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Powered Up Perspective on Cloud Computing

28 Mar, 2013

It was just recently that cloud computing really took off and went mainstream. Now,
Companies are rushing to develop new technologies to speed cloud development. Across the board, vendors young and old are offering new solutions that are making cloud computing easier, faster, more effective and less expensive.

The cloud is not new. Software-as-a-Service models promoted by Salesforce.com's on-demand CRM packages captured the attention of businesses years ago. Hosting centers have handled infrastructure needs. Virtualization, eliminating the need to keep hardware on-premise, has acted as a disrupter of traditional IT notions. Amazon.com formalized the cloud business model using its own infrastructure and opened the floodgates of the cloud era.

But cloud computing has now passed a tipping point, as business leaders recognize the benefits and are issuing orders to get into the cloud, fast.

Besides good companies and platforms for cloud services, let’s look at what were and in some cases still are some key developments and challenges for enterprise cloud computing:
The evolution of the cloud, however, was much greater than what was expected. Cloud computing helped IT in many organizations become more dynamic - spending grew to over $109 billion, up 20% over last year. And that's not all. Gartner predicts that the total outlay for cloud computing services could nearly double, to $207 billion, by 2016. Install-and-upgrade software and infrastructure is becoming less popular by the day, it appears.

Many noticed multiple vendors doing some variations to their service catalogs. And there were also some further developments on the horizon. For example, some hosters like GoDaddy decided to rationalize their Cloud Server offering. Meanwhile, there were also some new cloud products launched by startups like dinCloud, who expanded its portfolio by launching cloud hosted servers and NetApp-based cloud backup and storage solutions.

Some vendors continued their rapid restructuring to an on-demand cloud compute model enhancing their portfolios with cloud acquisitions. Some high level acquisitions in 2012 include Dell-Wyse acquisition for virtual desktops, followed by Oracle acquiring network virtualization technology firm Xsigo to boost cloud prowess. VMware paid top dollar for Nicera, a software-defined-networking vendor.

Along with these developments, there were some setbacks too. In 2012, despite many precautions taken by cloud service providers – we saw outages on a regularly basis caused by human error, quality issues, technical glitches and natural disasters. The major cloud computing outages in 2012 were Google Gmail, Amazon Web Services, Apple iCloud and GoDaddy outages ranging from 2-4 hours affecting millions of users and companies like Quora, DropBox, Pinterest, Heroku, and NetFlix. Companies such as dinCloud, however, have the ability to handle and protect companies from these type outages.

Though outages like this can make a company apprehensive about the cloud, the benefits associated with being in the cloud such as 50% savings on IT spend and agility has to outweigh the risks associated with downtime.  The scale to weigh this decision will be different for every customer, but if the benefits outweigh the potential risk, then we can see more mainstream adoption in 2013.

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