In this article, author has discussed top ten cloud trends which industry will witness this year and believes that these will bring a significant impact on industry as well.
With an estimated 65 percent of enterprises using cloud computing the conversation isn’t “if” to use cloud, it’s “how” to best leverage cloud to improve performance and efficiency and drive revenue. How they address and use cloud will play a significant role in how enterprises perform this year in areas as varied as customer intelligence, workforce productivity and corporate risk assessment.
Late last year, Verizon Enterprise Solutions made a number of enterprise technology predictions for 2015, including noting that IT will direct cloud deployments acting as a “cloud solutions broker” helping business units identify areas of need and devising technology solutions (many cloud-based but not exclusively so) that support the business through improved customer interaction, operational transformation and/or technology compliance, among other area. While making predictions is dangerous, especially about the future, I’ll plunge in and let history judge.
1. The hybrid cloud evolution – The term “hybrid cloud” no longer just refers to a mix and match of traditional IT and cloud-based solutions. That is still part of the definition but really “hybrid” means a purpose-built cloud solution that incorporates a variety of cloud-based and traditional IT components specifically deployed to address a business need. This includes ability to scale and access resources on demand, business continuity features, cross data center security and inclusion of development lifecycle from test/dev to deployment across these environments. The ability to seamlessly and flexibly integrate different cloud environments requires robust software control facilities to programmatically manage the networks across virtual and multiple physical environments.
2. Blurring lines between public and private cloud – The conversation has always been about “either, or.” The focus going forward will be on workloads vs. risk and that will lead to blurred solutions that incorporate public and private cloud services. As in the hybrid cloud above, the ability to manage and flexibly configure your cloud infrastructure in a rapid and automated way emerges as a dominant new pattern in complex and sophisticated cloud environments.
3. “Cloud First” Approach — Application development adopts a cloud first approach at the expense of traditional vertical deployment models. This horizontally scaled approach, built for the cloud, managed by DevOPS, is designed to operate within the strictures that cloud imposes and facilitates overcoming the objections enterprises still face in deploying to the cloud.
4. Flexible networking connectivity – Cloud and network are codependent. A cloud implementation can’t be successful without reliable networking. However, network services should be fluid, like cloud services. Enterprises should be able to scale up and down network services to meet workload demand, usage and risk. The richness of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) stack, with multiple protocols and implementations of these protocols, requires this level of flexibility. Moreover, the ability to control these configurations requires the long promised value of network function virtualization (NFV) be recognized as a first class citizen in the cloud environment virtual stack.
5. Standard deployment of Hyper Converged Infrastructure – A new category of infrastructure, the Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) promises scale and performance by integrating compute, storage and network into a high performance, stack management focused hardware platform. The advantage of these sorts of architectures is that it becomes possible to manage costs by scaling the legs of the platform together. HCI simplifies the manageability of the infrastructure by creating a better and more uniform platform experience. This creates opportunity and incentive to create a tightly integrated management platform. The capabilities of this platform yield the effective delivery of a “software defined everything” infrastructure.
6. Rise of “born in the cloud” enterprise applications – Enterprises are migrating legacy applications to the cloud but they also use cloud as the foundation for new, “cloud first” applications like high definition video and the Internet of Things. This represents significant opportunities for enterprises and cloud solutions. High bandwidth and high connectivity applications require controls for performance, security and feedback controls for cost management. As mentioned above, a flexible network is table stakes to succeed in this game.
7. DevOPS comes of age – Administrative control over the deployed stack has always been a battle between SysAdmin and developers. In the cloud the argument has been split by the introduction of a development focused Administrative function, DevOPS. The ability to provide governance and compliance control with an automated and agile approach to stack lifecycle management is a key attribute of the DevOPS function. New tooling is growing up in dozens of startups around the globe that leverages configuration management software, like Puppet, to control the full deployment in a reproducible, compliant and manageable way.
8. The world settles on OpenStack – As the OpenStack community has continued to evolve and mature the OpenStack offering, an amazing thing has happened; all the competitors have fallen away. There is only once choice standing. Happily that choice, OpenStack, offers a robust and mature cloud resource management environment. As cloud continues to evolve, varied and competitive offerings built on OpenStack will emerge and battle for primacy in the marketplace. The customer, wins in this discussion. Choice is competition, and competition is betterment.
9. Data as currency – These new cloud-first applications, whether horizontally scaled analytic engines or anything in the emerging IoT space, produce massive amounts of unstructured data. The cloud makes it easier to gather, store, distribute, analyze and share this ever-increasing amount of data at nearly limitless scale. The ability to leverage this data, both inside and outside the enterprise, will play a key role in business success. A new form of value emerges. Insight derived from data analytics becomes more than a driver to business insight, it becomes a new form of value and product unto itself. It’s enabled by networking, it’s enabled by applications and it’s enabled by the cloud.
10. Enterprises move to global cloud deployments – There are no local businesses today. IT needs to support enterprises globally so cloud and networking services need to span the globe—with data centers and connectivity that can service multi-national businesses and customers. Customers live around the globe. Suppliers work around the globe. Opportunities exist in 6 of the continents and in all the cultures on the globe.
Authored By: Prashant Gupta, Head of Solutions, Verizon Enterprise Solutions, India