Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services, but it is not just that. The rapid rate of cloud computing adoption by firms of all sizes has reiterated the fact that cloud computing is here to stay. The industry is growing exponentially, with 76% of enterprises looking to adapt to cloud apps and platforms to accelerate their IT service delivery. The glocal cloud migration market is expected to grow to USD 8678.73 million by 2023, at a CAGR of 23.67%.
Companies are using cloud computing to enhance their overall processes since they have accepted the fact that cloud computing is here to change the world from what we know. We're looking at a much faster and cost-effective way of running their IT infrastructure. The advancements in cloud computing have led to more and more dependence on it.
Cloud computing is much more cost-effective, flexible and scalable than it was during its inception, and it has advanced so much that it is the new normal for the IT industries. According to Gartner's report, by 2023, leading cloud services providers will have an ATM-like presence to serve a subset of their services. In this post, we're going to provide our take on the future trends of cloud computing.
Hybrid cloud infrastructure will lead the way.
One of the major trends in cloud computing in the adoption of hybrid clouds, firms are now moving towards a more multi-cloud verse to cater to their needs, the advanced cloud strategies and technologies have made applications more portable. Organisations are exploiting the progressive and differentiated services that several cloud providers are offering. Once an organisation understands what they want to achieve, it can choose which cloud service to adopt instead of an ongoing legacy cloud provider.
According to a survey run by Flexera, 93% of the respondent companies said that they have entirely embraced a multi-cloud strategy. It reflects how the traditional way of buying a specific set of infrastructure from a single provider isn't going to cut in the future; organisations have become agile in their cloud buying behaviour.
Partnering with Third Parties
The survey was done by Flexera also shed light on the fact that organisations waste 30% of their overall cloud spend. To curb the costs, firms are reaching out to partners who specialise in managing clouds; this reflects a vendor-agnostic approach. We're talking about partners who have the resources that can make out if there are any bottlenecks in an entire cloud infrastructure. Though cost-effective and flexible, hybrid cloud infrastructure has led to elevating certain complexities that firms should look into.
These third parties have clear insights on keeping the cloud spend by a firm under control and making the most of the services without any lag in between their processes. Major services providers are verifying vendors for this purpose specifically so that their clients' growing cloud management needs are being met.
Cloud providers and their response to the Pandemic
Cloud providers with robust infrastructure have responded well to the crisis that the Pandemic has brought upon the world. Due to this sudden surge in data points coming left, right and centre putting a lot of stress on organisations' cloud infrastructures, several cloud providers' resilience were brought under check, and the ones with a crisis management plan already in place have proven their mettle. A well-run cloud can handle a sudden surge in demand or traffic coming in. A proactive approach towards handling the crisis has led cloud providers to stress-test their data centres for the future to keep themselves prepared for the worst of the worst to happen.
In response to the financial instabilities brought in by the Pandemic to several small and mid-sized organisations who are cloud customers, cloud providers can form a customer-centric approach and maybe try and give them the benefit of the doubt by reducing the prices charged. This could be an opportunity in disguise for several cloud providers to form a more responsible and compassionate image of themselves in these times of crisis.
Cost-effectiveness is one of the major factors that drive the adoption of cloud computing, and cloud providers have taken good note of it. They will have to work more and more on their native capabilities since firms are looking for more cost-effective infrastructures to work on. The recent trend shows how firms are not sticking to a single cloud vendor; they are more focused on the job at hand and which provider suits the best for it since the growth in usage of cloud will also drive up the costs incurred.
Different cloud providers have different pricing and billing models, so firms need to find what suits them best them and that is how they can come up with the best cloud computing strategy by keeping the costs under control and reaping all the required benefits
Technological advancement, agility, interoperability, customisation, collaboration, scalability are the concepts driving cloud computing and will continue to do so in the new decade. CIOs and CXOs are rethinking their business processes and accelerating business change by adopting the best cloud practices. Not just experts, but the companies themselves are on the lookout for cloud computing trends in 2021 and how the industry might unfold in the coming years.
Firms of today have realised that the possibilities with innovation in cloud management are immense and dynamic. Some firms have already gained momentum by becoming early adopters of best cloud practices in industries, and others are beginning to be a part of the game. Cloud computing has become a major driver in the digital transformation journey for organisations, and cloud infrastructure has become the most vital aspect. The trends mentioned here are the ones that are going to influence their cloud migration and adoption plans as organisations plan on making their cloud even more cost-effective, agile and scalable.
Key to the future of mobile computing – Cloudlets
Today, we can't rely on the magic of cloud computing to deliver better resources. In short, it is unfortunately inescapable that "long WAN latencies are a fundamental obstacle. Even trivial user-application interactions incur these delays in cloud computing." Beyond those trivial apps, we already have mobile apps trying to deliver advanced, computation-intense capabilities like speech recognition, NLP, assisted vision, machine learning, and augmented reality. Those apps suffer because cloud computing isn't powerful enough to seamlessly support a WAN like the public Internet.
MAUI researchers believe that "Rather than relying on a distant cloud, the resource poverty of a mobile device can be addressed by using a nearby resource-rich cloudlet."
A bit of a stretch? Let me explain.
The number of users using mobile phones to connect with the Internet is rising continuously. In addition to the server hardware and static client, mobile hardware is recognised as a necessary resource. Compared to static servers and clients, there are many drawbacks associated with mobile devices. The mobile device's computational resources are limited by memory, battery life, and weight and height dissipation.
Cloudlets are a way of moving cloud computing capacity closer to intelligent devices at the edge of the network. It is a small-scale data centre or cluster of computers designed to quickly provide cloud computing services to mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices, within close geographical proximity. A cloudlet's goal is to increase the response time of applications running on mobile devices by using low latency, high-bandwidth wireless connectivity, and by hosting cloud computing resources, such as virtual machines, physically closer to the mobile devices accessing them.
This is intended to eliminate the wide-area network (WAN) latency delays in traditional cloud computing models. It was specifically designed to support interactive and resource-intensive especially for mobile applications, such as those for speech recognition, language processing, machine learning, and virtual reality because cloud computing could not provide full support to mobile scenarios, especially for the high-speed vehicle-mounted network environments, in which drivers must quickly learn about the road conditions and traffic flow in real-time.
Cloudlets is a technological innovation implementing AI and IoT. Many enterprises and organisations in the industry have begun to deploy the ecosystem of cloudlets, including communications vendors like Cisco and Huawei and many cloud computing and IoT enterprises like Zhiyun and Gizwits 4.0. On November 19, 2015, Cisco collaborated with ARM, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, and Princeton University to create the OpenFog(Cloudlets) Alliance, aiming to develop fog computing-related technical standards and promote the technical transformation industry.
Bit of History…
A prototype implementation of a cloudlet was originally developed by Carnegie Mellon University as a research project, starting in 2009. The term cloudlet was coined by computer scientists Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Victor Bahl, Ramón Cáceres and Nigel Davies. These researchers define cloudlets as the middle tier of a three-tier hierarchy: intelligent device, Cloudlet, and cloud.
Why we need Cloudlets…
Cloudlets are beneficial because they allow their users to instantiate custom virtual machines rapidly on the running Cloudlet, requiring software in a thin client fashion. A novel architecture for a carrier-managed WLAN network that leverages the virtualisation of network functions and concepts. It was concluded that the WLAN cloudlet solution offered different advantages in terms of agility, flexibility, and costs. The benefits of cloudlet-based WLAN include the following.
- reduced equipment cost
- decreased access latency
- network management
- faster configuration of new services
- new revenues
- possibility of introducing new services.
What is different with Cloudlets from other Public Cloud Data Center, you ask…
Before going into differentiation, we need to understand that Cloudlet is considered a form of cloud computing because it delivers hosted services to users over a network.
First, a cloudlet is self-managed by the businesses or users that employ it, while a public cloud data centre is managed full-time by a cloud provider. Second, a cloudlet predominantly uses a local area network (LAN) for connectivity versus the public Internet. Thirdly, a cloudlet is employed by fewer, more localised users than a major public cloud service. Finally, a cloudlet contains only "soft state" copies of data, such as a cached copy or code stored elsewhere.
Conclusion and Future Work…
The cloudlet provisioning mechanism for our current working prototype enables lower energy consumption on the mobile device, places fewer requirements on mobile devices, and simplifies provisioning in planned environments.
Future work on this is related to security, establishing the initial trust between mobile devices and cloudlets, which can be:
- As a mobile device, is what I discovered a "friendly" cloudlet?
- As a cloudlet, did that offloading request come from a "friendly" mobile device?
The goal is to explore solutions for establishing trusted identities in disconnected environments with the advantage/constraint that computed cloudlets are not meant to be long-lived, meaning that they are pre-provisioned and eventually deployed to support a mission.
Working with what you were given
In many cases, I have to work on what is given. If I help a client running Java with Docker, I cannot simply move them to another language or framework just because that seems a better technical solution. I have to keep in mind that people and companies have invested in a language or framework. Sometimes, it seems almost a religious feud (Windows vs Linux) instead of an objective view on the subject. So in a way, language does not matter in my work as a consultant or architect. I have my preferences but cannot force them onto a group just for the sake of my reasons.
Let's Go! (pun intended)
Go is a very elegant and fast language. Testing is built right into the language, as is documentation. It pretty much runs on any OS and does that fast.
The authors (Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson) wanted to address criticism of other languages in use at Google, but keep their useful characteristics (Wikipedia):
- static typing and run-time efficiency (like C++)
- high-performance networking and multiprocessing
In Go, everything revolves around ease of programming, and frankly, it is just plain fun coding in Go! I'm amazed at the speed of coding and the simplicity of concurrency. Numerous IDE's are available, making it easy to start with the language.
What language do you choose?
If you are in a greenfield environment or want to create services that need speed, think beyond your comfort zone. Experiment with languages and frameworks. See what fits your purpose.
In any case, please take a look at Go with your team, and let me know what you think of it!
AWS VS Azure VS Google – Cloud Comparison
Being the contemporary cloud giants of the 21st century, AWS, AZURE, and GCP have a lot to offer. While AWS has years of experience backing it up, GCP seems to be the prodigy of cloud-based programming, providing limited but premium services. AZURE is smacked right in the middle, boasting remarkable performance second only to AWS.
This article takes an in-depth look at these three giants and provides useful insight into how one is better than the other.
Amazon Web Services(AWS)
Being the oldest of the bunch, AWS started its journey in 2006. Is offers an extensive list of computing services with functions such as database management, storage & security, deployment, mobile networking, the list goes on.
Amazon also has the most AWS also has the most number of data zones out of the three. Availability zones are isolated regions where public cloud services originate and operate.
More zones mean you have access to a lot of resources you handle your work. You depend on your business; you require one or maybe 10; however, the more, the merrier. They have 55 of these zones up and running, with another eight on the way.
In terms of the share market; currently, the scales are tipped towards AWS while the others(AZURE & GCP) have respectable shares but are still behind by a lot. Most of the fortune 500 companies interested in cloud technology have invested in one of the three giants.
AZURE has access to 44 availability zones worldwide, with 12 more on the way. Though Microsoft was a tad bit late entering the race, they have expanded greatly in the short period and successfully managed to compete against an AWS giant.
AWS offers 200+ services compared to AZURE's 100+ services. Nonetheless, what they offer is more than enough to handle the tasks of any typical company. So it is possible to conclude that they are on the right track.
However, AZURE can easily integrate with Microsoft tools, providing a lag-free and unhindered experience. Even in terms of development, AZURE ranks number 1 in the cloud service list. It's a nice service that's been gaining a lot of attention; you might as well give it a try.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Being the new fish, Google has kicked everything into the third dimension. Though it lacks the resources thanks to its late entry into the market, it is making up for it in terms of sheer features.
Google Cloud Platform has a total of 18 availability zones, with three more on the way. Compared to AWS and AZURE, it also offers fewer services and functionality. However, GCP has shown promising development.
In 2014 both AWS and AZURE faced a downtime of 2 hours and 39 hours, respectively. Google, on the hands, was down only for a few minutes. This can be credited to a low workload, but given its growth worldwide in such a short time, GCP might take the lead in no time.
All of the above cloud-based platforms are good at what they do, with minor niche setbacks in some areas. There aren't any good or bad service providers. You got to choose as per your requirements. However, Google is offering the cheapest long term rates. And though its services, it shows a great promise of growth in the coming years.