The Year Of The Cloud Is Upon Us, According To Many Experts
Cloud computing is here, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
So says Manon Buettner, Principal of Nuvalo, a Bellevue, Wash.-based consulting and brokerage firm specializing in simplifying cloud migration for companies, who notes the rapid deployment of enterprise use as a clear indicator the cloud is here to stay.
“Cloud use is now a legitimate line item for companies, who realize it’s become not only a necessity to store increasing amounts of data in this fashion, but it also provides a terrific ROI when considering infrastructure and other associated costs with maintaining such data in-house these days.”
In fact, the latest Forrester Research survey indicates that nearly half of all enterprises in North America and Europe will set aside budget for private cloud investments in 2013 – and nearly as many software development managers are planning to deploy applications to the cloud.
“That’s a lot of deployment,” adds Buettner.
So while 2013 looks to be The Year Of The Cloud, Buettner is encouraged that companies will now start incorporating cloud services and platforms into formal IT portfolios.
But with this movement also comes the usual growing pains, and Buettner offers 12 predictions on cloud computing in 2013 – both good and bad – based on her own observations, in conjunction with thoughts from other leading industry experts:
1 – Not Everything Will Go To The Cloud
Gone are the days of “through everything on the cloud . . . just because.” We now know what makes cloud platforms different from traditional virtual infrastructures and traditional hosting environments. This enables us to make more educated decisions on what makes sense to move, and what makes sense to stay.
2 – Cloud & Mobile . . . One In The Same
We’re finding more mobile applications connected to cloud-based back-end services that are able to respond to mobile client engagements and shield data centers from such traffic. In fact, nearly every SaaS application has a mobile client now.
3 – Stress-Free Cloud SLAs
The optimal practice for cloud application design and configuration is to build resiliency into the application – rather than expecting it from a cloud platform. This enables achievement of any type of service-level agreement regardless of the base SLA provided by the cloud platform.
4 – Cost Modeling Improves
If you’re seeking the best ROI from the use of cloud services and platforms, you need to actively model the cost profile of your applications, monitor resource use, and adjust accordingly. Many cloud cost-monitoring tools (Cloudyn, CloudCruiser, Cloudability, et al) now exist to quantify such a move in dollars and cents (or is it that “dollars and sense?”). Good cost management in 2013 will be an absolute must.
5 – The Cloud Will Improve Backup & Disaster Recovery
Instead of enterprises buying resources in case of a disaster, cloud computing and its pay-per-use pricing model will let you pay for long-term data storage while only paying for servers when testing or declaring a disaster. The cloud is turning the cost of storage upside down faster every month, and what was cheaper to back up to traditional DR storage last year will be cheaper and easier to put in the cloud is short order — and faster to recover.
6 – The Cloud Will No Longer Mean Commodity
We’re already seeing cloud services backed by high-end hardware, offering GPUs, SSDs, and other clearly non-commodity infrastructure options. In 2013, expect to see the proliferation of these types of choices as cloud providers leverage them to meet specific market demands and to differentiate competitively.
7 – The Cloud Will No Longer Mean Just AWS
Amazon Web Services may own up to 70% of the cloud platform market share, but that will change, as Microsoft and Google, among others, have made substantive strides in grabbing their piece of the pie. And more public cloud platforms will no doubt unveil themselves in ’13.
8 – Advanced Virtualization, I’ve Met A Cloud . . . And You’re No Cloud
Many enterprise I&O departments renamed last year’s VMware environment a private cloud so they could say “mission accomplishment” to the brass. Very few of these environments offered self-service to the developer, fully-automated provisioning, standardized services, or cost transparency. Quite simply, it’s not the cloud. And more will see this in 2013.
9 – Development, Shmevelopment . . . And The Cloud Is No Different
The majority of languages, frameworks, and development methodologies used in the enterprise are also used in the cloud. Now, what’s different isn’t the coding, but the services orientation and the need to configure the application to provide its own availability and performance. Some of the best practices and cloud services may be new, there are few excuses for a well-trained developer to not be productive in the cloud.
10 – The Cloud Will No Longer Be An Option, But A Requirement
Currently, more than eight in 10 companies use some form of cloud technology. Simply put, cloud adoption is gaining traction, thus making it a legitimate necessity these days among enterprise businesses.
11 – The Great Cloud Debate Continues . . . Public, Private Or Hybrid?
But that’s OK, as each can be designed for a different purpose, thus allowing some flexibility in the design of the implemented cloud technology. Companies that can afford it generally opt to create a customized private cloud and/or use a hybrid option where the private cloud stores the data and the public cloud provides the functionality and collaboration capabilities. But, as private cloud options become more affordable and organizations see the value in this type of system, adoption for this type of cloud in lieu of the hybrid approach may take over.
12 – IT Departments, They Are A Changin’
This maybe be obvious, but as more info is stored in the cloud, the IT department will have to adjust their skills by learning the ins and outs of the new technology and serving as a resource on how to support the technology. Cybersecurity training will become more prevalent, for example.
So . . . those who have already adopted cloud technology strategies have found that the flexibility of cloud technology provides a cost-effective solution to increasing storage space, as their big structured and unstructured data needs a place to rest. Storage needs are increasing, and as Buettner looks into the crystal ball, she also wonders “how much more data will we all have a year from now?”