2013 Predictions: A Connected, But Volatile Public Cloud

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Enterprise adoption of cloud computing is on the rise and will likely experience growth rates of up to 100 percent by 2016. As a result of this rapid evolution and growth, more and more companies are turning to the cloud for a range of compute and application services. Simultaneously, we are seeing a growth in hybrid cloud usage, which offers enterprises the ability to combine their private clouds and dedicated IT with public on-demand cloud infrastructures, enabling users to benefit from the best of both worlds through superior interconnectivity.

As a result of this, in 2013, there will be an increase in hyper-connected colocated data centres and growing volatility in the public cloud market as on-demand services become more common.

Growing Connectivity

As public cloud comes to be more intertwined with on-premise IT, companies are putting a growing amount of their infrastructure into third-party colocated data centres, which act as hubs for interconnecting private and public environments. However, because many are simultaneously keeping portions of their infrastructure in-house, many enterprises are experiencing latency and incurring high costs from complex network infrastructures when attempting to access the cloud and/or data stored off-site.

To remedy this obstacle, data centre operators are under pressure to increase the options for connectivity from and within their facilities. Services like direct connects and fast connection speeds to popular “IT highways” or partners’ infrastructure are separating out the most modern hubs from so-called “IT museums.”

For example, Interxion recently announced Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect availability in all of its data centres across Europe via Level 3’s network services, which offers customers a private connection from their colocated infrastructure to public Amazon cloud resources. Because this Direct Connect doesn’t rely on the Internet, it increases bandwidth throughout and provides a more consistent network experience than Internet-based connections. This service is particularly attractive to customers that build hybrid clouds with large data sets and real-time data feeds or need to satisfy regulatory requirements by using private network connections.

In the future, even more emphasis will be placed on this aspect of data centre services, and direct connects to public cloud platforms like AWS will become more common – if not expected or required by customers.

Public Cloud in the Short-Term

Simultaneous to this growth in connectivity, we will also see an increase in cloud usage as a short-term resource.

Rather than data centre tenants automatically linking to public cloud options such as AWS and locking into long-term contracts, there will be a shift in the cloud landscape to shorter contract terms and a less predictable growth cycle. Companies will look to the cloud as a resource for short-term projects or seasonal support, making the market slightly more volatile as customers gravitate toward more on-demand cloud models.

In a way, these two predictions will work hand-in-hand. Because cloud computing will allow for short-term contracts and increased flexibility, diversity of connectivity will become all the more important. Any customer moving into a colocated data centre will require the option to interface and one day push workloads to the cloud, rejecting any facility that does not offer strong connectivity and direct connects to popular cloud platforms.