I’m writing this blog about cloud networking at 35,000 feet – staring out the window at (what else?) clouds. Of course the clouds I’m staring at are weather clouds – cumulus nimbus and the like (see photo below) – not the type of clouds that can make your IT infrastructure more agile, elastic and cost-effective.
Looking at real clouds makes me think about the shortcomings of analogies like the name “cloud”. Real clouds aren’t connected by anything or to anything: there is no interaction between clouds, and no way for people on the ground to access them. If your IT cloud where anything like a weather cloud you’d have no way to get the data put there, no security, and no control.
Of course in our PowerPoint drawings we remedy this by drawing a nice little line between an office building and the cloud, showing how easy it is to connect to the cloud. That line is the network, and the network is a much more important component of enabling private, public and hybrid clouds than its simple depiction in PowerPoint drawings might indicate. And in the real world, connecting to and between clouds is not as easy as adding a line in a PowerPoint drawing.
To find out how important—and how challenging—connecting clouds really is, Juniper commissioned Forrester Research to conduct a study of IT decision makers who had successfully adopted hybrid clouds as part of their IT strategy. We weren’t sure what we were going to find out, and some of the results were surprising.
I won’t give them away here—instead I would ask you to read the report—but I will give away one interesting finding: fully 73% of respondents indicated they had to make changes to their network to enable the cloud. What changes did they make? And how can you be one of the one of the ones in the minority who didn’t?