These days, surveys about cloud computing adoption are about as prevalent as sugar cookies at Christmastime. But a recent study by Cisco Systems is worth taking a longer look.

The third and final installment of the Cisco Connected World Report, a months-long effort by Cisco that examines the way myriad technologies impact the way users live and work, delved into cloud computing, virtualization and data center trends worldwide. The results show a definite uptake worldwide of cloud computing technologies, while virtualization has yet to fully penetrate the market.

Among the notable results:

  • Worldwide, 18 percent of respondents are currently using cloud technologies, with another 34 percent planning to use the cloud.

  • Brazil and Germany are the two top cloud technology-using countries, with 27 percent of respondents from those countries currently in the cloud. India follows closely behind at 26 percent, followed by the United States at 23 percent and Mexico at 22 percent.

  • More companies are looking to the cloud as a feasible alternative to on-premise data centers, with 88 percent of IT respondents worldwide predicting they will be storing some percentage of their company’s data and applications in private or public clouds within the next three years.

  • Mexico, Brazil and the United States will drive the highest adoption of private cloud technologies.


It's All About Applications


That reported level of cloud computing technology adoption may be spurred on by what’s happening in the data center as a whole. According to the survey, the top data center priority worldwide for the next three years is to improve agility and speed in deploying business applications – one of the many benefits cloud computing can provide.

Additionally, the survey noted that data virtualization and cloud computing, as well as a unified data center fabric to unite storage and LAN data traffic, rank as the top three data center strategies (although not in that order). Desktop virtualization, interestingly, was the fourth.

Despite this list, virtualization as a whole doesn’t seem to be feeling the love as much as cloud computing. Only 29 percent of the respondents worldwide have more than half their production servers virtualized, and only 28 percent have more than half of nonproduction servers virtualized. Granted, these numbers are larger than the number of current cloud adopters, but virtualization has been around a bit longer. So it’s surprising the technology hasn’t caught on with more companies.

That should be changing over the next three years, according to the survey – at least in production environments. Forty-six percent of the respondents said they expect half to all of their production environment servers will be virtualized.

The survey hits too many points to mention in this post. But it’s definitely worth a read for VARs – and anyone, really – interested in gaining insight into the direction of data center technology in the next few years. At the least, it’s an interesting read. At the most, it can be a catalyst for planning a path to greater success.

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