 percent use or plan to use a hybrid cloud. In addition, the private cloud seems to be growing at twice the pace of public and hybrid clouds.

Two reasons for the popularity of private clouds are security and privacy. That is, despite the best efforts of cloud computing vendors, and increasing adoption of cloud computing in recent years, concerns about security (mentioned as “extremely or very inhibiting” by 70 percent of respondents), privacy (69 percent), uptime (62 percent), and control of data (61 percent) remain the most likely inhibitors to adopting cloud computing services and applications.

In terms of types of cloud computing services, software as a service (SaaS) is the most popular form of service used by the respondents, with 78 percent of them using or planning to use it. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is second, with 60 percent of respondents either using or planning to use it. And platform as a service (PaaS) is a third, being used by 24 percent of respondents, but with more than one-third say they are planning to use it in the future.

While SaaS is more than a decade old, and IaaS and PaaS are much newer, adoption of IaaS and PaaS is picking up quickly, with as many respondents planning to use them in the future as are planning to use SaaS.

The most surprising result is the growth rate of the private cloud and how this relates to the security and privacy concerns that have continued to exist for some time, says Mike Pastore, director of custom content for QuinStreet Enterprise and author of the cloud report. “When you look at the top players in the public cloud, such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google, these are large and powerful consumer names,” Pastore notes. “I would guess that most IT decision-makers trust their personal information to most or all of these companies. Yet, when it comes to business data and customer information, they see too much risk there.”

One of the most important takeaways from the survey, says Pastore, relates to the popularity of the different cloud services. “Whether you’re talking about SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS, people are looking for scalability and cost savings,” he says. “When you look at the growth rates, especially for IaaS and PaaS, you can probably infer that people are able to reap these benefits with these services. People wouldn’t be planning these deployments if they were failing.”

Overall, the survey demonstrates that cloud computing is working for most businesses, says Pastore, by “helping them save money and scale their IT infrastructures.” 

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