The Sky is the Limit

The sky is indeed the limit. Most technology firms, expert analysts and even the highly successful enterprises of today will probably agree that the future is in the clouds. Thanks to cloud computing, flying in Cloud 9 isn’t that hard to achieve nowadays. Although the definition of cloud computing is constantly evolving, probably due to its growing demand and usage over the past years, the subject still arouses the interest of many businesses – a huge factor in catapulting the technology into a global trend that it is today. Cloud computing isn’t really something new. In fact, cloud computing has been around for years, being used by companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Oracle privately within their own business model. But now that the technology has grown larger than life, it’s turning out to be the primary direction that almost everyone is taking on.

The Future has Arrived

In spite of Larry Ellison’s criticism in 2010 that cloud computing is just a fad and that the technology, according to the Oracle CEO, will soon share the same fate of SOAs and EDIs, IDC Research Director Dan Yachi counteracted by saying, “Cloud computing is more than just buzz. It is here to stay and is expected to take increasing shares of total IT spending worldwide. From a VC perspective, the even better news is that cloud computing is still far from maturity. There are many technology gaps that are not yet filled, especially in the areas of cloud enablement, management, monitoring, and security. In particular, VCs can find investment opportunities in start-up companies that develop solutions for hybrid cloud, which is expected to experience increased demand over the coming years.” Indeed, the future is here!

Cloud Computing Defined

Taking it to the cloud has a lot of advantages. It’s all simple. Cloud computing minimizes cost by transferring the resources of each client into an infrastructure capable of storing insurmountable amounts of data via WAN or the WWW. Truth be told, for an enterprise to compete with the rest nowadays, it is no longer a question whether or not to use a certain type of cloud service, for that would mean utter extinction. The question right now is – what kind of cloud service will a particular business use? Currently, cloud computing technology has the following different types of deployment models: public cloud, community cloud, hybrid cloud, combined cloud and private cloud. New models may emerge in the following years, but every single type usually has the following layers:

  • Provider – Company proving cloud service. Example: Rackspace, Salesforce, etc.
  • Client – Devices or software that will interact with the cloud service. Example: PC, mobile devices, etc.
  • Application – Eliminates installation in physical devices. Example: SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • Platform – Delivers a set of software subsystems platform. Example: PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • Infrastructure – Infrastructure services that renders a virtual environment as a service rather than buying servers and software. Example: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
  • Server – Composed of hardware and software products that include processors, operating systems and other offers.

Cloud Computing Trends

Now that the era of cloud computing has arrived, various milestones are happening everywhere and giant companies are more than willing to take advantage of being high in the clouds. Come to think of it, the survey shows that more than 50 percent of organizations and businesses have taken advantage of cloud computing and according to Gartner research firm, the growth will increase by 17 percent per annum. So Larry Ellison was wrong after all. On the contrary, Apple CEO Steve Jobs seems to have smelled the right opportunity when he led his company in releasing the iCloud storage service for iOS devices, in spite of some patent issues surrounding the name. To summarize our observations, we bring to you the following cloud computing trends:

  • It’s the new business model – There’s no doubt that cloud computing is the new business model for today’s enterprise. CIOs and IT execs are now hustling in spotting the perfect cloud service for their company. The U.S. Department of Agriculture for example, jumped for the cloud when it chose Microsoft as its cloud services provider. When U.S. President Barack Obama instituted the “cloud-first” policy that required the federal agencies to submit some of their vital services to the cloud, it is as if the fate of cloud computing has been sealed.
  • It’s more improved and even getting better – Cloud computing might have some security issues in the past but it doesn’t mean that it will remain poor forever. It has been reported last year that nearly 51% percent of companies are fearful and hesitant in moving over to the cloud due to security concerns. But this year is totally different. Newer systems have emerged including complex layers and architecture in the various models thus providing greater reliability and security for its clients. But what most people don’t realize is that the main advantage of cloud computing lies in its fast recovery rate with a minimal costing when disaster strikes compared to the standard hardware-dependent disaster solutions that most IT departments have.
  • Its timing is perfect – Considering today’s fierce competition, it’s really hard to stand out. What we need is a new solution to a complex problem. Cloud computing seems to be the perfect conduit to face the challenges ahead. With newer trends emerging particularly in the mobile realm, cloud computing has arrived just in time to meet the demands. CSPs including Verizon and Orange have joined the game, as well as Comcast and Charter with their various partnerships with Sharepoint and Exchange. Smaller businesses without IT departments are also seeing greener pastures with pay-as-you-go Cloud services. It’s really faster and more cost efficient for them. Joshua Beil, Director of Market Strategy and Research for Parallels, has an even more interesting description about the cloud computing trend. Citing his predictions on the technology, Joshua said that the trend has shifted into an eat-all-you-can model just like the standard unlimited long distance service offers. But as to the question when will the trend stop, it’s really hard to answer because the cloud is just starting.