Cloud checkpoint – 5 years on
So how’s it been working out for you, and where is it going?

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1. About you and your organisation

1.1 Which part of the world are you based in?

 

1.2 Which of the following best describes your role?

If you are an independent consultant or contractor, or work for a services firm, answers based on your experience with a specific client rather than your own organisation would be fine (just make sure you tick the relevant boxes for company size, industry, etc that relate to the client).

1.3 Will your answers to this questionnaire be based on:

If you are answering in relation to a client, please take references to ‘your organisation’ in questions to mean that of the client.

1.4 How large is your organisation?

1.5 Which of the following best describes your organisation's core business?

1.6 Approximately how many physical servers exist in your own facilities or under your management in a traditional co-location datacentre?

1.7 What about virtual machines – how many of these do you maintain across the business?

1.8 How many of your organisation’s applications and workloads have the following characteristics?

 
A lot
Some
None/hardly any
Unsure
Designed for the Web (a.k.a. ‘born on the web’)
Designed to support mobile apps services
Designed to support the Internet of Things
Rapid growth trajectory (scaling up quickly)
Need for ‘web-scale’ performance/throughput
Highly fluctuating resource requirements
Frequently refreshed/updated (e.g. DevOps style)
Particularly short lifetime (e.g. measured in weeks)
Small-scale tactical, serving just a few users

2. Your thoughts on cloud infrastructure services

2.1 How long has your organisation been using cloud infrastructure services, if at all, in any meaningful way (e.g. server and/or storage capacity from Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc)?

2.2 How would you sum up the following commonly cited benefits (or potential benefits) of such cloud infrastructure services in the context of your business?

 
Compelling
Valuable
Limited/no value to us
Benefit not real
Unsure
Rapid/easy provisioning
Rapid/easy deprovisioning
Hyper-scalability
Dynamic workload support
Resilience/recoverability
State-of-the-art security
Upfront cost avoidance
Longer-term cost benefit
IT team convenience
Other (please specify)

2.3 How much have the following inhibited or limited your use of cloud infrastructure services?

 
Significantly
To a degree
Not a factor
Unsure
High cumulative costs
Quality of service concerns
Interoperability concerns
Security concerns
Compliance concerns
Unfavourable contracts
General trust issues
Invested in on-prem (own infrastructure meets needs)
Other (please specify)

2.4 Are you using or would you consider cloud infrastructure services for the following?

 
Using now
Investigating or planning
Would consider
Would not consider
Unsure
Preproduction requirements (testing, development or staging environments)
Production hosting of applications developed specifically for the web
Production hosting of other business applications and workloads

3. Use of ‘cloudy’ architecture and platforms on-prem

3.1 How long has your organisation been using ‘cloudy’ infrastructure within your own datacentre, if at all, in any meaningful way (i.e. based on ‘private cloud’ architecture, advanced/dynamic virtualisation platforms, or hyper-converged technology)?

3.2 How would you sum up the following commonly cited benefits (or potential benefits) of on-prem cloud infrastructure in the context of your business?

 
Compelling
Valuable
Limited/no value to us
Benefit not real
Unsure
Rapid/easy provisioning
Rapid/easy deprovisioning
Hyper-scalability
Dynamic workload support
Resilience/recoverability
Centralised security
Infrastructure simplification
Lower management overheads
Longer-term cost benefit
IT team convenience
Other (please specify)

3.3 How much have the following inhibited or limited your use of on-prem cloud infrastructure?

 
Significantly
To a degree
Not a factor
Unsure
Lack of solution maturity
Lack of market consistency (too many competing architectures)
Fear of vendor lock-in
Interoperability concerns
Cost of technology
Security uncertainties
Skills/effort to implement
Skill/effort to operate
Preference for cloud services (limited desire to build in-house clouds)
Resistance to change
Other (please specify)

3.4 Are you using or would you consider on-prem cloud infrastructure for the following?

 
Using now
Investigating or planning
Would consider
Would not consider
Unsure
Preproduction requirements (testing, development or staging environments)
Production hosting of applications developed specifically for the web
Production hosting of other business applications and workloads

3.5 How important would you regard the following to be in relation to on-prem cloud solutions?

RAPID/EASY WORKLOAD MIGRATION
Mandatory
Highly desirable
Useful
Limited appeal
Unsure
Within or between private clouds
Between private and public clouds
Between different public clouds
LIVE MIGRATION WORKLOADS
Mandatory
Highly desirable
Useful
Limited appeal
Unsure
Between or within private clouds
Between private and public clouds
Between different public clouds
OTHER
Mandatory
Highly desirable
Useful
Limited appeal
Unsure
Support for dynamic ‘bursting’ (from private into public clouds)
Support for relevant industry standards
Support for multiple hypervisors
Integration with existing tools/processes

3.6 What’s your opinion of the best way to build a private/hybrid cloud environment?

4. Constructing an enterprise cloud environment

4.1 To what degree have you already invested in the following?

 
Extensively
Quite a bit
Modestly
Not at all
Unsure
Mainstream virtualisation platforms and tools (e.g. from VMware, Microsoft, etc)
Open source virtualisation platforms and tools (e.g. from Red Hat, Canonical, etc)
Converged system appliances/building blocks (e.g. VCE Vblock or similar)
Pre-integrated hyperconverged systems (e.g. from HPE, Dell, etc)
Software-based hyperconverged platforms (e.g. from Nutanix, Simplivity, etc)

4.2 Generally speaking, how would you sum up your experiences with such technologies?

 
Smooth and rewarding
Rewarding but difficult
Difficult and disappointing
Just disappointing
Unsure / N/A
Mainstream virtualisation platforms and tools
Open source virtualisation platforms and tools
Converged system appliances/building blocks
Pre-integrated hyperconverged systems
Software-based hyperconverged platforms

4.3 How would you rate the following as a foundation upon which to build enterprise class private/hybrid cloud environment?

 
Good starting point
Possible starting point
Not a good place to start
Unsure
Mainstream virtualisation platforms and tools
Open source virtualisation platforms and tools
Converged system appliances/building blocks
Pre-integrated hyperconverged systems
Software-based hyperconverged platforms
Specifically designed enterprise cloud platforms
Other (please specify)

4.4 How much would you agree or disagree with the following statements in relation to building an on-prem cloud environment?

 
Strongly agree
Agree
Neutral
Disagree
Strongly disagree
Unsure
It’s important to leverage existing investments where possible
It’s better to purpose-build than extend what’s there and live with a compromise
Established vendors in the virtualisation space have now stepped up to the cloud challenge
Building out your virtualisation platform with cloud extensions and tools can be expensive
Vendors have so far not delivered on the private cloud promise
Vendors have so far not delivered on the hybrid cloud promise
Public cloud platforms made available on prem are an interesting option
Emerging players bring a new set of ideas, perspectives and capability to the table
Betting on emerging players in a fast-moving market is risky

5. Looking ahead

5.1 How much are following likely to influence your platform and infrastructure agenda over the coming 5 years?

 
Big influence
Some influence
Little/no influence
Unsure
Business modernisation initiatives
Digital business initiatives in particular
General drive for better cost management
Drive for greater energy efficiency
Need for simplification of IT
More emphasis on value-creation within IT
The impact of DevOps/continuous delivery
Need for faster response to business change
Desire to leverage technology advantage
The challenge of simply managing growth
Executive pressure to go cloud

 

5.3 How do you anticipate the number of applications and workloads exhibiting the following characteristics to change over the coming 5 years?

 
Big increase
Some increase
Little/no change
Some decrease
Big decrease
Unsure
Designed for the Web (a.k.a. ‘born on the web’)
Designed to support mobile apps and services
Designed to support the Internet of Things (IoT)
Rapid growth trajectory (scaling-up quickly)
Need for ‘web-scale’ performance/throughput
Highly fluctuating resource requirements
Frequently refreshed/updated (e.g. DevOps style)
Particularly short lifetime (e.g. measured in weeks)
Small-scale tactical, serving just a few users

5.4 And from a platform perspective, how do you expect your use of the following to change over the coming 5 years?

 
Big increase
Some increase
Little/no change
Some decrease
Big decrease
Unsure
Mainstream virtualisation platforms and tools
Open source virtualisation platforms and tools
Converged system appliances/building blocks
Pre-integrated hyperconverged systems
Software-based hyperconverged platforms
Specifically designed enterprise cloud platforms
Public cloud infrastructure services

5.5 When it comes to driving towards the things we have been discussing, how is it playing out, or how do you think it’s going to play out, in your organisation?

5.6 How much are the following standing in the way of progressing towards the vision?

 
Big impediment
Significant challenge
Minor challenge
Not a problem
Unsure
Inability of suppliers to deliver on visions and promises
Lack of interest/appreciation from senior management
The business not ready to upset the status quo
IT not ready to upset the status quo
Cultural impediments to investment in shared infrastructure
Historical under-investment means the mountain’s too high to climb
Lack of a formally defined vision and strategy
Existing budget models don’t support shared, dynamic infrastructure
We simply don’t have the time, resources or funding
Other (please specify)

5.7 And lastly, coming back to the present day, how well would you say your IT team is currently performing in relation to the following?

 
Extremely well
5
4
3
2
Very Poorly
1
Unsure
Meeting service level needs and expectations
Responsiveness to new business requirements
Managing IT-related security and risk
Managing IT-related costs and overheads
Creating or enabling competitive advantage
Delivering overall value to the business