The Future of Cloud Computing by 2018
Cloud computing has been a hot topic in the business world, and it is likely to continue to be according to Cisco's latest Global Cloud Index forecast. Cloud data centers, private cloud solutions, software as a service, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service are all hot, as are projections for consumer cloud storage.
Cisco's forecasts examines cloud computing trends, resulting in a five year forecast. In this case, the forecast covers 2013 through 2018. Among the more notable predictions are:
- Global data center traffic is expected to triple
- Annual global data center traffic is expected to reach 8.6 zettabytes by the end of 2018
- Cloud data centers will process more than 78 percent of workloads with the remaining 22 percent handled by traditional data centers
- 31 percent of cloud workloads will be in public cloud data centers while the remaining 69 percent will be in private cloud data centers
- Software as a service workloads will increase from 41 percent in 2013 to 59 percent in 2018
- Platform as a service workloads will decrease from 15 percent in 2013 to 13 percent in 2018
- Infrastructure as a service workloads will decrease from 44 percent in 2013 to 28 percent in 2018
- "Internet of Everything" (IOE) devices will create substantially more data in 2018: 403 zettabytes in 2018 compared to just 113.4 zettabytes in 2013
- By 2018, more than half of the world's population will use cloud storage for personal storage
Cloud storage was among Cisco's top five trends as a subcategory of "Potential Cloud Catalysts - The Internet of Everything." Growth in this area is due in large part to consumers' embrace of multiple devices such as smartphones and tablets which bring with them a new need for "personal content lockers" where they can store music, photos, videos, and documents created across multiple devices.
While consumer storage needs are on the rise, until recently, cloud storage was rarely talked about as a data and document archiving strategy for business. Dolphin Corporation was one of the first to embrace the cloud for archival purposes with its Content Archive Service for Cloud, a Storage as a Service solution. Like consumers, business users are generating data at an unprecedented rate.
While they don't need personal content lockers per se, business users have different storage needs. For one, they need performance. The data that they need on a regular basis needs to be readily available and delivered quickly. Yet storing massive amounts of data erodes performance, making it hard for systems to quickly respond and serve data as expected. Plus, high performance storage is costly. At the same time, businesses can't simply dispose of old data due to various business, legal, and regulatory requirements.
The answer is to move the less frequently needed data into an archive such as Dolphin's Content Archive Service for Cloud. This provides business users with primary high performance storage for daily use and secondary access to less costly archives should the need arise.
By 2018, cloud computing will have matured, and it's likely that cloud storage and data archiving in the cloud will be more widely used.
1. Cisco, "Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013-2018," - http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/service-provider/global-cloud-index-gci/Cloud_Index_White_Paper.html
2. Dolphin, "Cloud Storage for SAP Archived Data and Documents," - http://www.dolphin-corp.com/information-lifecycle-management/sap-cloud-computing/
James Hadley has worked in the IT industry for a number of years and is an expert in business process management and cloud computing.
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