Beyond the Cloud: Top Data Center Providers Emphasize Flexibility, Security

A. DeCarlo
A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:       

  • Cloud solutions rule long-range enterprise IT planning sessions, but today’s corporate data center requirements are much more nuanced and complex.
  • Top providers deliver a range of capabilities, including the transition support organizations need as they consolidate servers and plot future cloud migrations. 

IT organizations today cannot risk being without a clear cloud strategy for the future.  However, the focus in the data center now is on near-term needs.  Even in the midst of the cascading cloud computing wave, on-demand computing solutions still constitute a relatively small percentage of the revenues of most of the leading data center services providers today.  Frankly, most organizations are too busy (grappling with myriad tactical challenges) to address longer-term, strategic issues, through cloud technology or any other data center solution.

This in no way implies that the data center sector is static.  In fact, the contrary is true; data center providers are responding to the full-court press by enterprise customers for more flexible services with a range of solutions that tap into virtualization (and other opportunities) to provide greater levels of efficiency and flexibility.  Demand for more agile and responsive solutions is driving the top IT service providers to innovate around everything from data center design and construction to orchestration and workload migration.

So, how does your organization see the current state of the data center sector?  How well are your current providers responding to your evolving requirements?  How do they stack up today? We took a close look at leading global data center providers in Current Analysis’ Q2 2012 data center and cloud services assessment and found the mix of companies has changed (and will continue to change) as market makers, stalwarts, and upstarts use innovative offers to jockey for position. 

Leading-edge provider IBM achieves its leader status by investing in developing both the infrastructure and the skill set to support IT delivery models that are both agile and reliable.  However, upstart providers (such as cloud market maker Amazon Web Services) are shaking up the status quo, with solutions that appear to put control squarely in the hands of the customer… and change the entire cost equation. 

These are today’s top players, but are there new providers which you think are promising?  Which new solutions intrigue you most? What raises red flags?  When do you anticipate that you will begin executing fully on your long-term cloud strategy?

What do you think?

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