10 must-watch IaaS cloud trends for 2017

Enterprises go heavy and hard to the cloud as machine learning, serverless computing and containers advance

By Brandon Butler
Dec. 20, 2016


7. Hybrid cloud – the public cloud on-ramp

Even as organizations build out next-generation infrastructure for their private clouds, they want a way to enable workloads running on that infrastructure to eventually run in the public cloud, thus creating a hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud computing has been a staple of Microsoft’s cloud strategy since it launched Azure. AWS has mostly ignored the idea of private and hybrid cloud computing, but it released a series of products and services to on-ramp data on to its cloud at re:Invent 2016. These include a new Snowball Edge device that can do local computing and then send data to AWS. Snowmobile is the most dramatic example -- it’s a 45' container that can literally truck 10 Petabytes of data at a time into AWS. Watch for how Google talks about its hybrid cloud strategy in 2017.

8. Managing your cloud, or pay the price

So you’ve got workloads in the cloud, and you plan on adding more. Now you’ve got to manage your cloud usage. Forrester says it’s the customer’s responsibility to manage IaaS resources. Make sure you’re not overprovisioning virtual machines; ensure that unused VMs are turned off; pre-purchase as much capacity as possible to save money; make sure access controls are protected with multi-factor authentication; automate as much as possible to ensure consistency, improve efficiency and reduce human error.

These are just some of the ways that users of IaaS platforms manage their clouds. There are a growing number of vendors that will help customers manage their use of any cloud platform. Expect the market for these tools to grow with adoption. Either educate yourself on best practices for using the cloud, or find someone who can help you make sure you’re using this technology the right way.

9. Data center build-outs continue

As the IaaS cloud computing market continues to grow by leaps and bounds, vendors are quickly building up data center space around the world to keep up with demand and customer requirements. But it’s not just for scale that vendors are building out the cloud -- they’re also adding data centers in specific geographic regions to comply with local data sovereignty laws. Expect the drumbeat of new regions, availability zones and data centers to continue in 2017. Google, for example has announced plans to more than double its footprint of cloud regions. Check out an interactive map of where cloud providers have data centers around the world here.

10. Market consolidation – will there be just three?

How settled is the IaaS cloud market? Mohan, the IDC analyst, says that answer depends on your perspective. In the U.S., the market is well-defined and he believes it would be difficult for new players to take significant share. “Outside of the U.S., it’s a very fragmented market,” he says. Vendors like Alibaba and Tencent in China have opportunities to grab large market shares in these localities. Will that potential international strength translate into the U.S. market? 2017 could provide some clues.

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