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Challenges include:

` Customer perceptions of security and control. One of the key customer concerns with the public cloud environment regards where the data is stored,

what security protocols are protecting it, and who has access to it. Customers may have compliance requirements that require them to ensure data is not shipped out of country, has four-hour recovery times, etc. In fact, in a recent IDC

survey of IT managers, 45% of respondents rated security the number 1 concern for moving to public cloud deployments. Private cloud, of course, addresses some of these issues because it allows companies to maintain sovereignty and control of their data while still getting the benefits of the cloud platform.

`

Additional complexity in the IT decision. In the past, CIOs had a relatively easy set of decisions when it came to providing their IT infrastructure. They had to identify and purchase the best hardware and software to suit their organization's needs within the available cost profile and then implement and manage it to the best of their team's ability. Today, the burden on CIOs is much greater. They must choose whether to build and maintain infrastructure in the organization's datacenter or to use private or public clouds. If they opt for private cloud, they must decide whether to do so internally or via an outsourced service provider. CIOs not only must decide the best place for each application to live but also must consider changes that may be required to processes and procedures.

`

Need to pick the right partners. There is also a greater burden on IT to consider carefully who it chooses as a partner. Contract management, internal processes, experience, and geographic reach all play a role. For example, if the organization wants to roll out services to sub-Saharan Africa or Eastern Europe, it doesn't want to find out that its partner cannot offer services there.

CONCLUSION

With the rapid adoption of server virtualization and the emergence of new cloud computing technologies, organizations are being pressed to identify the best ways to offer developers and end users an infrastructure that is scalable, flexible, and cost- efficient. Enterprises have addressed the recent wave of physical server sprawl by implementing virtualization, which solved only some of the problems. In fact, the subsequent wave of virtual server sprawl, which we are in the midst of today,

threatens to send costs to manage and maintain those VMs through the roof.

Cloud computing addresses many of these challenges. With cloud technology, organizations can achieve greater degrees of automation, scalability, and availability while reducing the management burden on their own staff. For certain applications and business scenarios, enterprises can also shift costs from large capital outlays every six months or so to regular monthly fees. However, cloud computing introduces new concerns over security and data sovereignty in public cloud deployments. IDC believes that these concerns with cloud computing can be addressed by deploying a private cloud.

But building a private cloud can be an expensive, difficult, and risky proposition, requiring the service provider or enterprise to integrate disparate components.

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©2011 IDC

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