New cloud strategies: 6 key trends reshaping an already hot technology

Any organization interested in modernizing its IT portfolio and fueling digital transformation must embrace cloud computing. No wonder enterprises rent software through vendors for minimizing expenses and achieving business agility. As per Forrester Research, the worldwide cloud market will cross the $178 billion mark in 2018, a considerable increase from last year’s $146 billion. What’s more, it’ll be the first time that public cloud adoption exceeds 50 percent. Considering the number of large companies that prefer to offload compute resources in favor of strategic digital projects, it was only a matter of time before the industry hit the tipping point. Here’s a look at some key trends reshaping the new cloud strategies with a range of new possibilities.

New cloud strategies: Rise of disaster recovery services

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Normally, the operations of numerous datacenters provide the redundancy needed for most critical apps to run on company premises. However, public cloud computing is yet to witness such an approach due to the risk of an outage — one that has catastrophic consequences for businesses. The problem is, various companies fail to back up services running in the cloud. Thankfully, CIOs gradually understand the significance of a virtual safety net.

Enterprises have already begun to adopt different multicloud strategies, running apps in more than a single cloud data center or running multiple copies of their software with numerous cloud vendors. Right now, it’s all about disaster and implementing countermeasures to protect the company.

Multicloud goes mainstream

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Many companies are no longer interested in dipping their toes in Amazon Web Services and other software vendors. CIOs are more concerned with hedging their bets by dropping apps in two, sometimes three, public clouds. CFOs wholeheartedly support this approach of keeping company options open by avoiding too many apps in one cloud basket. This way, they stay vendor-neutral and that approach comes in handy for mitigating vendor lock-in. So, the new cloud will be a collection of many of the old cloud services.

However, all this sounds easier on paper than reality. Even though providers rarely make distinctions between storage and compute, the whole subject becomes a lot more complicated when networking, developer, and application services enter the mix. As a result, companies are now opting for templates that promote app and data portability between different vendors. Ideally, CIOs must conduct a proper risk or reward analysis and devise a solid risk mitigation plan accordingly.

Container orchestration becomes a reality

Thanks to container adoption practices, developers find it easier to migrate and manage software code. The practice caught fire in the last couple of years, establishing the basis for DevOps and cloud computing efforts in several companies. However, as production started with proofs-of-concept and testing, it soon became evident that enterprises would have to orchestrate container deployment. And Kubernetes is currently leading the charge.

A Google-forged platform, Kubernetes is likely to dominate container orchestration, taking Apache Mesos and Docker’s built-in swarm mode head-on. However, the industry is not yet filled to the brink with Kubernetes skills. So, CIOs would do well to have a backup plan for container orchestration. This should cover the information you’re interested in learning, the kind of employees you’re interested in training, as well as the results your infrastructure and development teams are hoping to achieve.

Cloud culture renewed

Lots of enterprises seek to take advantage of quicker software delivery by revamping the existing developer culture, including implementing DevOps and Agile techniques to leverage the scalability and agility of the cloud. CIOs must identify tech leaders capable of driving the cloud culture change and who can send company engineers to training programs like Pivotal Labs and IBM Bluemix Garage.

Not only do these programs eliminate old habits, but they also enhance developer focus and reinforce requisite behaviors. Cloud objectives relying heavily on rapid code development at scale using cutting-edge tools and platforms require you to alter the existing development culture first, which is anything but simple.

Edge computing gets a massive boost

Edge computing is all about taking a bit of the cloud computing power and bringing it nearer to devices present at the edge of the network. Why? Because cloud computing has enabled such powerful capabilities that the centralized intelligence resources must be spread across vaster areas. Plus, the rapid growth in the type and number of smart connected devices is also a factor. Increased usage of such devices is upping the demands on the existing cloud infrastructure, making the formation of a new cloud model mandatory.

Edge computing will supplement the traditional cloud by distributing storage and computing resources across billions of locations and devices so that a computing support network is formed – one capable of meeting our rising need for digital services and applications. Edge computing offers enterprises the responsiveness, capacity, efficiency, and speed they need by locating high-power computing resources across the network and reducing delays in request responses.

Cost-efficiency is key

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Cost is one of the primary considerations when discussing cloud technology as most IT systems are expensive. The software can often be prohibitively expensive and the large number of servers needed by providers for purchase gets costlier by the day. When you move into the cloud, you move into an entirely different and foreign pricing model for most industries. There’s a completely virtualized cloud environment that has no need for additional servers and space, thereby eliminating expenses considerably.

Another way to trim company expenses in the cloud is multi-tenancy. This practice allows companies to form a single instance of a database server that serves all their tenants or clients. It is necessary that the app is developed in a secure way inside a multi-tenant environment.

With a legacy or turnkey application, it might have been possible for enterprises to share the app servers or the front-end user experience. But while morphing their app to be actually multi-tenant, companies are now capable of sharing their app servers and their database servers, along with possibly the whole user experience.

New cloud strategies, new options

The cloud remains one of the most customizable platforms around as the features are integrated into the code at the time of development, thereby providing a user experience that is configurable and streamlined. Yet the trends mentioned above are changing the way we view the cloud forever, and are forming a new cloud with new options.

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