Cloud Computing Predictions for 2012

By

If I've learned anything over my several years in this business, it's that technology changes quickly, but mindsets change far more slowly. And what's happening in the world of cloud computing is a perfect example.

When cloud first emerged as a viable delivery system several years ago, the naysayers were everywhere. "It's not reliable," they said; "it's not secure. It's not really affordable." Well, we've proved them wrong on every count; cloud-based SLAs easily approach five-nines uptime. Cloud security has been repeatedly proven to meet a wide range of government and industry regulations, and the value of the cloud - it's ability to allow companies to rapidly scale their infrastructures to meet their changing need - is demonstrated every single day.

The result is greater acceptance and adoption of cloud technologies, but only up to a point. That's going to change this year, however, I believe, as a fundamental change in thinking takes hold. Let me explain.

At its core, cloud is a delivery mechanism for an on-demand infrastructure. With that in mind, it seems to me that the entire notion of tiered platforms, of tiered storage and the like, has been largely rendered moot. The concept of universal high availability is becoming more plausible, even desirable. As this concept takes hold, value will be delivered to companies and people who discard the idea of tiering. All of your information, from your IT infrastructure to platforms to business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR), will have a high availability focus.

I think we're going to see a growing acceptance of this idea, especially among smaller businesses. While many larger companies may already have an infrastructure in place, and may have less of a need to adopt a cloud strategy administered by a third-party, smaller firms are growing to realize the advantages of outsourcing their infrastructure to someone who can run it more effectively and efficiently, allowing them to concentrate on what they do best. And as they do, I believe we're going to see more of these companies make the decision that they don't have to decide on which tiers get precedence over others: their entire IT environment can, and will, be highly available. By moving to an overall highly available environment it will afford companies the ability to operate with greater efficiency. For example an organization should be able to repurpose lower tiered environments that historically sat around idle like a BC/DR stack and use them as a development integration or QA platform.

I'd like your feedback; do you agree with me that highly-available cloud implementations are on the road to ubiquity? Leave me a comment below.