Krishan Lal Khatri| Cloudtweaks
Experts have started to believe that 2013 is going to be the year when enterprises are likely to cease worrying about cloud related security issues, and the market will see increasing popularity of cloud services. These speculations are based on industry surveys conducted by many reputable market analysts and technology reviews. It is predicted that year 2013 will witness growing popularity of hosted services and solutions, and more companies to migrate their prime IT assets to the cloud as they see more returns from cloud technologies.
The leading cloud computing trends for the current year are summarized below:
- Cloud will remain popular platform for collaboration
Surveys suggest that enterprises will continue to use cloud for collaborative tasks such as application development, online communication, and software testing. Google and Amazon to remain leading collaboration service providers among public clouds.
- Enterprises will see cloud as a solution to their disaster recovery needs
Enterprises will find cloud infrastructures as a most viable solution for their data storage, archiving, and disaster recovery needs. With enhanced security features, cloud providers will start emerging as trusted partners.
- Cloud to keep enhancing cost savings and flexibility
Cloud computing will continue to remain popular for offering more cost saving options and enhanced flexibility of deployment and expansion. Enterprises are of the opinion that they have met their targets of cost cutting by adopting cloud services and will continue using cloud services for enhanced business value.
- Public cloud offerings to remain popular
It is expected that public cloud offerings will continue to remain popular among developers than internal cloud infrastructure due to its speed and agility. Internal cloud offerings will face more requirements from developers that have already gotten use to the flexibility and speed offered by public cloud offerings.
- Price competition between large cloud providers
Enterprises will see increased price competition between largest storage providers like Google and Amazon. It is expected that even the companies that stand firm on pricing will also consider offering value added services to beat the competitors.
- General purpose cloud offerings to stay popular
Compared to industry specific cloud solutions, general purpose cloud offerings will remain popular among enterprises as indicated by majority responses in a survey conducted by Everest Group and Cloud Connect.
- VMware as top cloud platform
This year marks VMware as preferred cloud platform as compared to other leading cloud platforms, including OpenStack, popularized by Rackspace, IBM SmartCloud and CloudStack, founded by Citrix Systems.
VMware also remains as top cloud virtualization vendor for the year. The others that follow are Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM.
- Software-as-service (SaaS) to remain dominant trend in cloud development
Though companies are developing Infrastructure-as-service (IaaS) models for their private clouds, SaaS to remain still a dominant trend in cloud business model. The majority responded preferring SaaS model in a survey published by CRN.com.
According to Henrik Rosendahl, senior vice president of cloud solutions at Quantum, public cloud will be looked upon by IT managers as one of the best backup options as an extension of their virtual infrastructures. He is of the opinion that enterprises have long remained reluctant to use public cloud for backup and looked upon private cloud solutions in conjunction with VMware environments; however, emerging solutions making public cloud safer than before pose a challenge to existing thought.
Since the current cloud model is based on payment of subscription fees in accordance with the usage of resources by the enterprises, the subscription model will remain most popular business model for the cloud services.
Rosendahl predicts a new service and terms it as cloud-based disaster-recovery-as-service. “This area is gaining traction as enterprises and SMBs look for cost-effective ways to implement a DR strategy,” he says. Companies find it more attractive, and viable solution to use public cloud for backup and disaster recovery.
Popularity of cloud computing is also putting more demand on platform developers as enterprises have started realizing the need of a management framework that can work with all cloud environments used in the enterprises. Monitoring, identity management, and billing are the tasks that enterprise managers expect from the management framework without having to worry about which cloud environments to use. Platform developers have to face challenges of integrating different cloud environments and develop an application that can transparently monitor and report.
Resource allocation and exact accounting of utilization of resources by client enterprises are going to be the biggest concern of cloud service providers as they need to bill exactly what they are providing in the wake of fierce competition.
Like other technology fields, cloud technologies are also moving towards more innovation in terms of services and management; challenges are expected due to a massive increase in scale, complexity, and disruption in business models brought about by innovation.
It is expected that cloud platform vendors and cloud service providers will go with hand in hand to meet the challenges as well as harvest the opportunities that year 2013 is going to bring for them.