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SunGard Availability Services Sees Cloud Computing Maturing, Converging in Coming Years
Nov 30, 2010 (12:11 PM EST)


WAYNE, Pa., Nov. 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- If 2010 was the year of cloud computing awareness and adoption, the next phase of the cloud evolution will bring maturation and convergence according to SunGard Availability Services.

2010 proved that, for many organizations, cloud computing can meet the demand for improved IT efficiency through a virtualized, secure infrastructure solution that is scalable, reliable and can provide organizations higher availability at lower costs when compared to a dedicated IT environment.

"There has been a clear market trend of small and medium sized businesses looking to get out of the business of owning and maintaining their own IT infrastructure," said Rahul Bakshi, vice president Product Management, Managed Services at SunGard Availability Services. "These companies want to tap into the investment service providers have made in IT tools, automation and elastic technology.

See Rahul Talk about Cloud Trends Including Standardization and Convergence Here

The results from an August survey by Yankee Group(1) confirm this trend, with 24 percent of large enterprises with cloud experience saying they are already using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and an additional 37 percent expect to adopt IaaS during the next 24 months.

"As we move into 2011, we see continuation of the maturity of cloud offerings with additional security enhancements, service improvements and convergence of various cloud solution technologies and standards to better address customer needs," added Bakshi.  "These drivers will help accelerate the market adoption of IaaS."

A key to growing market interest in cloud is the ROI an organization can realize through cloud adoption.  "When determining ROI, IT organizations need to look beyond just reducing capital expenditures -- even though major gains can be made there.  The analysis should be based on a comprehensive view, considering all aspects required to deliver the solution -- assessing factors such as, are they able to deliver services more effectively and efficiently?  And, can they take better advantage of capacity on demand -- like seasonal spikes -- and achieve faster times to market," said Bakshi.

Key Considerations for Infrastructure as a Service

When developing an Infrastructure as a Service strategy, here are four key areas organizations should closely consider:

Business Assessment.  IaaS will not replace everything in an internal computing environment.  Just as many companies have a mix of Software as Service like Salesforce.com and internal systems, such as ERP, organizations will take a blended infrastructure approach.  A good starting point is for companies to conduct a cloud readiness assessment to determine which applications have the best business and technical case to move to the cloud.  Next, develop a roadmap for moving applications to the cloud in an efficient way and mitigating operational risks during the cloud migration process.

Security.  Just as in the early days of managed services when providers needed to prove to customers they could address both physical and logical security aspects, cloud providers need to demonstrate multiple layers of data protection for enterprise-grade security and application availability.  For example, organizations need to look for cloud environments that provide dedicated virtual machines which are logically isolated and protected to secure data across shared fabrics.

Compliance.  Cloud computing is dramatically increasing pressure on service providers from a compliance perspective.  Providers need to demonstrate they have embedded the appropriate services, controls, and procedures to support a customer's compliance requirements and to help customers gain the confidence needed to move applications to a cloud environment.  Also, compliance standards cut horizontally -- like Sarbanes-Oxley -- and also vertically with industry-specific standards, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA.  A service provider needs to demonstrate its cloud environment and processes address customer needs in both areas.

Services and Service Level Agreements.  Cloud computing is beneficial when the right services are being offered as part of the solution.  While many of the mainstream providers of cloud computing platforms offer an unmanaged, do-it-yourself cloud, some organizations may prefer that managed services, backed by the right service level agreement, be part of the overall solution.  An organization needs to evaluate its specific needs as they relate to managed services and consider service a key criterion when evaluating vendors.

About SunGard Availability Services

SunGard Availability Services provides disaster recovery services, managed IT services, information availability consulting services and business continuity management software to 10,000 customers in North America and Europe.  With five million square feet of datacenter and operations space, SunGard assists IT organizations across virtually all industry and government sectors to prepare for and recover from emergencies by helping them minimize their computer downtime and optimize their uptime. Through direct sales and channel partners, we help organizations ensure their people and customers have uninterrupted access to the information systems they need in order to do business. To learn more, visit www.sungardas.com or call 1-800-468-7483.

Trademark Information: SunGard and the SunGard logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunGard Data Systems Inc. or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. All other trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

(1) Source:  Yankee Group, "Is IaaS Moving Beyond Just Cloud Fluff?", August 18, 2010

SOURCE SunGard Availability Services