Performance is the Number One Cloud Criteria, Internap Says

By Doug Barney

Internet infrastructure provider Internap knows a thing or two about the cloud. But to get to the real heart of the matter, the company surveyed 250 cloud users to find out what they consider important.

When it comes to choosing cloud services, you’d think that security was the number one criteria. That surely used to be the case. But security has been vastly improved, and at the same time security is a bit of an invisible phenomenon, so IT can’t always differentiate between good and bad protection till a problem occurs.

Performance is another matter. You see this every time you interact with your cloud and understand performance first hand. And that is why it is now the number one cloud concern for those that use the cloud, the Internap survey revealed.

Another issue that drives the performance need is that cloud apps are getting larger and larger, especially with the rise of big data.

Internap separates the feelings of what it calls the cloud-wise from the less savvy cloud consumers.

And it is the cloud-wise that are using these network and compute-intensive applications where performance is such a concern.

The cloud-wise, to Internap’s mind, represents those that use cloud services, and the cloud-wary are those that pretty much don’t.

For cloud novices security remains a big bugaboo. “A majority of the cloud-wary (40 percent) cited cloud security as a concern, whereas only 15 percent of the cloud-wise cited security as a challenge they've encountered,” Internap said

Cloud-wise shops have a whole different set of concerns. “The top cloud challenges encountered by cloud-wise organizations were performance (30 percent) and cost at scale (28 percent), followed by reliability (22 percent), compliance (16 percent), security (15 percent) and limited configurations (15 percent),” Internap found.

And when it comes to performance, 59 percent of those polled saw big data as a big performance issue.

“The survey data clearly indicates that big data applications – such as those that enable personalization and targeting through customer insights, social analytics and location mapping – are pushing the performance limits of virtual public cloud environments at price-points that don't make business sense,” said Gopala Tumuluri, vice president of hosted services at Internap. “Performance and price are primary selection criteria for organizations choosing a public cloud provider. Yet, ironically, the top challenges organizations continue to face with their existing public cloud services are performance- and price-related.”

Meanwhile Internap agrees with this author that cloud security risks may be overblown.

“Cloud-wise and cloud-wary organizations expressed distinct concerns with public cloud services. While the majority of cloud-wary organizations cited security concerns as the reason they are holding back from using cloud services, the cloud-wise pointed to performance and cost-at-scale as the top challenges encountered with their current public cloud service. Cloud-wise organizations ranked security challenges a distant fifth. While a portion of the cloud-wary are from security-conscious industries, such as financial services, healthcare and government, the majority may be overestimating security risks since performance and costs top the list of actual problems encountered by the cloud-wise,” the company said.

The Internap story

Internap Network Services Corp. is in a ton of services businesses including colocation and managed hosting, and today boasts some 3,700 customers.

Nowadays, Internap offers a range of services besides standard co-location. It has a content delivery network (CDN); cloud services, dedicated hosting, and managed hosting. The company got into the co-location business in 2000 when it bought CO Space.

Internap jumped more deeply into the colocation market in 2011 when it bought Voxel Holdings, which sold cloud and hosting services for the enterprise. Internap now also offers a content delivery network (CDN), cloud services, dedicated hosting, and managed hosting.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

MSPToday Editor at Large

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