The Asia Pacific market has become a pressure cooker. A jolt in the regional economy is straining current IT infrastructures. Increasing workloads and incessant demands any time and from anywhere are seeing many traditional infrastructure creaking under pressure.

Decentralized, scalable IT infrastructures is the obvious answer. But getting the expertise, resources and investment to deploy and manage such an infrastructure within the four walls of a corporate is not only expensive but also time and labour intensive. Besides, ripping out old infrastructures in today’s cost-conscious environment is a huge gamble for many IT decision makers.

Time to go hybrid

Instead, many in Asia Pacific are taking a keen interest in hybrid clouds, concluded a recent a recent survey commissioned by NTT Communications and conducted by IDG Research Services. Entitled Global Market Pulse: Cloud Computing Infrastructure Study, it examined the opinions of 300 IT decision makers evenly distributed across the US, EMEA (UK) and APAC (Hong Kong and Singapore).

The survey showed that cloud computing is gaining momentum and APAC is the region to watch out for in the next 12 months. It saw 31% of APAC IT decision makers responding that they plan to implement clouds in the next 12 months, 26% looking to pilot-test cloud projects, and 28% having implemented cloud in one or more locations.

The reason? Improved availability. Flexibility and enhancing disaster recovery capabilities come close second and third, respectively. In Asia Pacific, however, disaster recovery tops the agenda of reasons for clouds, when compared to the U.S. and E.M.E.A. Nevertheless, all these acts and figures suggest that year 2013 will be a tipping point for cloud deployment in the Asia Pacific region.

The case for hybrid clouds

Hybrid clouds, according to the study, is going to be big in Asia. Sixty-five percent reflected that they are now using, evaluating, or planning to implement a combination of company-owned and third-party servers.

When asked about future cloud plans, an increasing number said that they were looking into hybrid solutions instead on relying only on company-owned infrastructure to support cloud computing services. Additionally, 80% of APAC IT decision makers expect their enterprises to be using a mix of in-house and third-party infrastructure in future.

What makes the situation more complicated is that enterprises don’t just look at hybrid clouds as those between private and public clouds. They are also looking at them as solutions that bridge the infrastructure gap between clouds and legacy environment where many of enterprises would not or could not virtualize all of the infrastructure right away due to technical or resources issues.

So why go hybrid? And why the strong attraction in Asia Pacific?

The answers to these questions lie in the real-world advantages of hybrid cloud infrastructure. Chief among them are customization and flexibility. 

Many Asia Pacific decision makers see flexibility has a huge advantage for hybrid clouds over third-party vendors when provisioning services. Their biggest fears often include customization and flexibility (51%); security concerns (47%); availability of in-house IT infrastructure (43%); and necessary skill set/training (39%). Hybrid clouds offer an ideal solution that addresses all these concerns.

Spotlight on network virtualization

A clogged pipeline will be a major roadblock for many who are going to rely increasingly on network performance and availability to access their services and data. This has many of the survey respondents becoming concerned about capacity limitations (75%) and possible downtime when changing network configurations (73%). These often figure as key critical success factors when evaluating, planning or implementing cloud services.

All these factors is driving strong interest in network virtualization. Benefits such as availability, redundancy, quick recovery from hardware failures, and the ability to reallocate unused bandwidth for better utilization have found strong proponents in the Asia Pacific IT decision maker community. In fact, the region’s top IT decision makers said that they have a strong interest in cloud computing that includes a virtualized network service for improved performance (68%) and reliability (64%).

Asian trends than matter

Asia Pacific’s fascination for hybrid clouds could not have come at a better time.

With strong GDP growth, and trends such as mobility and IT consumerization shaping purchasing behaviour and productivity, many enterprises are experiencing growth pains. Traditional IT infrastructures are ill-prepared to meet on-demand requirements and respond rapidly dynamic business conditions.

Fully aware that managing everything yourself is not going to be enough, many enterprises are looking to bank on the expertise and services of third-party vendors. At the same time, they are looking to implement highly flexible IT strategies that are also cost efficient.

Hybrid clouds, especially those that include a virtualized network service, can help Asia Pacific enterprises to gain control, scale to dynamic requirements, and deliver highly customizable solutions in meeting on demand expectations. And according to the survey results, most IT decision makers in the region are already taking a hard look at them.

Conclusion

High satisfaction levels is pushing interest to new heights. According to the survey, Asia Pacific IT decision makers report high levels of satisfaction with the effectiveness of their cloud investments as it enables flexibility and improved scalability. These have also become their compelling reasons for their enthusiastic adoption of cloud services.

This offers an ideal opportunity for global cloud service providers. Those, like NTT Communications who own data centre facilities and offer virtualized network services, offer a strong value proposition for enterprises who want to alleviate growth pains, capture market opportunities quickly and yet demand a highly secure and controlled infrastructure. As key partners, they also offer a ready source of expertise and experience to shape new IT strategies to meet new demands from customers, stakeholders and regulators.

As deployment and proponents multiply in the Asia Pacific region, hybrid clouds are well poised to become the regional enterprises’ secret for success.

 

 

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