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Peering Back at the Clouds – 7 Cloud Predictions from 2011

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 by

As is my annual custom, at the beginning of each year or as we are entering into a new year, I try to make some educated guesses as to the direction that Cloud Computing will take us. In December, 2010, I published “Peering Out at the Horizon – 7 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011” and now is the time that I reflect back to see how well these predictions actually did. Just as a reminder, the predictions that I made were my own personal opinion and may not reflect others at GoGrid.

2011-looking-back

Here is a quick recap of the 2011 Cloud Computing predictions I made and I have also mentioned how I think the prediction faired at the end of 2011:

  1. IT Procurement Includes Cloud Requisitioning – Part of me was really hoping that this would come to fruition a bit more than it did. Essentially, I believe that the Enterprise and Business Units therein would begin loosening up a bit in terms of the procurement of IT resources. It still seems that there is a division of this process. Traditional IT managers are looking to extend their hold on the physical and data center environments that they “own” and manage. However, as Gartner analyst, Lydia Leong posits, there are also those who are considered “circumventors” who bypass the traditional IT procurement process and go to the public cloud to get project-based infrastructure. The circumventers use whatever tools possible to get their jobs done. They love the characteristics and qualities of the cloud. Conversely, those IT traditionalists view the cloud as risky. They want to ensure that infrastructure is compliant, safe, secure and carefully managed. They are worried about “cloud sprawl” and not having control over infrastructure in the cloud. While previously, these groups had heated political battles about whose method was the proper one, in 2012, they will realize that both methods have advantages and by working together, they can minimize the risks. The use of Cloud Bridging (joining on-prem to public cloud), Cloud Bursting (expanding to the public cloud when resources require it), and Hybrid Hosting (combining physical and virtual appliances within the same environment) will provide both sides of these dueling mindsets with ways to get along.
    Prediction results: There is definitely some headway being made to bridge the gap between these two forces within organizations. The lines are blurring as different ways to procure both cloud and physical infrastructure are emerging.
  2. Private Clouds and Public Cloud Act to Catalyze Each Other – There is still the ongoing debate as to which comes first, a public cloud or a private cloud. It really depends who you talk to within an organization. There are those circumventers who simply “expense” the use of a public cloud and there are those traditionalists, as I mentioned, who will make all attempts to re-use existing infrastructure and make it “cloudy.” However, there are more and more companies that look to a hybridization of infrastructure, where they are creating Virtual Private Clouds to ensure better data security or compliance while leveraging existing physical infrastructures. Private clouds can definitely whet the appetites of organizations who are looking at the cloud for more efficient utilization of IT resources. And I still believe that once private clouds prove their use, there are more possibilities for public cloud adoption.
    Prediction results: We are seeing a continued growth of cloud computing in general, and within that, a mixture of the types of clouds being used, pure public or private, cloud bursting, cloud bridging, hybrid clouds and hybrid hosting in general.
  3. “Cloud Washing” Backlash Begins – Cloud washing occurs when an infrastructure vendor takes its traditional, legacy or older service offering and they simply slap the term “cloud” on it. Companies seem to be doing a better job at disguising their non-cloud (or even “false cloud”) offerings into something that resembles a cloud offering. It’s still “buyer beware” with these types of services, in my opinion. Ensure that the cloud provider you choose passes the cloud-litmus test. You shouldn’t have to have a big capital expenditure, services should be dynamic and scalable, you should be billed based on usage and the service should be consumed via internet services.
    Prediction results: For the most part, there wasn’t as much of a backlash as I would have predicted. Either cloud buyers are simply unaware of cloud-washing or it simply doesn’t matter to them and they are still getting what they believe to be cloud services. I just hope they don’t get buyers remorse once they dive a bit deeper into their selected vendor.
  4. Cracks Show with Internal Clouds as Hosted Private Clouds Emerge – The idea here is that corporations who rushed out to buy hardware and virtualization licenses in order to implement their own private cloud are now reeling from sticker shock and a high TCO. Private clouds are important to organizations, especially if data security and privacy are core requirements. However as the tab for running and maintaining a private cloud continues to climb, enterprises and larger organizations are now looking for financial and human capital efficiencies in their infrastructure management and growth. GoGrid introduced the Hosted Private Cloud service earlier this year and we are seeing great traction. In fact, Orange Business Services has been using GoGrid’s Hosted Private Cloud since early on this year. You can see their case study here.
    Prediction results: As I mention, Hosted Private Cloud interest and sales are seeing strong numbers at GoGrid and there are other cloud vendors who are now starting to offer similar services. Expect this movement to grow in 2012.
  5. Community & Sharing Of and Within the Cloud – With a proliferation of cloud services in the marketplace, it is only natural that aggregation and inter-networking of disparate clouds begin to form. With outages always a possibility, it’s important for organizations to build for failure and this is where multi-cloud utilization is important for disaster recover plans. Companies like Racemi are leveraging migration plays that can help corporations distribute their infrastructure across multiple public clouds.
    Predictions results: For the most part, the growth of peripheral cloud integration and migration services, including professional services companies, showed pretty solid growth this year with cloud consumers realizing that there are options and a plethora of services from which to choose.
  6. Breaking Down International Cloud Borders – Many analysts have said that the US is leading the cloud computing charge with Europe & Asia closely following. There are a few cloud vendors within Europe, but not to the extent of the United States. Being able to use a single cloud vendor for world-wide distribution and utilization of cloud services is critical to many companies. While due to the Patriot Act, European companies need to host their EU-centric services in Europe, many also use US-based cloud provider for their US-audiences.
    Prediction results: The European expansion started this year and won’t be slowing down any time soon as US cloud providers are realizing the importance of having a physical presence overseas. But this could all change…
  7. Cloud Standards Battle Heats Up – Cloud computing is rapidly becoming an established IT movement and no longer viewed as being simply hype or an alternative to traditional IT. It is not only replacing legacy IT environments, but also companies are building for the cloud from the get-go. While some public clouds are consumed in a proprietary manner (which causes quite a built of vendor lock-in if you build specifically for them), others are more open, allowing for easier migrations and deployments. A more flexible or adaptable (standards-based) cloud provider requires less specialization of the IT or Development teams working with that particular cloud provider. In fact, some Certification programs, generalized for Cloud Computing, are emerging as well. This indirectly pushes the marketplace toward standardization of offerings and services.
    Prediction results: While the standardization process is still a bit cloudy, progress is definitely being made. Via certifications, developers and IT professionals can now tout their cloud experience and knowledge which allows companies and individuals to document their proficiency in not only what cloud is, but also how to use it and the best ways to use it.

Whew, there you have it – my analysis and synopsis of some predictions I made early in 2011 on the directions of Cloud Computing this year. Again, these are merely my predictions and analysis and may not reflect others within GoGrid.

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Discover Your Cloud Fingerprint

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 by

“What are the benefits of cloud computing?”

Easy question to answer, right? Cost savings. Increased performance. Scalability. The list goes on…

While these are great benefits of cloud computing, I’d argue that the most important aspect of Infrastructure-as-a-Service is the flexibility and versatility of the platform. Why? Because no two companies share identical IT environments – every company is unique and has unique infrastructure needs – and the cloud allows for flexibility and uniqueness. This is your Cloud Fingerprint.

Cloud-Fingerprint

The Cloud Fingerprint is the distinctive identifying characteristic of your IT environment. Your Operating System, the applications craft and use, how your infrastructure is networked, compliance requirements, database type/usage and peak usage times are all components of your Cloud Fingerprint. Knowing this will help you build an IT environment tailored to your specific needs.

What’s your Cloud Fingerprint?

The first step to truly benefiting from cloud computing is to build an environment that is fully customized to your specific needs. That’s why GoGrid is helping companies all over the world discover their Cloud Fingerprint. If you’re interested in learning what infrastructure best suits your business, we have several ways for you to connect with a GoGrid Cloud Expert:
(more…) «Discover Your Cloud Fingerprint»

“We are the Champions” – GoGrid Spotlighted in Info-Tech Research Group’s Cloud IaaS Report

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 by

At GoGrid, we pride ourselves on being the world’s largest pure-play Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. We work tirelessly to innovate the top cloud infrastructure technology available, provide the best support solutions and offer the most comprehensive Service Level Agreement (SLA) in the industry. And when an independent research group recognizes our hard work, it’s extremely validating and a little hard not to share. ;-)

This past July, Info-Tech Research Group released an extensive report entitled “Vendor Landscape: Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)”. This report is designed to help companies understand the offerings of cloud infrastructure providers so they can select a partner with solutions that best meet their needs. Each cloud IaaS vendor was scored based on their product offering and company strengths. GoGrid was one of 3 companies placed in the highest quadrant, “Champion”, and had the highest “Value Index” of every company profiled.

Info-Tech_GoGrid-quadrant

GoGrid topped the charts because our services had the highest value and, as Info-Tech put it, was the biggest “bang for the buck” (e.g. features, usability, stability, etc.).

The research and findings of the Info-Tech Research Group are available for download. The report highlights the purpose and methodology behind Info-Tech’s research, complete industry results and detailed analysis of GoGrid as a cloud infrastructure provider.

Learn why GoGrid was positioned as “Champion.” Please Download the Info-Tech Cloud IaaS Research Report

10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Monday, February 28th, 2011 by

So you’re looking at purchasing cloud infrastructure for your business? That’s great! While we believe cloud infrastructure is a viable solution for everybody, each company needs to find an implementation and provider that best meets their specific need. We call it crafting your “Cloud Fingerprint“. Every cloud infrastructure solution is unique to the business looking for a solution. If you choose a provider that tries to convince you that their solution is the only way to go, you might want to consider looking around for another vendor. Your cloud provider should really be your cloud partner. And, they should work with you in crafting your unique cloud solution, not try to jam a round peg into a square hole.

Cloud-Fingerprint

Before breaking out the checkbook there are several things to consider internally and questions you should ask your potential cloud provider to make sure you are getting the best solution for your business.

Internal Question for your Company

Cloud infrastructure comes in many different shapes and sizes. Having a clear understanding of how your organization will be using this infrastructure will help narrow down which providers will have solutions that fit your need. Here are some questions to ask yourself before approaching vendors:

(more…) «10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Cloud Computing Infrastructure»

“Cloud Connect” is Sooo 2008 – Our Next Generation Hybrid Solution is Available on Both West & East Coast Data Centers

Friday, January 14th, 2011 by

There has been plenty of news recently how other cloud providers are stepping into the realm of providing connectivity between cloud and dedicated environments, and the buzz out there is that this is a feature that customers want. Well, we should know. At GoGrid, we initially launched this capability back in November of 2008 under the name “Cloud Connect”. Over the past few months, other providers have launched similarly named services that do exactly that, cross-connect these two types of environments via a physical connection. But GoGrid is well beyond this initial stage.

cloud-connect-ex3_big.v2

In February 2010, GoGrid released our unified vision for supporting Hybrid environments with the addition of GoGrid Dedicated Servers within the GoGrid Cloud. We realized through customer feedback and based on our 10 years of infrastructure service delivery that this would be a powerful and important feature that would help businesses craft custom infrastructure topologies that met their business requirements. No need to try to fit a round peg in a square hole – we believe that providing our customers a choice of pure cloud, pure dedicated or hybrid infrastructure on demand was something that they wanted. And we were correct.

But it’s not about what WE think, it’s about what our customers want. And given that the rest of the marketplace is jumping on the bandwagon now simply re-affirms what we pioneered.

And it is not a question of IF or WHEN we will offer the functionality because we already do and have for some time now, but rather HOW you will use it to create the IT environment that best fits your needs.

On Wednesday, January 12, 2011, we released the following Press Release that discusses not only our Hybrid solution, but also provides a quick roadmap of our innovation within this important feature:

(more…) «“Cloud Connect” is Sooo 2008 – Our Next Generation Hybrid Solution is Available on Both West & East Coast Data Centers»