The next generation of cloud computing

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The cloud isn’t just for techies anymore. Understanding what’s next for cloud computing is crucial for businesses at all levels. Managers are responding to the real opportunities that the cloud offers to develop new business models, forge closer ties with customers and tap into the expertise of employees and partners. From a technology that was initially adopted for efficiency and cost savings, the cloud has emerged into an innovation powerhouse.

Cloud-within-a-cloud-TWThe next generation of cloud computing will deliver value to the business faster by automating everything from request to deployment and configuration—and it will do so up and down the stack and across the entire infrastructure. In order for the next generation of computing to achieve these goals, there are five platform requirements:

1. A management platform that engenders a high degree of service flexibility

2. A platform that can support multiple constituencies

3. A platform that is not tied to a single infrastructure

4. An intelligent platform

5. A platform that is integrated with your existing enterprise management technology and processes

What is next for Cloud Computing?

Introduction of Cloud of Clouds or Intercloud: This represents a new model for cloud computing services, based on the idea of combining many different individual clouds into one seamless mass in terms of on-demand operations. The intercloud would simply make sure that a cloud could use resources beyond its reach by taking advantage of pre-existing contracts with other cloud providers.

More implementation of OpenStack: OpenStack software delivers a massively scalable cloud operating system. It is an open source infrastructure as a service (IaaS) initiative for creating and managing large groups of virtual private servers in a cloud computing environment. The goals of the OpenStack initiative are to support interoperability between cloud services and allow businesses to build cloud services in their own data centers. One of the greatest selling points of OpenStack is its incredible flexibility and versatility.

Big data as a service (BDaaS) is a term typically used to refer to services that offer analysis of large or complex data sets, using the cloud-hosted services. Similar types of services include software as a service (SaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where specific BDaaS options are used to help businesses handle what the IT world calls big data, or sophisticated aggregated data sets that provide a lot of value for today’s companies. Recently, IBM announced a new business unit for launching Watson-based cloud computing service named as Watson Discovery Advisor to help researchers from different fields who want to analyze the gigantic volumes of data to find out the result pattern for developing the research ideas. This platform is based on IBM Watson, the cognitive computing system available through the cloud.

Platform as a service continues to grow: More companies will be looking to adopt PaaS solutions in the upcoming years. PaaS allows businesses to lower IT costs while speeding up application development through more efficient testing and deployment.

Graphics as a service: Running high-end graphics applications typically requires massive hardware infrastructure, but cloud computing is changing that. With emerging cloud-based graphics technologies, end users will run graphically intense applications using nothing more than a web browser.

More hybrid cloud adoption: Hybrid cloud is a combination of the private cloud and public cloud, enabling IT to use on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure seamlessly for cost reduction, bursting, disaster recovery and other use cases. The key to hybrid cloud acceptance in the marketplace is providing this “seamless” capability for all applications, including those production applications that are core to the business.

Cloud as the innovation platform for mobile, social, and big data: Cloud technology provides a common platform for mobile, social and big data applications to cross pollinate as well as enhance and extend existing investments. Cloud as an innovation platform will give businesses the agility to respond quickly to new innovations, e.g. wearable technology or speech and gesture interaction with applications.

The Internet of Things (IoT) takes off: Look for the IoT to start transforming operations in coming years, as solutions combining intelligent machines, big data analytics, and end-user applications begin to roll out across major industries. Cloud computing platforms will play a big role in creating the next generation of intelligent, software-defined machines that are operable and controllable entirely from centralized, remote locations.

BYOD and the personal cloud in enterprise IT: The BYOD movement is already hitting enterprise environments and is expected to expand beyond 2014. As end-users put more of their own data into personal cloud services for syncing, streaming, and storage, IT executives are finding ways to incorporate personal cloud services in the enterprise environment through techniques such as mobile device management.

Better identity management in the cloud: Cloud services offer accessibility, convenience, high power and redundancy. But with cloud-based applications taking over businesses, there’s a need to rethink security policies. Look for identity management solutions to bring new paradigms of security to the cloud in 2015 and beyond.

More software-defined hardware: In order for servers, storage, and networking equipment to behave like one big “machine,” where applications can assume massive scalability, the entire infrastructure must be virtualized and centrally controllable, or software-defined. Ultimately this trend goes beyond software-defined networks to include every system in the data center. Advanced software control schemes pioneered by public cloud providers will continue to trickle down to the enterprise.

As heavyweight tech companies translate ambition into investments in their cloud portfolios, what’s your vision for the next generation of cloud?

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