By Hannah Howard and Aaron Shelley
Driven by bandwidth-intensive services and streaming, Internet traffic has continued on a dramatic growth trajectory. According to a recent Cisco report, global IP traffic should reach 2 zettabytes by 2019.
As more people adopt streaming and real-time entertainment in their personal lives, and rely on connectivity, file sharing, and big data in their professional lives, businesses are upgrading their communications infrastructure to provide fast, high-quality services.
In addition to high-capacity connectivity, businesses are increasingly adopting colocation and Cloud services, which provide greater capacity at less cost than traditional, in-house hardware and software platforms. When it comes to data centers, many businesses are adding capacity in both traditional Tier 1 markets and, increasingly, to Tier 2 markets which has created growing population centers like Nashville, Minneapolis, and Denver.
In large part, it’s to improve quality of high-bandwidth Internet services to users outside of the top metro areas. Providers are caching their content and services in these Tier 2 data centers, which are extending the “edge” of the Internet further from the Tier 1 hubs of New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Dallas, and Miami. This approach improves speed and latency, requirements for high-def streaming, fast twitch gaming, and a host of Cloud-based services for businesses.
Service providers of all stripes, along with enterprise organizations and SMBs are pushing the Internet expansion across a broader geographical base. According to a recent report by Ovum, the global analyst firm (www.ovum.com), the enterprise migration to the Cloud is not the only factor affecting data centers and the associated demand for colocation services. The explosive growth of video is fundamentally changing how networks are constructed.
In a related fashion, IT infrastructure has undergone a dramatic makeover in the past decade, as bleeding-edge infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions ratchet up the speed, power, and capacity of enterprise IT.
Now that we’re in the second half of the decade, it’s hard to imagine how dramatically the business technology landscape will change by 2020. A number of IaaS trends are making us excited about the possibilities.
Here are 7 IaaS trends we’re watching right now.
The evolution of hybrid Cloud solutions
By combining public and private Cloud services, colocation, and managed hosting, hybrid Cloud models offer the flexibility, scalability, and performance today’s businesses demand. That’s why Gartner (http://www.gartner.com/) predicts that half of all enterprises will adopt a hybrid IaaS solution by 2017.
Companies that may have held off on updating their IT infrastructure due to the performance and security limits of the public Cloud or the scalability limits of the private Cloud are seeing the possibilities of hybrid IT and hybrid Cloud infrastructures, which right-size business workloads to the IaaS environments they best fit.
The possibilities of the multicloud
By allowing businesses to take advantage of Cloud hosting across multiple data centers, the multicloud builds redundancy and resilience into IaaS while mitigating latency due to geographic location. Providers that perfect a centralized strategy to streamline the management and security of multiple Cloud hosting environments will win big.
The Cloud takes up Big Data
While Big Data was the buzz word du jour only a few years ago, it’s rapidly becoming mainstream. IaaS has moved to accommodate today’s Big Data demands, with Cloud solutions providing the compute, network, and storage resources needed to make data analytics available and accessible on demand.
BYOD steps aside for liquid computing
The consumerization of IT is continuing its occupation of the workplace. As more CIOs grapple with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives, liquid computing — that is, seamlessly accessing data and applications across multiple devices — is further blurring the line between consumer and enterprise technology.
Storage takes a major step up
Along with Big Data analytics, business is demanding greater performance and capacity from IaaS. Autonomic storage tiering is making it happen. By analyzing data, placing it on the appropriate storage tier within the same volume, and enabling the migration of data from tier to tier, autonomic storage tiering (aka hybrid storage) improves the performance and flexibility of storage infrastructure.
Business continuity and shrinking CapEx budgets drive IaaS growth.
A recent study by Infiniti Research (https://www.infinitiresearch.com/) predicts growth of infrastructure as a service to reach as much as 42% over the next 5 years. What’s motivating this growth? It’s the benefits achieved by converting capital expenditures (CapEx) to operating expenses (OpEx), combined with a focus on business continuity.
By building redundancy into enterprise IT and combining hosting strategies, today’s hybrid IaaS solutions can help streamline businesses’ continuity and disaster recovery programs. And with high-density data centers, Cloud hosting, private Cloud infrastructure, and managed hosting, IaaS reduces the amount of CapEx businesses need to invest into on-premises hardware and data center space, converting more budget to OpEx.
Technology is enabling better security
One of the biggest IaaS trends we’ve noticed in our business is that more customers are adding managed IT security services to their IaaS solutions. While high-profile data breaches and cyber-attacks are alerting businesses to the importance of high-quality data security, outsourcing is helping them bolster their security profiles.
About the Authors: Hannah Howard is Publisher and Managing Director of zColo, The Magazine. This content was adapted from the article “7 Exciting Trends in Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas)” by Aaron Shelly in the Winter 2016 issue of the magazine. For more information, please visit http://pub.lucidpress.com/zcolo_issue1/#ZJSLcJI2~qri, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.