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June 7, 2010

European cloud providers expect business to expand, says IDC

Reliability top priority in systems supporting public clouds

By CBR Staff Writer

The vast majority (85%) of European public cloud providers are expecting their business to expand this year, with majority (70%) expecting growth through demand from their local markets, while about one-third (30%) look at exploring new geographic opportunities, according to a survey from market research firm IDC.

The survey showed that European cloud providers are running infrastructures that are much closer to those of traditional enterprises than the global providers. Many of those providers use open source, with 56% of servers running Linux, 81% of organisations standardising on Apache, or a mix of Apache and Microsoft’s IIS, and 69% standardising on MySQL.

According to IDC’s European Cloud Provider’s Technology Investment Survey, reliability is the top priority in systems supporting public clouds, followed by price, supplier service capability and energy efficiency. Only 20% of the cloud providers are evaluating the scalable infrastructure propositions offered by systems vendors, while 88% plan to standardise on them.

The firm said that converged infrastructure propositions (systems that combine storage, networking, and compute) are less attractive than scalable propositions, with 54% of companies surveyed saying that converged infrastructure is not attractive to them.

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Chris Ingle, associate vice president of consulting at IDC, said: European cloud providers are thriving based on their strong relationships with their local customers. Their business models are very similar to traditional IT vendors; the majority of providers we surveyed have relatively little flexibility in their pricing and service offer.

“To continue to be competitive in a market where customers are requiring more flexibility, and starting to get it from some suppliers, they will need to examine new business models.

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