Ever wish modern tech such as cloud services received as much attention from the tabloids as celebrities? You know, something to keep you abreast of which technologies were hot and which were falling out of favor. In lieu of a National Tech Inquirer, we've compiled a list of three major cloud trends dominating the minds of IT professionals today.
After all, a cloud strategy is one of the most important aspects of modern IT. Don't believe us? Just take a look at the sheer number of business cloud services supporting critical workflows in just about any modern enterprise environment. If you lost count, you're not alone. Businesses have quickly come to rely on the inherent manageability and scalability of these virtual resources.
It really comes as no surprise, then, when you realize just how much of an impact the cloud has had on the face of IT. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at which trends have had the most effect and why they've created such a buzz.
1. Hybrid Clouds and Big Data
The concept of big data in the cloud is a bit of a paradox. While Stephen Hawking may have foreseen the perfect marriage of these two technologies, the state of early cloud technology was viewed with apprehension. By its very nature, big data analytics require immense storage footprints that were simply impractical in a cloud setting. Remember those meager limits on early cloud services? Yeah, the ones that counted in megabytes. Well, storage has become far more dense — that's a compliment — and cheaper to boot.
The result is a hybrid cloud infrastructure that makes it practical to leverage the analytics prowess of cloud services on large amounts of data. Speaking of which, the emergence of hybrid cloud technology can be traced back to the need of enterprise organizations to expose their own gigantic data stores to the processing power of cloud platforms. With the addition of storage and CPU clusters, this data can be processed and analyzed with a few clicks of the mouse. It's for these reasons that hybrid cloud adoption rose 13 percent in 2015 alone, according to Rightscale, and remains one of the hottest trends shaping the face of IT today.
There's no question that computers are getting more powerful with each passing day. The hardware used in enterprise environments today is light years faster and more reliable than those used even a few years ago. Yet despite the enormous strides chip manufacturers have been making, one trend has us questioning the need for so much raw power.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has emerged as a revolution in how enterprise organizations manage and deploy software to their users. Born of the need for a much simpler way to install, update, and use software libraries in large companies, SaaS takes the burden off the shoulders of the enterprise and shifts it to the vendor. Everything from communication and collaboration software to custom-built enterprise apps can now be enjoyed a la carte. Put simply, this trend is changing the way enterprise users work.
If SaaS — or really any "as-a-Service" technology — was created to simplify and streamline enterprise software, hyperconvergence could claim the same for the hardware side of things. Never heard of it? Don't worry, you will. While this particular trend is still somewhat of an up-and-comer, the concept is far too lucrative for it to relinquish its position as a top IT trend.
The idea is to take as many aspects of modern IT infrastructure, such as compute, storage, network, etc., add a heaping dose of virtualization, then cram it all into a cheap box of commodity hardware. Popularized by the Facebooks and Googles of the world, hyperconvergence lets enterprise environments use the power of virtual resources — in combination with falling prices in commodity hardware — to drive digital operations from a single platform. The end result is a scalable infrastructure that can be tailored to just about any need.
There you have it, three titanic trends that are shaping the very face of modern IT. As the new year rapidly advances, these trends will undoubtedly continue to influence cloud strategy in an enterprise near you. While the new year may bring fresh trends out of the woodwork, it's safe to say that hybrid clouds, SaaS, and hyperconvergence will still be making their mark.
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