Jim DeHaven, head of Business and Virtualisation for the UK and Ireland, Cisco

9 Nov 2010

For a business considering migrating, it must bear in mind that it has the option of the private and the public cloud.

The private cloud is something that largely has to be dealt with, to a larger degree, internally at first. You have to convert your enterprise into your private cloud. Let’s not assume that all applications can be virtualised in terms of the cloud, you will always have some degree of legacy standalone applications. But you do as much as you can. Then you begin to federate that enterprise cloud with some public cloud offerings – that federation is a private cloud.

Once you get to that point, you can start to move out applications, non-core context applications, such as email, to other ISPs to manage them for you. But the federation and security component are key. One of the key hurdles would be making sure the audit and compliance are there around security because that federation on your end and the information you have, especially the personal information you have, has to be secure – especially if you’re going to merge that with a public cloud offering.

Larger firms want to do it but they have a lot more complexity associated. Smaller commercial customers are leading the charge. They don’t have that complex legacy environment. The smaller, more nimble, more agile partners and resellers are actually creating cloud service offerings for that commercial market much more quickly that traditional outsourcers. The financial proposition of the cloud and the cost savings are there in the Irish market and across the board.

However, there is a degree of complexity in that evolution because you suddenly have this virtual world mixed with the physical world and you need to figure out how to troubleshoot it.

I would say the key things are the new skills and roles that crop up. Instead of the old storage teams, server teams, network teams, etc, we’re now seeing more data-centred architect roles that require the individual to be proficient on the network to secure the end storage.

Looking at the industry, we’re all developing our products with each other so that the plugs are there, thus when virtualisation goes through it’s virtualisation from the front to the back. I would advise that businesses pick application projects and evolve them through the infrastructure instead of trying to change the infrastructure wholesale – it gets too complex and the cost of doing it in resources in time gets out of hand.

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Customer adoption is largely similar to other places