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Cloud Computing in 2015 By @ODayP | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

We’re gearing up for another exciting year in the cloud industry

Cloud Computing in 2015: Four Key Areas to Watch

Now that cloud services have become part of IT's "new normal," commonly referred to as "hybrid," it seems obvious that the approaches and tools we use to manage IT would also evolve and mature, though the pace of evolution varies amongst companies, of course. According to a Website Magazine article quoting a Gartner survey, more than 55% of CIOs indicate they would host all critical apps in the cloud by 2020. Cloud services use cases can vary greatly, but often hold common themes around converting traditional applications to SaaS, or adding disaster recovery to your existing datacenter with RaaS.

What does this tee up for next year? Here are four key areas to watch in 2015:

Cloud-Native Security Evolution
One of the biggest changes I anticipate for 2015 is a new definition of what security looks like in the cloud. Typically security is handled as a complex, rigid component of your infrastructure. This limits your ability to grow and contract, as well as make on-a-dime changes, because security features are often clunking along behind your lightweight, flexible cloud environment.

New platform-based security services like Illumio will require everyone to rethink security complexity and how to approach security. Taking an agent-based approach guarantees an out-of-the-box hybrid cloud capability and a single dashboard to see the security across everything at once, be it private, public or on-prem, provides visibility and transparency at an application-level.

The benefits of this approach lead the users to accumulate data that can be leveraged to make the host profiling capabilities stronger over time, which provides a stickier element than traditional, isolated single-tenant products. You can also derive best practice templates and profiles from the data, which can be analyzed and integrated into future projects.

Datacenter Atrophy
In 2015, the trend that we've already started to see over the past few years with early adopters is businesses and business leaders (particularly SMB businesses) want to get out of the datacenter business and focus their team and resources on their core business. They need their IT teams to do more than simply fix and adjust hardware. They need their teams to think more strategically and help the entire business become more technology-oriented.

Consider this datacenter atrophy in relation to how virtualization allowed us to get more out of our datacenter. There's a law of diminishing returns on how much we can get out of that technology, so we need to lean into a new approach to get even more out of innovative approaches. Because of that, more businesses are leaning in to get more for the business out of their resources and offload the datacenter business.

In order to truly be able to get your team out of the datacenter business, you need to be able to rely on a managed cloud provider who acts as an extension of your team. The providers manage all the aspects of the infrastructure - what they do best; and, your team focuses on the core business - what you do best.

Convergence of Backups and Recovery
This year many companies started to modernize their disaster recovery approach using Recovery-as-a-Service. This was driven by the business expectation that your applications and data are accessible at all times, from anywhere, regardless of what happens in the world surrounding those applications. Evolution of recovery technology allows businesses of all sizes access to affordable, simple Recovery-as-a-Service in the cloud, which bring single applications back online in minutes and whole datacenters back online nearly as quickly. What's going to change in 2015, however, is how we look at recovery and the components that it involves.

For businesses protecting their infrastructure with Recovery-as-a-Service, backup and recovery technology convergence means you can continue to back up your applications and data while they run in recovery, because the technology is integrated. You'll never have to be unprotected, unlike if you were running recovery in a bubble-like trailer in a parking lot. In the cloud, backup and recovery technology are already integrated so there's no reason not to be protected while running in a recovery state.

We're seeing both backup and recovery vendors integrate the two ideas as well over the past year. Veeam has added cloud-native capabilities to its backup technology for DR, and Zerto has added backups to its cloud-based DR product for additional protection.

This convergence will force the market to redefine the role of each technology, more strongly force integration of products and force businesses to redefine budgets and possibilities in the coming year.

We're gearing up for another exciting year in the cloud industry and these are just a few core ideas that I believe we'll see take flight and takeover focus this year. Next year at this time I'll be sitting down again to consider how my scorecard looks heading into 2016 and we'll see how accurate my crystal ball was for 2015.

More Stories By Pat O'Day

Pat O’Day is CTO and co-founder of Bluelock, a certified VMware vCloud Datacenter provider of Virtual Datacenters hosted in the public cloud, and is responsible for commercializing and making the company’s Infrastructure-as-as-Service (IaaS) model a business reality. With almost 20 years of IT infrastructure experience, he holds countless certifications and serves as a technical advisor and conference speaker for industry-leading technology companies including IBM, VMware, F5, Shavlik and LeftHand Networks. He is also the co-founder and former president of the local Association of Internet Professionals and a former board member of the technology peer group for TechPoint, Indiana’s only statewide information technology association.

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