2014 was a massive year for cloud computing, one in which the technology truly began to seep into mainstream consciousness. So as the year draws to a close, it seems a viable time to assess the biggest cloud technologies over the calendar year, and look forward to predictions in the cloud space for 2015.
Of course, it is difficult to give blanket coverage to every single technology that emerged in cloud computing during 2014 given how popular the technology has now become. But the following article will look at some of the cloud technologies that made the largest impact.
Information Delivery Models
A particular trend during the calendar year was the concentration around the user and the information delivery model. This has enabled data centres and the contemporary cloud infrastructure in general to evolve significantly. What was once considered a niche technology that many businesses couldn’t quite work out how to utilise has really begun to be a central part of commerce over the last twelve months. As this has occurred, new methods of optimising and controlling the cloud, and entirely new ways of delivering the user experience have emerged.
Cloud apps (APIs)
This has arguably been the most important technology to develop over the last year. A variety of platforms provided both by major providers and SMEs are enabling users to connect to the cloud more easily than was previously possible.
However, APIs are not all about ease-of-use, they also help to create intelligent and intuitive infrastructure which is able to cross-connect. This has enabled businesses to significantly reduce the amount of resources required by their cloud networks. APIs utilised at both the software and hardware layer will continue to enhance cloud communication throughout 2015, and improve commercial approaches to the cloud on both the application and infrastructure level.
Software-Defined Everything (SDx)
Virtualization has also been a byword of the cloud in 2014. We have found that software-defined platforms revolve particularly efficiently around specific components virtualization. As technologies such as SDx develop, cloud providers have found that they are able to create incredibly intricate and labyrinthine connected data centres, which are hugely relevant and greatly aid business continuity and disaster recovery.
Whereas the cloud was once seen primarily as a way of storing information, it is technology such as SDx which has enabled the average user to understand that it is a far more agile and flexible phenomenon than many people realised.
The Hybrid Cloud
Unquestionably, 2014 was the year when we realised that the hybrid cloud was going to be the dominant model for the technology at least in the foreseeable future. There are many reasons for this, not least practical and economic considerations, but throughout the year hybrid cloud computing provided the best of both the public and private cloud to businesses all over the world.
The hybrid cloud has in fact led to the whole definition of what constitutes cloud computing becoming blurred. The future of this sphere will see most businesses adopt some type of hybrid cloud platform. Many organisations have already taken the plunge and entered the cloud, and the new options which are emerging with regard to connecting private clouds with some cloud resources mean that most businesses will want to opt for the hybrid approach.
In the future, it will become increasingly possible to control hybrid, public, private and even community clouds from a single console, providing businesses with huge agility in their network services.
Cloudy mobility was thought to be an issue for quite some time. But 2014 really changed the perception of how this works in a cloud sphere. Previously, it was thought usual for mobility to be defined around a device. But the last twelve months have pretty much killed this notion stone dead.
From now on, mobility will revolve around the delivery of applications, workloads and data to an ever more mobile user, utilising any conceivable device. The future will see the emphasis in this area be on delivering the best possible user experience regardless of the device being utilised. Mobile data is going to become more and more important as these devices become increasingly sophisticated. Mobile users and more mobile data layers will be essential to the cloud going forward.
Data, security, and compliance
This has been a massive issue, as the cloud has slowly but surely begun to convince consumers and businesses that it can be trusted to store data securely. Certainly security has been one of the biggest obstacles for the technology to overcome.
But we have seen huge developments in this field in 2014. Big regulations like SOX, PCI/DSS and HIPAA are making technology adjustments. Other legislation has ensured that businesses can store data intended for collaboration in the cloud.
As the cloud continues to come of age, the developments which have been made so far will steadily evolve further. 2015 should see new technologies and approaches emerge, which could be as exciting as the progress made over the last twelve months.