Week in research: Cloud takes hold in Australia; data center growth drives demand for equipment

Cloud services take hold in Australia: The idea of shifting parts of their operation into the cloud is taking off in Australia, where 53 percent of all companies surveyed in a new Frost & Sullivan report say that they now spend more than 10 percent of their IT budget on cloud solutions or services. Another 31 percent spend more than 20 percent of their IT budget on cloud. And a majority of those surveyed--70 percent--say they will increase their cloud budget "significantly" in the next year. "E-mail and storage & computing resources are the two types of solutions that are currently most commonly accessed via the cloud amongst organizations," said Phil Harpur, senior research manager, ANZ ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan. SaaS vendors getting traction in the Australian market include Netsuite (NYSE: N), Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), SAP (NYSE: SAP), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG). Telstra (ASX: TLS.AX) and Optus Alphawest are moving into the segment as well. News release

SAN Equipment vendors 2012 InfoneticsFibre Channel pushes SAN forward: The storage area network (SAN) equipment market saw a 15 percent gain between Q1 and Q2 2012 as shipments of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) products climbed dramatically. "Skyrocketing shipments of [FCoE]-capable switches and 16G Fibre Channel products pushed the storage networking equipment market to new heights in the second quarter, passing $1.5 billion," said Sam Barnett, directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics Research. "Thanks to the popularity of social networking and video sharing, as well as advances in cloud computing and the data center, we expect a cumulative $41.7 billion to be spent on SAN switches and adapters in the 5 years from 2012 to 2016." Top vendors include Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), leading the SAN equipment market overall, and Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), which, with 99 percent market share, "essentially owns the 16G Fibre Channel segment." News release

Virtual appliances set to boom: The jump in popularity of data centers has led to a corresponding increase in demand for virtual appliances, which saw 4 percent growth between Q1 and Q2 2012, according to Dell'Oro Group. "Virtual appliances make up just 7 percent of total sales in the Data Center Appliance market, but contributed 37 percent of the revenue growth in 2Q12," said Casey Quillin, senior analyst at Dell'Oro. "This quarter we saw strong sequential growth in virtual appliances, climbing 58 percent in the WAN Optimization segment and 18 percent in the Application Delivery Controller segment. Virtual appliances continue to benefit from the proliferation of virtualization and cloud computing, and we expect they will progressively increase their presence in production networks going forward."   News release