Posts Tagged ‘predictions’

 

Cloud computing in 2013

Thursday, December 6th, 2012 by

Although cloud services have been gaining momentum and garnering a lot of attention during the last several years, next year’s adoption strategies will be different. In 2013, enterprise executives will get real about cloud computing and finally understand what it takes to make effective strategic decisions, according to a blog report by Forrester Research analyst James Staten.

Cloud computing in 2013

While there have been many early adopters of the cloud, the technology has primarily hidden in the shadows, largely because IT departments were still relatively unsure whether the hosted solutions would truly deliver any benefits. Next year, however, IT executives will no longer deny the existence of the cloud, Staten noted, as 2013 will be a shining year for when the cloud truly takes off.

No more mindless deployments

In the coming year, decision-makers will be smarter about implementing cloud services. The once common thought of “everything will move to the cloud” will no longer encourage executives to blindly launch cloud computing projects without planning ahead, Staten said. As a whole, the private sector now has enough knowledge of the cloud to recognize the subtle differences between varying virtual architectures, enabling managers to make sound decisions toward launching an effective strategy.

Cloud computing is not a commodity

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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.

(more…) «Peering Back at the Clouds – 7 Cloud Predictions from 2011»

Peering Out at the Horizon – 7 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 by

Now that I have reflected on what transpired in Cloud Computing during 2010, it’s time to do some skywriting and list out some of my thoughts for 2011 and what clouds will blow our way. Do note, these are my personal opinions and thoughts and may not reflect the views of others at GoGrid. That being said, let’s get on to the predictions and what clouds are on the horizon…

2011_predictions_road_sm

  1. IT Procurement Includes Cloud Requisitioning – there is definitely a movement within IT organizations to think “outside of the box” as well as optimize expenditures and resources when it comes to developing new infrastructure environments. I dare say that the paper trail of purchase orders and approval forms may start to vaporize somewhat as businesses work to make their internal processes more efficient. Weeks or months to requisition new hardware or repurpose older hardware will become an unacceptable timeframe. We live in the world of instant gratification and “being in the now” and cloud computing is yet another example of how business processes can be re-tooled to be more efficient. Requisitioning cloud environments (publically or privately) will become line items in the procurement process, and perhaps in many organizations will become the de facto choice by IT departments as they attempt to retain control over their kingdom. They still want to be (and need to be) involved in the process and by accepting public (or private) clouds as a primary IT resource, these organizations can stay in front of the curve.
  2. Private Clouds and Public Cloud Act to Catalyze Each Other – many analysts have stated that private clouds will be a stepping stone to public clouds (adoption, usage, acceptance, etc.). However, I don’t believe this to be a uni-directional type of process. For many organizations, testing the waters within a public cloud allows for investigation, due diligence, education and understanding of what cloud computing can do for that organization. That is to say, doing a project within a public cloud can potentially make those self-same businesses pursue a similar strategy internally. However, I predict that many will realize that developing their own internal cloud or private cloud may be cost and time prohibitive and those efforts to do so will meet considerable internal resistance. Cloud computing is flexible, however, and there are ways to achieve similar results through a careful architecting of ones IT environment using a combination of public, hybrid and internal resources. On the flipside, organizations who have repurposed some of their internal IT resources to craft private or internal clouds will soon realize that their efforts are inefficient from a cost and human capital perspective and will then begin outsourcing their IT services for projects or business units to a public cloud.
  3. “Cloud Washing” Backlash Begins – for those unfamiliar with the term “cloud washing” it essentially means when a vendor or ISP repackages their legacy or older service offerings into something that they slap a “cloud” label to. We saw plenty of this begin happening over the past year or so as everyone wants to jump on the cloud bandwagon, especially from a marketing perspective. But merely stating that their product or service is “cloud” or “cloud-like” or “cloud-enabled” does injustice to cloud computing in general and may actually cause end-users to have a bad initial experience with supposed cloud services. As businesses evaluate the growing number of cloud providers in the marketplace, they will need to become savvy at reading between the lines in understanding what a purported cloud vendor provides as their “cloud” service. Buyer beware! Luckily, those investigating cloud solutions, reading the trade journals and vetting the vendors out there are becoming more vocal about and educated in their decision-making process. Those vendors with “cloud washed” services will soon see an erosion of customers as these users move to more proven, established public clouds.
  4. Cracks Show with Internal Clouds as Hosted Private Clouds Emerge – as corporations begin the deep dive into their internal IT infrastructure, attempting to breath life into aging servers, out of date software and costly data center maintenance, they will start realizing that pursuing an “internal cloud” strategy might not be the most effective use of their time and money. Those companies who have chosen the path of bringing the cloud in-house will be renewing licensing agreements, crunching numbers as they amortize the cost of hardware associated with keeping their internal cloud up and running, and ensuring their IT staff is properly utilized, while still maintaining a lean and mean organization. The cracks and flaws of this “old school” philosophy will show as CFO’s and budget managers demand a higher ROI and the internal “customers” demand more features and services from their aging internal IT environments. As this internal battle heats up, the hosted private cloud solution will become much more attractive and will move from being simply “an alternative” to “a requirement.”
  5. Community & Sharing Of and Within the Cloud – with the coming mainstream establishment of cloud computing within the workforce, now the innovations truly start to materialize. Several cloud management vendors produced marked customer adoption over the past couple of years, offering services built on top of or designed to help manage clouds, but the clouds that they managed were fairly disparate. As these 3rd parties evolve their products and services, expect to see creation of multi-cloud infrastructures that leverage the best of each cloud and the concocted shared cloud environments will represent a further hybridization of the cloud computing movement. When I say “hybrid”, in this case, I’m not talking about the combining of physical and virtual appliances within a single cloud, but rather a richer fabric of interwoven distinct clouds. These could be public and hosted private clouds, multiple public clouds or even mixtures of internal and public infrastructures (e.g., cloud bursting). Also, I expect to see some cloud providers looking to build out the sharing and community aspects within their cloud offerings, meaning that infrastructure designs can be shared and potentially distributed between users, creating efficiencies of design and faster time to market.
  6. Breaking Down International Cloud Borders – the growth of the Internet has made the world smaller. Data, transactions and information are sent at the speed of light across the globe. Users expect this immediacy and Internet services in general are helping to shrink the world as we know it. Internet protocols, infrastructures and IT in general is a common language that citizens of the Internet speak not only fluently but share as well. There is still some debate as to whether Europe or the US is leading the “cloud race” but regardless, cloud computing is becoming borderless. Sure there are still data privacy, ownership and warehousing issues, as well as countries that continue to maintain rigid controls over what data and information is delivered to whom and where, but for those countries that are more open to innovation, the political and economic walls are rapidly being torn down. Cloud Computing is a catalyst to this blurring of these borders and we can expect to see not only innovations from other countries and regions of the globe, we will also see cooperation between business, foreign and domestic. Infrastructure being the international language, cloud computing will be the vessel to bring cooperation between countries, companies and organizations around the globe.
  7. Cloud Standards Battle Heats Up – as the cloud evolves, interoperability will become increasingly important. Over the past years, multiple organizations have jockeyed to position themselves as the de facto standards governance body. Some are more accepted than others while others have simply died out. I expect the emergence of new groups, some comprised of big businesses lumping their names together is a sort of coalition while others more of a grass-roots natures (e.g., top down and bottom up). I feel that governments will provide an important push driving this movement to meet compliance and auditing requirements and concerns. Transparency will be a core driver here as customers dive deeper into the interoperability of clouds with other clouds as well as their own infrastructures. Those vendors who remain isolated, following proprietary tracts may find themselves losing ground to coalitions of providers who have either loosely coupled their offerings or who provide import/export or integration services.

I could probably go on with several other forward-looking cloud computing ideas. The point being that Cloud Computing allows innovations and ideas to truly surface and be built upon. Others in the space will have different as well as similar perspectives and I encourage you to read and contemplate on those ideas. Nobody has a magical crystal ball that can truly look into the future, but remember, all of the images of those magical fortune-telling globes seem to have one thing in common, they start with clouds!

GoGrid_crystal_ball_sm

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Reflection on “5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010″

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 by

As 2010 draws to a close, I thought that I would take a look back at some predictions about Cloud Computing that I made at the beginning of the year, but with a bit of an added spin. This reflection could be pretty lengthy so I will focus mainly on how GoGrid matched up to the predictions. While that can be perceived as a bit one sided, I believe that it is important for the Cloud Computing community to contemplate on what they did for the Cloud from a “personal” perspective and how they are driving this evolutionary movement forward.

Here were my predictions from January 2010:

  1. Cloud Outages – There will be several Cloud Outages that get high visibility this year. As complexity and associated infrastructure grows and more users turn toward the cloud, any hiccups therein will receive quick and broad media coverage, with naysayers quickly stating “I told you so”. Unfortunately, any type of outage may be perceived as a “cloud failure”, resulting in the masses becoming increasingly doubtful in the reliability of the cloud. This “F.U.D. Factor” will be a steep hurdle that cloud providers and partners will have to overcome. Those companies with sound IT strategies and best practices in place will be able to weather any outages well, assuming they employ Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions and have them implemented.

    End of Year Update:
    Yes, there were outages in the cloud but the term “cloud” expanded to include a variety of items that were indirectly related to the Cloud Pyramid. No hosting service or data center is fully immune to outages or disruptions. Several SaaS providers had disruptions of service that were pretty high profile (most recently Tumblr, a micro-blogging platform, affected countless customers across the globe). ReadWriteWeb has a good listing of significant disruptions that occurred including Wikipedia, WordPress, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and yes, even WikiLeaks.
    GoGrid Update: I’m happy to say (knock on wood), that GoGrid has maintained a 99.99% uptime throughout the year which means that customers who have implemented their infrastructure solutions within our cloud offerings have made an important choice. With our rollouts of new service offerings as well as an East Coast data center, our customers now have a choice on the type of infrastructure to provision and where they want it to reside.
  2. The Rise of Hybrid Hosting Solutions – While relatively new in 2009, more providers will consider implementing the ability to have the “best of all worlds” hosting solutions. Whether this be the combination of physical and cloud environments or, cloud bursting, or private and public clouds working congruently, there will definitely be a blurring of lines between what hosting is.

    End of Year Update:
    There was definitely some significant movement in this arena, with a couple providers announcing “Cloud Connect” or “Hybrid Connect” features that cross-connect physical and virtual environments. This is an important item for corporations looking to have flexible network topologies.
    GoGrid Update: We first launched Cloud Connect back in November of 2008 as we understood this need by businesses to have hybrid environments. Coincidentally, it was released using the “Cloud Connect” name which other providers seem to have attempted to capitalize on. However, back in February 2010, we released our GoGrid Dedicated Servers offering that effectively integrates physical and virtual infrastructure within the GoGrid Cloud. More recently (December 2010), we announced that GoGrid Dedicated Servers and our Hybrid Hosting environment was available within our East Coast data center as well, thus providing these hybrid solutions in multiple locations. The important take-away here is that 2 years ago we realized that this would be an important service that enterprises, businesses and corporations would desire, so our products and engineering teams ensured that the physical and virtual components that comprise our offering were tightly integrated and easy to use, all within the same web portal and private network.
  3. Security Concerns, Vulnerabilities and Malware – this is an only logical prediction. As the number of cloud or virtualized environments increase due to their ease of use and lower cost, the possibility of environments being created and left unattended also increases. Also because of the ease of use, with “average” users deploying environments that are not hardened or at least audited from a security standpoint, there are more possibilities for hackers or users to unintentionally open their systems up to malware, botnets or other malicious code.

    End of Year Update
    : With the exception of DDoS attacks which any hosting provider is susceptible to (and which are typically targeted at a specific site, not a provider), and with the obvious exception of the WikiLeaks attacks, cloud “hacks” or vulnerabilities seemed to remain fairly low. There is still obviously the FUD factor (fear, uncertainty and doubt) but since cloud computing has really seemed to have hit mainstream IT, companies are doing their due diligence when selecting a cloud hosting provider, obviously looking toward robustness and security as core requirements for IT implementations.
    GoGrid Update: We have strengthened our DDoS mitigation services, engaged with new technology partners and service providers, and continue to provide robust support should malicious activities occur. GoGrid has been conducting regular educational webinars (including some with our partners) to help our customers reduce risks associated with technology as well as develop redundant, N-level architectures designed for fault tolerance and resiliency.
  4. A “Cloud” for Everyone – Towards the end of last year, we started to see a blurring of the definition of “cloud” and “cloud computing”. The mainstream media is to blame for much of this confusion. To that end, people seem to be ubiquitously interchanging the word “cloud” and “cloud computing” where they are actually quite different. Most people are simply using the word “cloud” to describe anything where the data is stored somewhere else, whether it be truly using a “cloud computing” environment or simply a cluster of servers somewhere. I predict that this confusion will get worse long before it gets better. People will continue to interchangeably use “cloud” and “cloud computing” thus forcing those of us in the industry to (re)define what “cloud computing” truly is. However, as the word “cloud” becomes incredibly mainstream, it will grow to mean anything that is delivered via the web, regardless of if it is applications, services, infrastructure, data or what have you. (In fact, I used “cloud” interchangeably throughout this post…for me, I’m talking about “cloud computing.”)

    End of Year Update
    : Unfortunately to those of us in the Cloud Computing industry, the term “cloud” continues to morph into an encompassing of anything related to “stored on the Internet somewhere”. Recent advertising campaigns now throw the term “cloud” around extremely loosely, polluting the true definition. We believe that Gartner’s definition of Cloud Computing is one of the best in the space currently: “A style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ to customers using Internet Technologies.”
    GoGrid Update: At GoGrid, we make it our mission to adhere to the important qualities of cloud computing: self-service, scalable, on-demand, pay-as-you-go and as a service. While we may use the term “cloud” loosely, our core competency is “cloud computing”, being the largest “pure play” provider in the space. What I mean by pure play is that our business is devoted to providing infrastructure services entirely, not diluted by other add-on services or products or physical items. This year we developed our Unique Value Proposition (UVP) – “Complex Infrastructure Made Easy™” which we live and breath by. So while the term “cloud” continues to become fractured, representing many things that it wasn’t initially supposed to, we fully believe in ensuring that our “cloud” represents industry definitions and standards.
  5. Analysts will Shorten their “Coming of Age” Stories – Many of the big name players predicted that cloud computing wouldn’t really be adopted by the mainstream for another few years. I believe that they will retract or refine their statements to show how much closer to mainstream cloud computing really is. While Fortune100 companies may still be slow to adopt, the “rest of us” will get on the cloud a lot faster than analysts originally predicted.

    End of Year Update:
    Cloud Computing continues to “infiltrate” corporations and enterprises as these companies look to alternatives to traditional IT requisitioning. While corporate entities as a whole might not fully throw themselves at replacing their existing infrastructure with cloud infrastructure, business units and other departments therein are seeing the advantages and embracing them. I still believe that the adoption curve is moving a lot faster than what analysts are predicting.
    GoGrid Update: Our increase in corporate and enterprise customers clearly indicates that there is a significant uptake in interest as well as implementation of cloud and hybrid scenarios and solutions. Also, our ever-growing numbers of SMB and Web 2.0 customers reflect an even healthier adoption of cloud computing as outsourcing of IT services remains a critical component of financial savings, human resource optimization and other unrealized IT rearchitecture.

So there you have it. A quick look back at my predictions for 2010 and how the market and GoGrid faired. What are your thoughts on the past year and how Cloud Computing did therein? What about 2011? Would love to get your read! And Happy Holidays from all of us at GoGrid.

(more…) «Reflection on “5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010″»

5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010 by

I guess that I’m a bit late in the game here to throw my predictions into the clouds but late is better than never, right? It has been an exciting year for us here at GoGrid. We had many stellar and innovative announcements which you can read about here. Before I quickly go into some of my thoughts for 2010, it makes sense to see how well I did for 2009. My original predictions were here and were as follows (coupled with a quick analysis).

  1. Cloud Reduce the Effect of the Recession – Businesses definitely did not spend as much last year, however, the interest in the cloud as a financially viable way to “survive” gained traction throughout the year. All major cloud providers (including GoGrid) showed growth during the year despite the recession.
  2. Broader Depth of Clouds – the cloud continued to grow throughout the year. More smaller and larger players jumped into the mix. The relative “unknown” of the cloud began to become much clearer.
  3. VC’s, Money & Long Term Viability – hard to gauge this one without knowing what VC’s were investing in. But given the strength of leaders like AWS, Rackspace and GoGrid and the continued development therein, the long term viability seemed solid.
  4. Partnerships Galore & Weeding Out of Providers – As is evident with GoGrid’s growing partner list, this is really where the marketplace was expanding. Partners bring subject-matter expertise to the cloud, allowing for medium to large providers to focus on their core competencies. There were not big failures of providers during 2009 but the shakeout may start in 2010.
  5. Hybrid Solutions – we continued to lead the way with robust hybrid solutions in the form of cloud front-ends coupled with physical back-end server. Not too many other providers announced things similar, but I believe these will materialize this year.
  6. Web 3.0 – the “social web” definitely took off this year, as did the whole (vague) concept of data being “in the cloud”. Web 3.0 wasn’t officially announced but there were definitely lots of companies mashing up their services/data in unique, new offerings.
  7. Standards and Interoperability – many separate groups continued to work towards open standards and interoperability with definite progress being made. Unfortunately, these groups are still splintered with individuals and companies working towards their own agenda.
  8. Staggered Growth within the Cloud – the big players continued to get bigger, leaving some of the smaller or non-visionary thinkers a bit behind. More users started looking away from shared hosting and more towards the cloud for solutions. Smaller startups continued to advance using the cloud to power their infrastructure with the enterprise still testing the waters or using the cloud sporadically.
  9. Technology Advances at the Cloud Molecular Level – chip manufacturers and computer/server vendors did announce chipsets and systems optimized for the cloud.
  10. Larger Adoption – still not as fast as I expected, but the fact that the Federal (and State) governments were (and are) putting some serious thought and development work around cloud computing shows that adoption is growing across the board.

gg_new_years

Just quickly scanning through my “results” shows that I wasn’t too off track. Some items faired a bit better than others but for the most part my “predictions” were fairly close. So what about 2010? Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. Cloud Outages – There will be several Cloud Outages that get high visibility this year. As complexity and associated infrastructure grows and more users turn toward the cloud, any hiccups therein will receive quick and broad media coverage, with naysayers quickly stating “I told you so”. Unfortunately, any type of outage may be perceived as a “cloud failure”, resulting in the masses becoming increasingly doubtful in the reliability of the cloud. This “F.U.D. Factor” will be a steep hurdle that cloud providers and partners will have to overcome. Those companies with sound IT strategies and best practices in place will be able to weather any outages well, assuming they employ Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions and have them implemented.
  2. The Rise of Hybrid Hosting Solutions – While relatively new in 2009, more providers will consider implementing the ability to have the “best of all worlds” hosting solutions. Whether this be the combination of physical and cloud environments or, cloud bursting, or private and public clouds working congruently, there will definitely be a blurring of lines between what hosting is.
  3. Security Concerns, Vulnerabilities and Malware – this is an only logical prediction. As the number of cloud or virtualized environments increase due to their ease of use and lower cost, the possibility of environments being created and left unattended also increases. Also because of the ease of use, with “average” users deploying environments that are not hardened or at least audited from a security standpoint, there are more possibilities for hackers or users to unintentionally open their systems up to malware, botnets or other malicious code.
  4. A “Cloud” for Everyone – Towards the end of last year, we started to see a blurring of the definition of “cloud” and “cloud computing”. The mainstream media is to blame for much of this confusion. To that end, people seem to be ubiquitously interchanging the word “cloud” and “cloud computing” where they are actually quite different. Most people are simply using the word “cloud” to describe anything where the data is stored somewhere else, whether it be truly using a “cloud computing” environment or simply a cluster of servers somewhere. I predict that this confusion will get worse long before it gets better. People will continue to interchangeably use “cloud” and “cloud computing” thus forcing those of us in the industry to (re)define what “cloud computing” truly is. However, as the word “cloud” becomes incredibly mainstream, it will grow to mean anything that is delivered via the web, regardless of if it is applications, services, infrastructure, data or what have you. (In fact, I used “cloud” interchangeably throughout this post…for me, I’m talking about “cloud computing.”)
  5. Analysts will Shorten their “Coming of Age” Stories – Many of the big name players predicted that cloud computing wouldn’t really be adopted by the mainstream for another few years. I believe that they will retract or refine their statements to show how much closer to mainstream cloud computing really is. While Fortune100 companies may still be slow to adopt, the “rest of us” will get on the cloud a lot faster than analysts originally predicted.

(more…) «5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2010»