For many years, tech experts have focused on the trend of companies taking the first step into the cloud. but Flexera’s “State of the Cloud Report” 2021 Tells a slightly different story, with 92% of companies already pursuing a multi-cloud strategy and 82% a hybrid cloud strategy.
So if most users are already working on some kind of cloud, how is their cloud experience changing now?
Check out our top trends in cloud computing below, which range from diversifying cloud infrastructure to looking at the impact of cloud usage on the global environment:
Cloud Computing: 5 Trends To Watch Out For
- Growing hybrid and multicloud setups
- Tightening of internal and external security
- Focus on Kubernetes and containerization
- Cloud-native advances
- Sustainability efforts
Also read: Big data trends in 2021 and the future of big data
1. Growing hybrid and multicloud setups
Most large companies have migrated data and operations to the cloud in the past few years, but during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies realized the importance of distributed, flexible infrastructure.
Business leaders are quickly realizing that not all clouds are suitable for all of their needs and that some of their legacy systems and applications work better on their existing on-premises infrastructure. These insights and a growing need for flexibility and reliable security have ushered in a growth phase for hybrid and multicloud setups.
Kaushik Joshi, Global Managing Director for Strategic Alliances Equinix, a digital infrastructure and integration company, explained why hybrid and multicloud setups are on the rise:
“In the past year there has been a significant shift from pure private and public cloud implementations to hybrid and multi-cloud strategies,” said Joshi.
He went on to share Equinix’s most recent Global technology trends survey – surveyed more than 2,600 global IT decision makers worldwide – highlighting that hybrid cloud is the most common choice today, with 46% of respondents now using hybrid cloud (up 12% since their previous survey).
“Hybrid cloud architectures are the best way to work with a rapidly changing infrastructure landscape because it enables companies to more easily manage older, data-intensive processes while leveraging new cloud-born applications.”
As more and more companies recognize the different strengths of private clouds, public clouds, industry-specific clouds and legacy on-premises setups, more and more cloud and data center providers are working hard to establish hybrid cloud and multi-cloud connections between the different systems to manufacture.
More about the hybrid cloud: Hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)
2. Strengthening internal and external security
Security is a hot topic in the cloud computing world, with some users believing that cloud computing is more secure while others believe it is less secure than their on-premises security infrastructure.
The truth many of them are discovering is that managed provider clouds and on-premises solutions alike need additional security support to combat a growing number of major data breaches and ransomware attacks.
Rather than relying on embedded, native security features, tech experts advocate increasing the use of Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) and a better organizational policy for user access management. Companies recognize that security incidents can result from both internal accidents and external actors. Therefore, it is important that all users are trained and adhere to an organization’s security guidelines.
Amit Bareket, CEO and Co-Founder of Scope81, a cybersecurity company, believes zero trust security is the answer to growing cloud security concerns:
“Companies are realizing that they shouldn’t automatically trust anything inside or outside of their vicinity,” said Bareket. “This area is more or less deleted. So now we see companies reviewing everything when trying to connect to their IT systems.
“Zero-rust security makes it easy to implement policy enforcement and protection by isolating applications and segmenting network access based on user permissions, authentication, and verification. By implementing the ZTNA model for secure network access, IT teams can always have full control over who gets access, who enters and leaves the network. This model has gained much more recognition since its appointment in President Biden’s Executive Order. “
3. Focus on Kubernetes and containerization
Large numbers of enterprise cloud users are moving to Kubernetes, containerization, and other custom cloud efforts for cloud-native application development.
It is not enough to have just one cloud or multiple clouds. The division of these clouds into containers enables companies to develop microservices and applications that require different storage, security and configuration functions.
Anthony Cusimano, Solution Evangelist at Veritas Technologies, an enterprise backup and recovery software company, said many users are turning to containerization for its cost and efficiency benefits:
“The whole world is starting to turn its attention to Kubernetes and container orchestration,” said Cusimano. “It’s the next iterative shift – we’ve moved from physical to virtual to the cloud, and now we’re moving to microservices and containers.
“They make the hybrid cloud more cost-effective and improve performance across the board. That’s why you’re seeing some of the largest cloud providers offering turnkey Kubernetes solutions. “
4. Cloud-native advances
Most of the leading cloud providers in the market offer separate advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, but more and more of them are offering these capabilities as cloud-native technology.
Tapan Patel, Senior Manager for AI and Cloud at SAS, a large analytics software company, explained what the expansion of containerization and cloud-native capabilities will mean for businesses:
“Cloud-native technologies will usher in a new era of distributed enterprise analytics software that can run anywhere containers and a Kubernetes platform are available,” said Patel. “Cloud-native technologies will also help companies develop, migrate and modernize customer-oriented, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) apps in a simpler and more scalable manner.”
Patel also stated that customers can test new analytics and AI operations when they adopt clouds with cloud-native capabilities.
“Customers can get a taste of new and emerging analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities being deployed in the cloud to attract new use cases and new users,” said Patel. “Analytics in the cloud can be used as an ‘ideation sandbox’ that allows many new users to build prototypes. Each phase of machine learning projects (build, train, deploy) requires different infrastructure and deployment considerations. Since the cloud is elastic, it offers the right level of scalability and availability. “
5. Sustainability efforts
Sustainability and climate protection efforts are increasing in all industries, including technology and the cloud market. The tech industry is known to use a lot of energy, and while the cloud is typically more energy efficient than local infrastructure, the growth of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) is making cloud technology work harder than ever.
Ali Fenn, President of IT renew, an asset recycler and data efficiency expert, explained that the circular cloud, a circular economic model by Recycling of cloud assets, is the next answer to sustainability concerns:
“Sustainability is a massive trend in IT – from companies that want to ensure that cloud providers use renewable energy in data centers, to companies that are increasingly trying to reduce their own carbon footprint through sustainably sourced, circular IT solutions minimize, ”said Fenn.
“This circular model is not only good for sustainability goals, it also has a lasting effect on the end result. IT and business executives are beginning to realize that a more sustainable cloud computing model does not require them to spend additional money, time, or resources, or to degrade performance.
“Coupled with an unstable supply chain, the circular cloud with its closed supply chain that removes inventory and shipping delays and constraints (a problem for providers since pre-pandemic) saves more than just supply costs.”
Although only a few cloud providers have adopted the circular model, most are changing their business models to emphasize more renewable energies, carbon offsetting and efficiency gains in data centers.
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