Cloud Computing: From Its Early Years to Its Current State

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2013-11-07 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The forerunners of cloud computing emerged decades ago—first as time- and compute-sharing on mainframes, then as utility computing through private network services. When the Internet became established in the late 1990s, application service providers (ASPs) and grid computing started to get some traction. However, all of them had to deal with limitations, the main one being not enough network bandwidth to make them workable for large numbers of users. Now, thanks to broadband, fiber-optic cable, improved software and many other advances, cloud computing has the power and pipes it needs and has branched into public, private and hybrid cloud services. But it's still early in cloud history. What exactly is the state of cloud computing here in late 2013, and what does the future hold? In this slide show, eWEEK, with input from cloud management and disaster-recovery specialist Egenera and a host of other experts, presents the following key data points about the current state of cloud computing.

 
 
 
  • Cloud Computing: From Its Early Years to Its Current State

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - Cloud Computing: From Its Early Years to Its Current State
  • SMBs Lead the Charge

    Although the majority of enterprises, both large and small, have adopted cloud computing in some way, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are leading the pack when it comes to the percentage of services they rely on from the cloud. A recent survey from Spiceworks showed that more than 60 percent of SMBs responding to the survey are using cloud-based services today; spending on these services is projected to grow almost 20 percent in the next five years, according to IDC.
    2 - SMBs Lead the Charge
  • Clouds Getting More Complex to Administer

    For many large enterprises, increasing user demand, shorter timelines, the growth of mobile devices and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) age has resulted in a complex mix of data center infrastructure and public, private and hybrid cloud services by large organizations. In addition, the growth of big data presents a huge challenge in terms of both storage and computing capacity. In response to these variables, the cloud computing benefits of dynamic scalability and pay-as-you-go are driving cloud adoption in large enterprises to help meet these challenges.
    3 - Clouds Getting More Complex to Administer
  • Security Still the Main Source of Distrust

    Despite these trends and the benefits of the cloud model, a high degree of concern about security of systems and data still prevents many key corporate applications from moving to cloud services. For most large organizations, mission-critical apps have remained in-house and under the control of IT. According to management consulting and technology services firm Trianz, cloud-based services will soon enable a mere 30 to 40 percent of business functionality while the remaining 70 to 60 percent of functionality will rely on homegrown IT delivered solutions.
    4 - Security Still the Main Source of Distrust
  • More Clouds Gathering Inside the Firewall

    Surveys are indicating growing use of internal and hybrid clouds as IT starts to transform internal infrastructure into more flexible and cost-effective private cloud services.
    5 - More Clouds Gathering Inside the Firewall
  • Federal Mandate Spurring Government Cloud Building

    Driven by the 2011 Federal Cloud Computing Strategy initiative, U.S. government agencies are increasingly adopting cloud computing. Recent IDC claims state that, overwhelmingly, these are private clouds. The research firm projects that in 2014 federal spending for private clouds will be $1.7 billion, while public cloud spending will be around $118.3 million.
    6 - Federal Mandate Spurring Government Cloud Building
  • Performance, Security Are Key Pain Points for Government Cloud Projects

    For the government, as is the case for most enterprises, the concerns hampering the use of public clouds includes security of proprietary data and applications, performance of cloud services and the technical aspects of integrating cloud applications/infrastructure with legacy systems.
    7 - Performance, Security Are Key Pain Points for Government Cloud Projects
  • Niche Services Become Key Value-Adds

    Cloud service providers and managed service providers are finding the market to be highly competitive, and many have difficulties staying profitable, leaving them with the challenge of differentiating themselves through the services they offer. Key value-added services are proving to be security, disaster-recovery and administrative tools, including backup and desktop as a service. We will continue to see many new niche services emerging as a means of helping providers compete in an oversaturated market.
    8 - Niche Services Become Key Value-Adds
  • Hybrid Clouds Will Dominate in the Future

    According to a survey by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM, hybrid clouds are forecasted to grow at a considerable rate, and are estimated to become the most prevalent model within five years. At the moment, more private clouds are being planned and built by enterprises, but most of those will become hybrid as time goes on.
    9 - Hybrid Clouds Will Dominate in the Future
  • More Key Business Apps Will Be Cloud-Based

    With new technologies and services emerging that can support the provisioning of full physical servers while enabling them to retain the flexibility and automation that cloud services provide, mission-critical apps will become increasingly cloud-based.
    10 - More Key Business Apps Will Be Cloud-Based
  • Automation, Easy Configurability: Keys to the Cloud's Future

    To spur future adoption, cloud services must include the following: the ability to seamlessly provision hybrid clouds that include internal and public cloud computing resources; the ability to provision virtual and physical resources to support a broad range of apps, including performance-intensive mission-critical apps; comprehensive functionality to deliver user self-service with a high level of security, availability and management ; and ease of use for end users and the IT personnel who need to implement cloud services.
    11 - Automation, Easy Configurability: Keys to the Cloud's Future
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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