As 2011 rolls to a close, it’s time to make a few predictions for 2012 in the cloud data space. 2011 was a year of adoption, where many companies started to enjoy the economies of scale, security and ease-of-use of the cloud in managing their growing data needs. Clearly, 2012 promises even greater cloud adoption. With that in mind, here are 7 predictions for hot trends to watch for in the cloud data space:
- More hybrid data storage environments combining cloud storage with existing storage. For most companies the notion of moving all of their data to the cloud is not feasible. However, continuously expanding data storage is fueling a need for more capacity. What better way to address this need than with cloud storage? The benefits are access to a secure, limitless pool of storage capacity that never requires upgrade/replacement and reduces capital expense. In combination with on-premise storage infrastructure, companies can gain tremendous agility without increasing on-premise footprint. Look for auto-tiering technologies to seamlessly combine cloud and on-premise environments in a way that works with existing applications.
- More private cloud environments in enterprise companies.Enterprises looking to leverage the economies, efficiencies and scale that cloud providers have achieved are adopting cloud models in-house such as OpenStack for both compute and storage environments. These private clouds offer scale, agility and price/performance typically unmatched by traditional infrastructure solutions and at the same time, can reside inside a company’s firewall. In the storage space, look for technologies that can combine existing SAN infrastructure and private cloud storage into a unified Cloud SAN.
- Disaster recovery to the cloud becomes a viable option. Traditionally, companies that need disaster recovery and business continuity have always had to rely on dedicated replicated infrastructure at an offsite location to be able to recover from physical disaster. This means paying for a fair amount of idle hardware, while waiting for a disaster. Disaster recovery in the cloud means not having to pay for this infrastructure except when it is needed. The tradeoff? While zero downtime disaster recovery will be unlikely, look for SLAs that offer recovery time objectives (RTOs) in a matter of hours.
- Disaster recovery from the cloud may become a need. What happens to all of your data that resides in the cloud trapped by SaaS application in the case of a disaster. Truth is, most providers do have a disaster recovery strategy, but how can you create an extra level of protection that’s under your control? Look a new breed of solutions that backup SaaS data either locally or to an alternate provider.
- Easier onboarding of applications to the cloud. Certain business application can be moved entirely to the cloud saving the administration and maintenance of their hardware/software platforms on-site. Businesses are looking for tools to make this migration viable, particularly the IT strapped organizations that can benefit the most. Look for robust tool sets that can migrate applications to a choice of cloud providers –but be sure they don’t neglect the ability to bring those application back on-premise should the need arise in the future.
- Non-relational databases for big data. NoSQL databases, like Apache CouchDB, enable tremendous scalability to meet the needs of Terabytes and Petabytes of data for millions of users. Big data will force many companies to consider these alternatives to traditional databases, and cloud deployment models will simplify the roll-out. Look for vendors providing supported NoSQL solutions.
- “Cloud-envy” from environments that are not using the cloud. While many companies have already adopted the cloud and many more will adopt in 2012, others may still wait and ponder well past 2012. In all three cases, the realization of the economics and efficiencies of the cloud is evident, though the course of action may be different. In response, some of the laggards may find ways to leverage proven cloud methodologies that improve IT efficiency on-premise or, unfortunately, some may fall prey to cloudwashing by purchasing traditional IT infrastructure with a cloud name in a feeble attempt to satisfy their “cloud-envy.”
Bottom line? Cloud deployments are becoming simpler and more secure and the economics continue to improve. Which of these trends will your business follow in 2012?
The article was written by TwinStrata.