Study: Virtualization of Network Services is a Top Priority for Enterprise Adoption of Cloud IaaS

SANTA CLARA. Embrane,™ the leader in delivering on-demand virtual network services for both traditional and software defined networks (SDN), today released the results of an independent survey it commissioned to learn more about enterprise adoption of cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The most significant finding across responses from more than 170 enterprise IT professionals was the overwhelming agreement that agility-enabling features – i.e. rapid provisioning and elasticity – outweigh cost savings when considering cloud-based IaaS offerings.

The results also show that layer 3-7 network services are key to enterprises evaluating cloud IaaS options, with 60 percent of respondents indicating these solutions are either a major or critical component when deciding on an IaaS solution.

Conducted by Ashton Metzler & Associates, the survey found 57 percent of respondents agreed that adding agility was a primary driver for adoption of cloud-based IaaS solutions – while only 30 percent indicated cost savings was a priority. Specific to layer 3-7 network services – such as load balancers, firewalls, VPNs, etc. – 45 percent of respondents chose either the ability to grow or shrink the capacity of a service on demand or the ability to rapidly provision a service in five minutes or less as the most important criteria for network services evaluation.

“With all the industry discussion and hype around the cloud and SDN, this study reinforces that layer 3-7 network services are more critical than ever to enterprise adoption of cloud-based IaaS offerings,” said John Vincenzo, Embrane’s vice president of marketing. “When you combine the importance enterprises place on network services when looking at cloud-based solutions with the demand for agility-enabling features, it becomes crystal clear we must change the way we architect the network. Traditional methods just don’t cut it for building an agile network.”

Security and Confidentiality Still a Major Concern
Concerns about the security and confidentiality of data were, by a wide margin, listed as the number one factor inhibiting the adoption of cloud-based IaaS solutions. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, the security and confidentiality of data is also the primary factor inhibiting the adoption of private IaaS solutions. In fact, the top five inhibitors to the adoption of private IaaS solutions as indicated by respondents were:

  • Concerns about the security and confidentiality of data (36.3 percent);
  • Their lack of an internal strategy about IaaS (28.7 percent);
  • Their lack of personnel to design and implement the solutions (25.7 percent);
  • The relative immaturity of the technologies that would have to installed and managed (19.9 percent);
  • The lack of significant enough cost savings (19.3 percent).

“The fact that IaaS is a new and rapidly evolving concept presents challenges for both IaaS providers and enterprise IT organizations,” added Jim Metzler, founder and vice president, Ashton Metzler & Associates. “For example, in most cases, IT organizations perceive there is a higher security risk if their data is being stored on a device that is shared with other users, which is typically the case with current cloud-based IaaS solutions. The most effective means for managing network security in the cloud may be through dedicated instances of these services with strong Service Level Agreements (SLAs) attached.”

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Cloud IaaS adoption is in its infancy – Roughly half of the respondents indicated that their IT organization was still in the process of developing a strategy around both providing and acquiring IaaS services.
  • Security concerns are not enough to prohibit its use – Despite some security concerns about cloud-based IaaS solutions, only four percent of respondents indicated that they do not use these solutions because their company has a policy that prohibits the use of them.
  • Innovation is more important than brand – Only six percent of respondents said a brand name vendor was the most important selection criteria when deciding on network services.

To learn more about these survey results, visit Embrane at VMworld, booth #635, or download a full-copy of the report online at

Survey Methodology
The survey, “The Adoption of IaaS,” was distributed to the subscribers of Webtorials during March 2012. In total, 295 people started the survey, with 171 completions from professionals who work in IT organizations.

The survey respondents were given the following definition of IaaS: IaaS is the class of cloud computing solutions that focuses on components of IT such as compute, storage and networking and leverages enabling technologies such as virtualization and automation.

About Embrane
Based in Silicon Valley, Embrane delivers layer 3-7 network services to enterprises and service providers via a multi-service software architecture designed to provision and scale on-demand from a single point of management.