2Pricing for Usage Becomes More Granular
While not all cloud-based services bill alike, the general trend has been toward more granularity in billing. At the onset, cloud billing was typically billed in per-hour increments. From there, some providers moved to 10 minutes, per-minute and now per-second billing. Similar to long-distance, which initially billed in minute increments and moved to seconds, expect per-second billing from cloud providers.
Currently, there aren’t really any standards when it comes to provisioning a server in the cloud. With each provider offering its own combinations of CPU/storage/bandwidth, it is a very confusing marketplace. Expect to see more standard sizes and combinations that fit the common use cases that exist in the cloud today.
4SSD Becomes the Standard
Solid-state disks were an optional upgrade this year, and with all their benefits, expect to see them become standard next year. Already, SSD sizes are growing and prices are coming down—two of the biggest impediments to SSD adoption. The faster IOPS makes everything run faster and once people experience SSD, they won’t want to go back to traditional disks. Expect SSD to be standard, not the option, next year.
While the cloud phenomenon has largely been constrained to the U.S., expect a breakout year, with more international expansions including localized languages and support. Already, many international data center operators are reporting big contract wins from various cloud providing organizations, so expect to hear more announcements of providers going global. Hot spots such as London; Singapore; Hong Kong; Sydney, Australia; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, will take off.
6Leapfrogging of Technology
In emerging markets, expect to see many customers skip traditional dedicated servers or legacy models and go directly to the cloud. Similar to what happened with the telephone, where emerging market customers skipped land lines and went straight to mobile, emerging market customers will skip physical servers and go straight to cloud.
Similar to restaurants, which range from fast-food to white-glove service, expect to see cloud providers segment. There will be providers that service the small/medium-size business market, and there will be those that focus on the enterprise. Expect to see providers focus their offerings on the customers that they are pursuing.
8Hybrid Cloud Keeps Growing
Hybrid cloud will continue to gain momentum, with a mix of dedicated servers or legacy resources for applications that can’t be moved to the cloud for technical or compliance reasons and cloud-based resources for new projects. The idea of going hybrid will continue to gain steam as a way for organizations that can’t move entirely into the cloud to still take advantage of newer cloud technologies.
9Compliance Clouds Take Off
Whether it’s PCI, HIPAA, HiTrust, FISMA, Sarb-Ox or a variety of other certifications, customers will continue to migrate to providers that can help them meet regulatory compliance in the cloud. Expect to hear more noise as these providers step up their marketing to help customers migrate applications to a cloud that meets compliance requirements.
10Specialty Infrastructure Expands
New providers that are focused on single forms of hosting will continue to grow. Providers focusing on Ceph, Hadoop or other cloud-specific technologies will see a dramatic uptick in business. Companies looking for specialty infrastructure will find more options, rather than having to go with generic providers and configure/maintain everything themselves.
11Increased Certifications Become the Norm
With the massive increase in cloud infrastructure, expect to see more certifications for operational issues like technical proficiency or security. With the increasing complexity and real-time operations of cloud operations, more certifications will help organizations find the right people to help.