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Top 7 Truths about the Present and Future of Cloud Data

Top 7 Truths about the Present and Future of Cloud Data

Cloud DataThe face of the cloud is changing every day.  Different storages, different means, and different measures; keeping up with cloud data is imperative to success.  But what are the top truths about data in the cloud?

The way that we store data is changing. Data access is changing.  This is why we would like to share a recent article from InfoWorld that highlights Cloudant (now part of IBM) CEO Derek Schoettle’s insight of cloud computing.  Herein, we would like to share with you 7 Truths about Data in the Cloud.

Multicloud services will become more popular

Developers will look for the best service and expect providers to be compatible with one another.  Whereas Amazon Web Services used to be the only choice for developers, the market now has several viable cloud options, such as SoftLayer, Rackspace, and Windows Azure that work well with one another.

No one wants all of their eggs in one basket, and developers are no different. With more choice will come the birth of the heterogeneous cloud experience.

Open source cloud technologies will continue

Keeping up with the pace of technology innovation is nearly impossible for one company to do on its own. Part of this is because the larger a company gets, the more risk averse it becomes, and pushing technology forward requires taking risks. This reality drives up the value of innovating on top of open source projects.

Customers see less benefit from vertical integration

While at first vertical integration can drive cost efficiency, ultimately, it compromises the sum value of the parts. For example, having all of your data in one Oracle or AWS stack may save your company money up front, but once you’re locked in, there is little need for that provider to innovate, given the lack of competition. At this point, it becomes a game of price increases and big support contracts.

That’s not to say there is no benefit to vertical integration when it comes to hardware. Wikinomics made the point long ago that it’s good for everyone when Oracle can create a new business ecosystem by acquiring Sun, or when Google launches its own handsets so that it can control the firmware and deliver better mobile apps to users. The supply chains involved in producing hardware harken back to the industrial age. Efforts like the Ubuntu Edge show how difficult it is to manage the hardware supply chain at a smaller scale.

The cloud economy allows companies to leverage the good of vertical integration while avoiding stagnation. The whole purpose of the cloud is to make hardware irrelevant. Many new companies launch today never having touched the physical hardware that runs their applications. When cloud infrastructure is this commoditized, there’s no reason to get locked into the software and services layered on top of it. That’s why we’re seeing the current revolution in open source information management software. As 2014 progresses, we’ll see the smart companies hopping from cloud provider to cloud provider, taking the best open source software along with them for the ride.

NoSQL: Growing, Improving, but already Matured

Though NoSQL has been criticized over the past couple of years, data scientists, architects, and traditional IT departments will get over the perceived risk of the alternatives to relational data stores. Companies will move in droves to leverage the ease and simplicity of the schema-less approach to building data-rich Web and mobile applications. NoSQL is not as immature as many think — it’s an established group of database technologies, and even Gartner is helping to educate IT decision makers on the benefits of eventual consistency and how it can be a far more powerful and cost-effective option to traditional strong-consistency models.

The Move from data layer to cloud operating system

With the high availability of network, compute, and storage, the real value in the cloud economy is the data generated by systems and applications. There are so many ways to take advantage of this data, and that’s where companies should focus. Companies no longer have to educate themselves on the latest innovations in switching, storage subsystems, file systems, chip sets, and operating systems.

Where is your data stored? How available is it for your users? Can it scale with ease and affordability? Is it optimized for my application?

These are the questions companies are asking themselves, and more and more companies are realizing there is not a significant return for making all of these decisions for themselves. Their real value is focusing on the decisions around their application and how to leverage the data generated. In the future, all of these hardware and server decisions will be wrapped up into the data layer, much like an OS, so companies can focus on their core business.

IaaS is seeing increasing price pressure

As evident from Oracle’s move to build up its cloud service to take on Amazon and others, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) really is being treated as a low-margin commodity. In 2014 the provider market will thin out, and to survive the thinning, providers will need not only a massive balance sheet, but also an expertise in building and operating Internet-scale services. Customers want their service providers to innovate and take ownership of more decisions, not less, so providers will be expected to compete with differentiated services.

This trend is already taking hold. CenturyLink recently acquired Tier 3 to complement the company’s IaaS capabilities in an effort to become a more complete platform for app developers. Inversely, IBM already had an extensive software portfolio, but acquired SoftLayer to extend its cloud computing infrastructure and data center footprint.

“Do it yourself” will be questioned more frequently

The decision-makers of 2014 and beyond will understand the benefits of working with a specialized service provider, far more than they ever have in the past. Business and technical leaders must ask themselves if they are spending time and valuable resources on aspects of their business that will drive differentiation and value, or if their time is being detracted from these core competencies.

We’re already seeing DBaaS becoming validated as the driving force in the adoption of NoSQL, with the DBaaS market expected to grow from 22.1 percent of NoSQL revenue today, to 61.2 percent in 2016, according to 451 Research. My team and I are excited about playing an important role in this evolution and seeing what the data layer becomes over the next couple years.

Brittenford Systems believes in the future of the cloud.  As partners with some of the best and brightest cloud companies, we understand the value of services such as DBaaS, SaaS, and IaaS.  We would like to thank you for reading about the state of the cloud, welcome your opinions through contacting us, and invite you to share this with your colleagues using the tools below.


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