The cloud, like it or not, has certainly changed the landscape of today’s data centers. But how will the cloud look moving forward. Was it just a fad that opened the innovative gates to better hosting and data center infrastructure? Potentially.
Let’s consider the words of Max Smolaks of datacenterdynamics.com—who is a self described journalist, intellectualist, and technofetishist—who says that the cloud is still in its infancy. Smolaks also mentions that despite all of the cloud’s good work, “IT infrastructure is still limited by specific hardware, proprietary platforms and closed systems.” Luckily for humanity, Smolaks says that will all change in the next five or so years. Yahoo! (Not Yahoo! the site, but Yahoo! in the sense of an exclamatory expression…you get it).
There’s a lot of technical jargon that you can read about in the link above including some that we have written about in the past regarding OpenStack and the like, but let’s focus more on the data center/cloud aspect of it all. I believe it’s fair to say that people who want customizable, but less complex technologies are in the majority. That’s where cloud shines because it collects all your different data, resources, and personal items from separate sources and puts them all into a common area: The Cloud. All of that is then retrievable from almost anywhere instantaneously and from mostly any device. Easy, simple, customizable, innovative, cheap, and just another step, right?
Mega-technology companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, etc. are jumping aboard the cloud bandwagon, building massive data centers to accommodate.
But as we all know, the cloud does have its pitfalls, being all shared and all. Security hacks and latency are the big issues (one that you most likely won’t encounter on your very own dedicated server). So that’s what those companies listed above (among others) are trying to patch. How can we make data center infrastructure and data-hosting technologies safer, more reliable, and faster? This question is why Smolaks believes the cloud is still in its infancy—and why I believe the cloud could be on its way out to make room for the second-coming of a more reliable cloud-like technology.
Not surprisingly, as the cloud continues to grow the politicians are going to start to take notice and try to ruin all the fun with regulations. In fact, some European countries require companies to build local infrastructure to rid consumers of that nasty latency issue and hopefully encourage higher senses and capabilities of security.
According to Ian McEwan, Egnyte’s head of Europe, there is a price war brewing that may bring the hammer down on the heads of cloud companies who give out free trials.
The bright, young couple of latency and local cloud infrastructure brings about an answer if you’d like to believe Matthew Finnie, the CTO of the British data center Interoute. Finnie believes the answer to the cloud’s shortcomings will come in the form of hundreds of distributed public cloud pods which will work in much the same manner of the internet.
But if that’s the case, it brings us back to our original issue: those nasty, politician induced regulations. That might bump up that five-year plan of Smolaks just a little bit.
Smolaks says “eventually all compute will run in the cloud” and he believes this because of the shortcomings of Moore’s Law (some law, huh?), which will supposedly start to end near the year 2020 where companies can offer 16-times more RAM and 15-times more network bandwidth of than the servers of today.
Ultimately, I believe that the battle for the IT infrastructure technology of the future will come down to cost. Hopefully someone somewhere can combine the reliability and security of a dedicated server with the customizability of the cloud. In that case, I guess Smolaks is correct in saying that the cloud is still an infant. I say that if it needs to change, then the new technology really would be the cloud, right? It’s getting old, just like all of us and eventually we’ll have the IT infrastructure we deserve, even if we have to wait a little bit.