Cloud hardware platforms gain popularity

Cloud computing

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing architecture has gained in popularity and is pushing up towards adoption levels for the Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

This conclusion has been drawn by Yankee Group following research in the US, but it echoes an earlier worldwide report by Analysys Mason.

Sandra Palumbo, Yankee Group research fellow and author of the study, claimed IaaS had been adopted by 24 per cent of 400 large US enterprises deploying cloud services. The Analysys Mason report puts the worldwide figure at 30 per cent this year, rising to 40 per cent over five years.

The Yankee report is more bullish when estimating growth. A further 37 per cent of the sample expected to adopt IaaS during the next 24 months, it said.

David Bradshaw, IDC research manager for applications and solutions, said he also felt the Yankee figures were low and that European adoption was advancing.

"In terms of the UK in particular," he said, "I think cloud adoption is higher than the overall European numbers, but there is a big rise in interest going on in countries like France, Italy and Spain, and Benelux and the Nordics are not far behind the UK."

IaaS is defined by Yankee Group as a pool of shared computing resources, including servers and storage, available and scalable on demand. These resources can be provided in a shared, public multi-tenanted architecture or on a dedicated, private basis.

In essence, it is similar to the bare-metal provisioning offered by application service providers (ASPs) a decade ago. Available IaaS offerings include Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Attenda's RTI and Rackspace's Cloud Servers.

"The desire to adopt is there, but IaaS solutions and providers still have some barriers to address," Palumbo said.

"As adoption plans begin to mount, the time is now for service providers, systems integrators and others to solidify their solutions and address the lingering concerns around the cloud."