11 Expert Predictions for Cloud IT in 2011

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11 Expert Predictions for Cloud IT in 2011

by Chris Preimesberger

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Mix of On-Premise, Cloud Resources Becomes Norm

Now that SAAS and cloud computing have become generally accepted,??í IT and business decision makers are attempting to determine the right mix of on-demand and on-premise resources, how to integrate and manage them in a unified process, and measure the performance of these resources. This will require a new set of easy-to-provision and administer management tools to monitor these resources, capture and analyze the data, and generate meaningful reports.—Jeff Kaplan,??ímanaging director, ThinkStrategies??íand former IDC??íanalyst

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VMware to Face New Challenges

VMware will face more and more competition and try to continue differentiating itself. However, Microsoft is giving away its Hyper-V since it makes money off multiple Windows guest licenses. Other vendors, including Citrix and??íRed Hat, have developed their own virtual machines for x86 machines, which are less expensive than VMware vSphere.—Izhar Sharon, VP of Technical Services and Operations at IBM's XIV

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Consumer IT Moves from Virtual to Real World

It looks like 2011 will be the turning-point year when consumer-facing IT moves from the virtual to the real world; mobile phones with 3G/4G and geolocation-capabilities are becoming ubiquitous, adding a new dimension to the Internet by making it an experience related to your physical surroundings.—Eric David Benari, CEO of the IT Management Group

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More Data than Ever Floods Networks

The ever-increasing torrent of data will continue to strain IT budgets and management skill. Organizing data and optimizing data migrations will be one of the biggest games in town this year, even more so than it is right now. New, creative solutions will be put in place to lie to your applications, telling them that the data is there, even if it isn't (until it's actually needed). Think of this like thin-provisioning, but for your existing data set. ??í—Matt Simmons, independent systems administrator

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Cloud Security Takes a Leap Forward

Security infrastructure for the cloud will take major leaps forward in 2011. To date, most customers have been handling security concerns with cloud providers through manual compliance audits or verbal assurances that their data is being handled properly. This model does not allow cloud to scale properly and certainly holds it back from being deployed in particular industries where information value is very high. To cope with this, customers need ways to manage identity, data protection and compliance procedures consistently, and this requires a security service with access to a network of public cloud providers. —Chris Corde, director of Corporate Strategy at EMC

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SAAS Goes Mobile

SAAS providers will aggressively embrace mobile to increase market share. That means interfaces that are touch-screen-compliant and optimized for mobile/handheld resolutions and dimensions. You can't run MS Office on a smartphone, but in 2011 you'll have most of Google Apps there. That's how SAAS outflanks desktop and on-premise apps finally—by going where the user is and the desktop can't.—Rob May, president and co-founder of Backupify

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Cloud Brings New Risk Factors

We will see a general??íincrease in change??ímanagement (meaning new versions and security patches) for applications.??íWhenever there is change, there is risk. Security concerns directly affect the adoption of agile??ísystem development??íand thus??ívirtualization and??íthe cloud. Data center migrations, physical to virtual migration, rapid rollouts—these are now projects unto themselves that encapsulate huge risk. Bottom line: Be ready to manage the risks associated with change.—Oren Elias, founder of Correlsense

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Cloud Data Protection Is Job One

Protection of data in the cloud will be top of mind for customers that have already embraced the cloud and those contemplating the move. Security-conscious IT leaders will want to empower themselves with enterprise-class control points to protect their data in the cloud and enable their business leadership to fully leverage the collaboration and cost savings benefits of the cloud.—Gil Zimmermann, CEO and co-founder of Aprigo

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Enterprises Continue to Move from Cloud Concept to Production

Enterprise use of cloud will move from strategy, proof of concept and limited deployments to true utilization and production applications. 2010 was the year of consideration and initial evaluation and 2011 will bring real usage of clouds. Key to this transition is the adoption of hybrid clouds: true integration between the data center, internal clouds and the public clouds.??í —John Considine, founder of CloudSwitch and former??ídirector of the Platform Products Group at Sun Microsystems

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Windows 7 Migration Continues Upswing

With the Windows XP sunset fast approaching, Windows 7 migrations are in full swing. This has prompted most organizations to reassess their approach to PC lockdown. Recent research is predicting a 456 percent jump in demand to implement privilege management software for companies planning to migrate to Windows 7 in the first half of 2011. This increase makes sense. With the constant proliferation of web applications and cloud-based B2B applications, securing the endpoint environment is a given.—Gil Rapaport, president of Viewfinity

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IT Goes Social in Global Small Business

Collaboration among IT professionals in 2011 will move beyond simple community forums and happen within the applications they use every day to do their jobs. IT pros will be able to directly connect with trusted peers in other companies and with the technology vendors they depend on to run their businesses. Much like Facebook and Twitter give consumers instant access to help from friends and trusted brands, social IT will give small businesses the power of a one million person IT department.—Jay Hallberg, co-founder of Spiceworks

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