Cloud computing has come a long way. What started as a way to abstract physical infrastructure and data centres has now evolved to include virtual environments, hybrid technologies, and sophisticated security protocols. Innovation is driving industry growth at rates never before experienced, and we’re all left asking: where will cloud computing go next?
Cloud computing has helped loads of enterprises transform their IT practices since the real cloud phase took off back in 2007, but now the overall public cloud market is entering a period of stabilisation.
Over the next few years, the exponential growth we’ve experienced within global cloud-based services looks likely to taper off, while enterprises stop to figure out where a cloud solution fits into their overall IT strategy.
The trend is forecast across all cloud sectors, except one – IaaS, where, according to Gartner, spending is expected to hit $34.6 billion this year, a growth of 36.8%.
Cloud Services – IaaS
Gartner attributes this growth to adoption becoming increasingly mainstream: with demand increasing due to migration of infrastructure to the cloud, an additional need for increasingly compute-intensive workloads, and the growth of platform as a service (PaaS).
Gartner’s research is backed up by a report issued earlier this year by fellow research firm IDC. The report suggests infrastructure-based services spending will continue to grow rapidly throughout the decade, reaching $47.2 billion by 2021. Of this spend, public cloud data centres will account for the majority (60.5%), while off-premises private cloud environments will represent 14.9% of spending. Meanwhile, on-premises private clouds will account for 62.3% of spending on private cloud IT infrastructure, an increase of 13.1% year on year.
As IaaS continues to evolve and grow rapidly, many enterprises are struggling to pre-empt where the technology is heading and how to best incorporate cloud IaaS capabilities into their own future.
Last month, Gartner released their magic quadrant for the IaaS industry. It focuses on typical client requirements and doesn’t just evaluate IaaS service providers, but also their automated management of resources, management tools delivered as services, and cloud software infrastructure services.
Here are the findings:
According to this analysis, the major players within the IaaS industry are – surprise, surprise – Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, with Google trailing behind, failing to break into the ‘leaders’ quadrant.
According to Gartner, leaders distinguish themselves by offering a service suitable for strategic adoption and having an ambitious roadmap. They’ve got a track record of successful delivery, significant market share and many referenceable customers.
However, Gartner also notes that, while they can serve a broad range of use cases, they do not necessarily excel in all areas and may not be the best providers for a specific need, or serve some use cases at all.
It is worth bearing in mind that even IaaS’s major players may not be able to provide the service enterprises seek, and to procure the best possible infrastructure, it will often be necessary to compare a range of different options.
The experts agree that cloud computing is entering its second wave of innovation and IaaS will be the main beneficiary of this evolution and growth.
IaaS provides on-demand, real-time, self-service access to highly automated infrastructure resources. Generally, the data centre facilities, hardware, and virtualisation are managed by the provider but, everything else – the operating system, middleware and application – is managed by the customer. As the IaaS market becomes increasingly entangled with the PaaS market, the leading IaaS providers will look to offer a greater number of infrastructure capabilities as a service.
According to Garter’s magic quadrant market analysis, enterprise managers will look to develop, deploy and manage applications more efficiently, and will choose the solution that best suits their needs. To make it easier to span this spectrum of capabilities, while comparing all possible offerings from multiple vendors, managers will benefit from a single self-service portal and cataloguing tool.
Happi is the world’s first true IaaS tool, a network diagram software that enables professionals to design, procure, and deploy hosted infrastructure anywhere in the world, from any vendor of choice, including those featured in the Magic Quadrant.
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