More enterprises hopping onto clouds, despite PRISM gloom

cloud lightning sunsets_for_you flickr 2748388452_fd5cdf7c59_o

More big businesses have gotten comfortable on public clouds over the past few months, while their data center budgets have not been growing as much as cloud providers’ budgets, according to the results of a survey out Thursday. That means more business could be flowing to companies that supply gear to cloud providers, and companies that support cloud deployments. But a little thing called PRISM could stave off these trends.

It isn’t an enormous increase in use of clouds among enterprises we’re talking about, but it’s palpable all the same: 17 percent of enterprises were using public clouds, up from 10 percent last year, according to the Uptime Institute’s survey of 1,000 data center operators and IT executives and managers in multiple countries, conducted between February and April of this year.

What’s more, 32 percent of enterprise data center operators reported their budgets were flat relative to the prior year. Budget growth was not as common as it was for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors, cloud providers, colocation companies or wholesale data center providers. Sixty-three percent of such businesses reported budget increases in excess of 10 percent (compared with 25 percent for enterprises). The budget figures and the cloud adoption changes don’t have any kind of causal relationship with each other, but together they do suggest money is shifting to bolster infrastructure and services in clouds, rather than in enterprises’ server closets. Small wonder VMware wants to get into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and push products other than vSphere.

The vCloud Hybrid Service, which will hit general availability in the fourth quarter of this year, could thrive with business from staid VMware shops. It also looks like public-cloud heavyweight Amazon Web Services will stand to add enterprise customers. At least the division of has been trying to head in that direction. Ditto Google and Microsoft.

Companies that enable the transfer of data from corporate facilities to public clouds, such as Nasuni, Panzura, TwinStrata and others have room to capture more business here. But as more workloads move to public clouds in general, IaaS providers might want to customize their own gear just like other big webscale players. That means Quanta and its ilk could be in for more growth spurts.

We’ve already seen some evidence that the National Security Agency’s PRISM program could erode foreign market share for American cloud providers. We’ll find out how this is affecting European IaaS providers at GigaOM’s Structure:Europe conference in London on Sept. 18-19.

It looks like PRISM has at least prompted companies ask more questions about security as they consider the cloud, and that means companies will likely look at security products built for cloud deployments. This could be particularly true for cautious CIOs at enterprises who want to get a taste of the potential budgetary and agility advantages of the cloud.

We’ll have to sit tight until the next annual data center survey from the Uptime Institute to see whether PRISM is in fact dampening cloud adoption in the enterprise.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr user sunsets_for_you.

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