Novell Sees Fast Rise in Private Cloud Buys

Novell reports that enterprise cloud computing adoption is accelerating much faster than suggested by previous research.

Novell, troubled by nagging financial issues and going through a change of ownership, nonetheless has been making news.

At VMworld, the company unveiled its first cloud computing platform, Novell Cloud Manager, one that a non-IT person can deploy by following instructions and not having to write any code.

Later, it was reported that Novell is preparing to sell its Linux server business to VMware. The jury's still out on that one.

On Oct. 5, Novell revealed the result of its own survey of more than 200 IT leaders (IT director and higher) at "large enterprise organization" of 2,500 to 20,000 employees. The company found that cloud computing adoption is accelerating much faster than suggested by previous research-particularly involving private cloud architectures.

Can't say we in the media are surprised at that conclusion, but it is interesting nonetheless to see some evidence in that regard.

Here were some of the Novell research findings:

  • 77 percent report using some form of cloud computing today; most analysts claim 20 to 40 percent at this time.
  • 89 percent believe private clouds are the next logical step for organizations already implementing virtualization; this is much higher than has been reported in the last 12 to 18 months.
  • 34 percent are using a mixed approach of public/private cloud computing; 43 percent are planning to increase their use of a mixed approach; most analysts agree with this conclusion.
  • 87 percent believe public cloud computing adoption will occur alongside of company-owned data centers (instead of replacing); this high number is very surprising.

"To keep a [finger on the] pulse [of these trends] is really important, because the information changes so fast that most of the [standard] analyst reports get out of date very quickly," Novell Director of Data Center Management Benjamin Grubin told eWEEK. "A lot of people cite figures that are six, eight, 10 months old, and in a market changing as quickly as this, it's important to note the freshness of the information."

The bottom line is this: Private cloud deployments-not the increasing sales of public cloud services-may well be the most important trend in enterprise IT.

If these survey numbers are close to reality, "this represents a tectonic shift in the perception of enterprise IT management," Grubin said.

If you had asked these questions 12 months ago, he said, the answer would have been "public cloud-I'm going to move my whole enterprise to Amazon EC2."

"The market has found that this was an unrealistic goal; too much enterprise IT simply was not ready to be moved outside the perimeter, outside to public clouds," Grubin said. "Public clouds were going to take some amount of time to be mature. They weren't there yet."

Novell Cloud Manager is designed for the heterogeneous reality of most IT environments, which Grubin said "gives users the freedom and flexibility to create and manage private clouds."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...