Six Cloud Computing Trends – Mid-2011 Update

Posted 6.17.11 by

As we round the bend half way through 2011 (the year of cloud computing), we’re seeing some interesting trends emerge in cloud computing.  Here are 6 key trends in cloud computing that I’ll be discussing at our Cloud Computing Seminar next week.

  1. More Confusion (Not Less) About What Cloud Computing Represents – We expected the definition of cloud computing to shake itself out by the end of this year.  If anything, all of the hype around the cloud is fraying and further expanding the definition of cloud computing.  At the Cloud Dev Days conference held last weekend at Compuware’s headquarters, every speaker had a different definition of cloud computing, and it seemed to change each time they spoke.  Some claim that cloud computing only represents the public cloud utility model and that private cloud computing doesn’t count.  Others claim that the private cloud is the best fit for most medium and large enterprises that need to meet specific security and compliance requirements.
  2. Public Cloud Computing as a Utility is Gaining Adoption – Amazon’s EC2 public cloud is becoming popular for applications that need to spin up servers & shut them down on the fly to take advantage of the hourly pricing offered by Amazon.  The model requires a system programming approach to design a resilient solution that can survive a failure inside the complex architecture.  Programmers and systems architects love it.  IT managers find it far too complex and insecure to host their critical enterprise applications.
  3. The Managed Cloud Emerges – As opposed to the public cloud, managed cloud hosting is designed around a high availability (N+1) architecture that provides built in resiliency.  With automatic failover and a enterprise-level security options, it appeals to IT managers that want to host their enterprise applications in a secure, managed cloud.
  4. Enterprises Adopting Private Clouds – The Yankee Group reports that 67% of medium and large enterprises still prefer private clouds when it comes to cloud computing.  Security & compliance are the major drivers. For enterprises that are moving more than a handful of physical servers to the cloud, private cloud computing offers the most cost effective solution.
  5. Security & Compliance Perceptions and Realities Remain Barriers – Security concerns are sited 51% of the time as the top reason enterprises have not yet moved to the cloud.  The private cloud addresses this with dedicated data & network security.  It will take time for others to get more comfortable with the security options in the managed cloud world and the public clouds like Amazon still have an uphill battle addressing security concerns.
  6. The Cloud Delivers a Sea Change for Disaster Recovery – Virtualization changes the face of disaster recovery by eliminating the hardware dependencies and capturing the entire operating server in a software bundle.  That software bundle (the virtual server) is then easily transmitted offsite into a separate cloud where is can be quickly loaded and turned operational in the case of a disaster declaration. This changes the trade-off curve for Recovery Time Objective (RTO) versus cost.  Cloud computing delivers faster recovery times at a much lower cost than traditional disaster recovery approaches.

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