IaaS adoption: The perception and reality gap

Businesses that took the plunge to rollout Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) as early adopters, have revealing stories to tell now. Oracle ran a survey of 1600 senior IT professionals, to glean feedback about their deployments, and some widely held misconceptions about security, privacy and migration when adopting cloud technologies.

The survey identified established users as having adopted IaaS 1 to 5 years ago (59-percent), while experienced users adopted it over 5 years ago (18-percent).  Two in three experienced users found that IaaS has significantly cut costs and just as many say migration of apps to IaaS from on-premise environments, has been much easier than expected.

Oracle’s Director of Cloud Platorm, Kirsten Gilbertson explained, “Nearly half of respondents felt the complexity of migrating systems was the biggest block.” Other attitudes which challenge cloud adoption are to do with concerns of control loss over on-premise systems (47-percent), and the fear that IaaS isn’t secure enough for most critical data. 49-percent felt cloud technologies would change, rendering current investments irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, attitudes around migration are slowly challenging as long-held views about its complexity is slowly eroding.

Gilbertson observed that some customers go straight for IaaS, leveraging it for business continuity and development and testing.  Take up of SaaS and PaaS tends to be for organisations with new IT environments however.

“A lot depends on maturity curve around DevOps (culture) and existing investments,” she said.

Ravello – a migration miracle?

Quite a few government customers in Malaysia are also taking on Ravello for purposes of development and testing, shared Gilbertson.

Ravello is a nested hypervisor capability that is proving to be quite appealing, especially for organisations that don’t want to deal with complex supplier arrangements.

What it does is take private environments; predominantly VMware-based ones so far; and lifts and shifts it into Oracle’s public cloud platform. This happens without needing to configure anything associated with the network and storage.

Gilbertson said, “This way services specific challenges in terms of the environment and managing migration… migration is complex currently because of supplier arrangements.”

Another Oracle solution, Cloud-at-customer, offers the same flexibility as a cloud subscription model as well as the same infrastructure services, but all this is with the hardware being housed at the customer’s premises, instead.

Gilbertson said, “This way addresses requirements for some isolation and control, and even data sovereignty and latency speeds.” In fact, Oracle sees significant interest in this solution, particularly from large enterprises with mission-critical systems, or with high performance requirements.

She shared that Oracle does a lot of work with regulated industries and regulators like Bank Negara to give guidance in terms of what data privacy is and how to move data without a breach in security.

“We manage and provide audit ability down to the packet layer, broadening the way different industries can think about cloud services… we provide much greater transparency and control into our IaaS cloud service!”

Second-generation IaaS

Since Oracle Open World 2016, Oracle has had a new and enhanced IaaS offering which Gilbertson described was able to give same granularity of control and governance characteristics for privacy to the public cloud.

This is because of the software-defined networking (SDN) element, which is fixed into the IaaS’ governance and control piece. “Some of the things we do – a flat, non-blocking architecture so that there is transparency into data wherever it travels in the architecture – also offers control and configuration that you are used to in private cloud.”

Gilbertson added, “So, you can start to move mission-critical workloads to the cloud.”

Take up of cloud in Malaysia is slightly more optimistic versus Singapore, something unexpected given how long public cloud has been in Singapore.


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