Although cloud computing may seem a relatively recent technology, it’s been more than 16 years since Amazon first launched its AWS platform, and 12 years since it was re-launched in 2006. We may argue that it was Amazon who proclaimed the era of modern cloud computing and popularized the term. However, the origins of the technology go back much earlier than the company itself.
A (not so short) story of cloud computing
Services similar to what we nowadays know as cloud computing appeared as early as in the 1970s. Back then, they were called ‘full-time-sharing solutions.’ By using these solutions, a person could submit tasks to operators in large data centers to run on IBM mainframes and receive a result.
In the 1990s, telecommunications companies began offering Virtual Private Networks services. They were, in fact, the first attempt at network virtualization, where multiple customers would share the underlying resource media.
The 1990s were also the time when computer virtualization became popular, laying the foundations for the modern cloud computing. The cloud gained popularity in 1999 when Salesforce launched. The company pioneered delivering software in the SaaS model, allowing other businesses to use their services remotely, over the Internet.
Finally, in 2002 Amazon launched its AWS platform. And the rest is history.You can read about it in our blog post here: https://blog.bluesoftglobal.com/the-history-of-amazon-web-services/
3 Facts about the current state of cloud computing you probably don’t know
So, we’ve briefly outlined the history of cloud computing, but what about the present? Let’s unravel three amazing facts about modern cloud computing.
1. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services revenue is growing by 17% each year.
It totaled $220 billion in 2016, and the forecasts for 2017 and 2018 were $260 billion and $306 billion, accordingly. In 2020, it is projected to reach $220 billion. Infrastructure as a Service alone is believed to amount to $100 billion in 2020.
2. 93% of organizations utilize cloud services in some form.
That’s according to the McAfee’s ‘Building Trust in a Cloudy Sky. The state of cloud adoption and security.’ report (2017). Cloud services in the understanding of the report include IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS offerings alike.
What’s interesting, public-only architectures recorded a significant drop from 30% in 2015 to 19% in 2016. The same was for private clouds, where the decrease was even more substantial, from 51% to 24%. The big winners are hybrid cloud infrastructures, which grew from 19% in 2015 to 57% in the following year.
It looks like hybrid solutions are becoming an increasingly popular trend. The countries with the highest public cloud adoption rates were Australia (33%) and Canada (32%). The hybrid cloud was the most popular in Brazil (74%), Japan, and UK (both 68%).
3. More than 80% of on-premise data centers have much more server capacity than necessary (source: Jonathan Koomey).
That’s quite ironic, considering that one of the main reasons behind cloud migration is cost savings. Yet quite frequently when data centers move to the cloud, they don’t reduce the server amount. This results in unnecessary spending, estimated at $62 billion per year.
The future of cloud computing as we know it
Technology and clairvoyance have little in common. But based on the current facts, here’s what we can deduce about the future of cloud computing:
1. Cloud computing is not a temporary trend.
The technology will grow exponentially, as it is attractive for both, companies and consumers. It allows startups or smaller businesses to start their business without spending a fortune, as often it is much cheaper to use SaaS, PaaS, and sometimes even IaaS solutions than on-premise ones.
However, on-premise data centers won’t disappear completely. They may evolve into hybrid solutions. In that case, some applications and data that cannot be moved will stay on-premise, while others will be migrated, together with development environments.
2. The future belongs to the Internet of Things. Or rather Internet of Everything (IoE).
The number of connected devices is growing on a daily basis. Soon, anyone will be able to interact with practically any device. Here comes another trend. The storage capacity.
IoT devices provide vast amounts of data that has to be stored and analyzed. According to Cisco, the global public storage capacity will reach 1.1 ZB, or zettabyte, this year (!).
Let’s take a closer look at these two trending phenomena.
Hybrid clouds – examples of application
A hybrid cloud allows you to benefit from public cloud services while keeping your on-premise solutions in place at the same time. But what would be the right moment to go hybrid? Here are some popular scenarios:
1. The cloud is tempting, but you need to keep your on-premise infrastructure
The most typical scenario for a hybrid cloud. You’re not able to move your current infrastructure, but you’d like to use cloud services. With a hybrid cloud, you may keep everything on premise, but launch new services in the cloud. Such an architecture also works for scaling out your infrastructure to the cloud when you need more compute power than you have on premise.
2. Recovery data center in the cloud
The lack of computing power is not the only situation when you’d like to scale out to the cloud. You may also want to consider the cloud when your primary data center is down, and you need a recovery one. It’s pretty easy to build a recovery data center in the cloud and use it in case of downtime or as an active-active solution when needed.
3. Continuous Integration / Delivery in the cloud
Another popular hybrid use case is moving development environments to the cloud. The implementation of the CI/CD cloud model is straightforward. It just takes one click and a very short time to launch a whole brand new test or a preproduction environment in the cloud. And about the same effort to shut it down when it’s not needed anymore.
4. Brand new application
You can also develop a brand new application which fully benefits from the cloud, uses cloud services and infrastructure, and is also related to the data or services on premise. In such a situation, a hybrid model is a must. Keep your old database in your data center, but move everything else to the cloud. As simple as that.
5. A truly global model
What about delivering content to customers in remote parts of the world? It may not be a good idea to build or rent a DC on every continent. Keep your primary DC where it is, but use the hybrid model to provide content to your customers using public cloud solutions.
6. Archive data in a modern way
If you are still unsure about the public cloud, you can use the hybrid model to create an archive in the cloud and keep your data there. You don’t have to use tape archives anymore. Moving old data to the cloud is cheap, reliable, and resilient, as cloud storage capacity is almost endless. And you’re following the latest trends as you use the hybrid cloud.
Internet of Everything
More and more devices are getting connected to the Internet. Some of them just send logs and statistics to the cloud, other use services or data in the cloud to interact with the user. Whatever they do, they generate data. Massive amounts of data. If that data is just to be stored and analyzed in the cloud without a need for fast response, it’s all good. But if your scenario relies on quick data processing and dispatches to the data source, speed is a crucial factor. Bandwidth or network latency come into play, too.
To achieve the requested results, you may need a faster approach than the traditional one where you collect data, send it the cloud to be processed, and receive results in return. The best solution in your case may be edge computing, which brings all intelligence and analysis as close to the edge of the data source as possible.
By 2020, the global edge computing market is expected to reach $6.72 billion, and 50% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of a traditional centralized data center or cloud. It doesn’t mean that edge computing will replace the cloud. The two will continue to coexist, and wherever data will have to be processed in real time, edge computing will be more suitable. But can you imagine big data processing on edge? Long-term storage and processing will be still performed in the public cloud or on-premise.
What does the future hold for cloud computing?
Cloud computing and public cloud solutions are not a temporary hype. As it happens with a majority of modern technologies, they used to be in the spotlight for some time, but now they’ve evolved from a popular trend into multi-billion industries.
The Internet of Everything is another technological breakthrough that can’t be avoided. The future belongs to connected devices that continuously gather and exchange data to make our lives easier.
Such is our future. If you haven’t hopped on that technology train yet, chances are you’ll do it pretty soon anyway. Shortly every single company will be leveraging the cloud to get more profit. Make sure you don’t miss your chance!