All eyes on the cloud for enterprise vendors


9 May 2011

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Sixty-two per cent of IT providers expect cloud computing to be the top theme for 2011, up from 45pc in 2010, according to a survey by ICT industry group Bitkom.

Superior broadband speeds and the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets among enterprises, coupled with a lessening of security and reliability concerns, are considered the key drivers of cloud adoption.

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The latest cloud offering from Microsoft is Windows Intune, a cloud-based IT management platform released at the end of March. Microsoft says it offers enterprise-style level of control over a network, through a combination of cloud-based services, on-site PC management tools and added malware protection. The solution joins the software giant’s existing Office 365, Windows Server Hyper V and Windows Azure cloud services.

Meanwhile, VMware, a strong proponent of the hybrid cloud model (combining private and public cloud services) is set to offer vCloud Connector, a free plug-in for VMware’s vSphere. vCloud Connector offers what VMware calls a "single pane of glass" management view of both public and private cloud services: this allows administrators to monitor and manage virtual machines in the private and public cloud. Customers will also be able to transfer virtual machines between the clouds to the most efficient place for them to run at particular times.  A demo of vCloud Connector is available here.

The new developments come as IDC predicts a massive spike in spending on cloud-enabling hardware. IDC analysts say server hardware revenue for public cloud computing will jump from US$582m in 2009 to US$718m in 2014, while spending in the private cloud will increase dramatically from US$2.6bn to US$5.7bn in the same period.

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