|By Harry Trott||
|March 13, 2015 04:00 PM EDT||
Cloud Trends to Watch Out for This Year
Experts predict that the cloud computing will continue to grow this year. According to the Computerworld Forecast Study, spending on cloud computing is expected to rise by 42% in 2015. Moreover, Esna projects that in a bid to increase the use of mobile, social, customer-facing and collaboration technologies, 40% of IT teams will spend more on software as a service and a mix of public, private and hybrid solutions this year.
With the upsurge of new, mobile-oriented technologies, as well as the mainstream business emergence of previously niche technologies, it's obvious that 2015 will see new cloud computing challenges and opportunities. Here we look at some of the key trends that will disrupt the industry in the coming year.
Increased Containerization or Sandboxing of IT Resources
Employees are using mobile devices both for personal and for business purposes. In order to keep the two domains separate and protect business data, companies are using containerization or sandboxing to control devices. As more companies adopt BYOD (bring your own device) policies, containerization will increase as well. This process began with virtualization and has now expanded to containerization, which eliminates much of the baggage of virtualization by getting rid of the hypervisor and its VMs.
Now that technologies are increasingly enabling the provisioning platforms on shared infrastructure, employees can perform more tasks with fewer resources. Although containerization is not yet as mature as virtualization, increased levels of automation will result in containers coming of age as a viable solution in the near future.
The Rise of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
PaaS enables businesses to deploy applications and services on a large scale, relying on platform providers who services accessible in the cloud. Gartner predicts that the PaaS market will reach $1.8 billion in 2015. Despite industry support, PaaS has not yet taken off, but the need for mobility and big data is driving more organizations to invest in it. PaaS providers are adding databases, metering and data integration capabilities, so that PaaS applications can be built and deployed on a larger scale
PaaS is particularly efficient for big data crunching, load balancing, disaster recovery and database integration. As Matt Robinson, a vice president of technology at Progress Software, recently told CIO Insight, "there's still a huge appetite to be able to improve these cycles by making them quicker and better. The benefits of using a rapid application development PaaS to improve speed and productivity should not be lost in the excitement of the DYOA [develop your own app] age."
As a concrete example, a PaaS load balancing technology has a clear cost, scalability and flexibility advantage over on-premises/appliance based alternatives and the cheaper DNS-based approach. The technology can be deployed and scaled rapidly, without businesses having an over-exposure to managing the infrastructure as with IaaS, but with a clear advantage of being more flexible than SaaS.
Microsoft Cloud Will Overtake On-Premises
According to Forrester's annual cloud predictions report, Microsoft is poised to drive more revenues from cloud-based services than from its on-premises applications and Windows products this year. Platforms like Azure and Office 365 are setting the stage for cloud services completely overtaking on-premises software.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's mobile-first, cloud-first efforts are likely to accelerate this process. Nadella asserts that mobile is not just about the device used; it's about mobility of applications and data, which can only be accomplished via the cloud. In order to stay relevant, IT professionals may find it necessary to shift their roles from creating software to putting software to use within the context of an entire organization.
This year, multiple cloud and on-premises services will be further integrated with REST interfaces and API management solutions. Various data and application sources can all work together in the cloud to increase functionality and speed up processes.
Security Risks Will Increase
Security risks have always been a concern for digitally connected businesses, and the dangers are only growing more acute as time goes on. Hackers, credit card thieves and bots with nefarious intent are utilizing increasingly complex methods to circumvent cloud security solutions.
In addition to the usual culprits, this year there are also concerns about nation-state attacks, like the NSA-perpetrated breaches exposed by Edward Snowden. Poor compliance and a lack of training leaves businesses that use third-party SaaS especially vulnerable to attack.
Moreover, the Internet of Things is becoming more popular as consumer electronic brands move into the home automation space. The rise of IoT spawns new security issues, as these services run on public clouds where data protection can't be ensured. Brands will have to prove that they are protecting their customers' private information and may need to move over to private clouds in order to guarantee it.
Staying the Course
At the end of 2013, expert predictions of cloud trends for 2014 emphasized big data, security and a movement toward PaaS. These predictions were relatively accurate, and these trends are continuing in a big way into 2015. The experts believe that we are also going to see increasing containerization, the growth of Microsoft Cloud and a rise in integration of data applications and APIs.
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