The Cloudy Horizon for 2013: 10 Predictions

What’s ahead in cloud computing for 2013? It’s a big topic, and many industry executives and pundits have offered their predictions about how cloud will evolve in the year ahead. Here’s our roundup of 10 the cloud predictions we think will be worth watching in 2013.

1. Cloud Will Blur Boundaries of Facilities and Operations

Many data center services providers have entered the cloud arena. Cloud is a complimentary offering to colocation. There will remain straight colo plays, but those with a heavily regional focus will add cloud to the portfolio, if they haven’t already. A lot of companies are recognizing that cloud is an integral piece in a larger strategy, so they’ll seek service providers that can provide cloud in addition to colo space or dedicated hosting.

2. It’s All About Hybrid Cloud and Multiple Clouds

There were a lot more “mixed” deals in 2012. In 2013, Customers will get smarter about what should reside in the cloud and what shouldn’t, as well as use cloud more effectively for things like bursting during known periods of traffic spikes. They’ll also leverage multiple clouds more affectively. Cloud management specialist Rightscale said that 87% of its compute under management is multi-cloud usage, one data point suggesting an increasing percentage of users using multiple clouds.

Cary Landis, NJVC senior architect, Cloudcuity AppDeployer and Virtual Global CEO sees a convergence occurring this year. “The lines between platform as a service (PaaS) and cloud services brokerages will blur into a conceptual operating system for the ‘Web as a platform’—providing tools to allow users to take advantage of multiple cloud solutions at once, and bringing the cloud closer to the end user in more meaningful ways,” said Landis.

3. Cloud Brokerages

Increased use of multiple clouds requires improved ways to manage and access this multi-cloudinfrastructure. Quite a few predictions see the importance of cloud brokerages heightening in 2013. “Though still nascent, next year I expect to see some (cloud) service brokers emerge,” said George Watt, VP of Corporate Strategy at CA Technologies, in a blog post. “While it won’t become the dominant model in 2013, I do expect that organizations will – consciously or subconsciously – begin preparing for that it.”

Kevin Jackson, NJVC vice president and general manager, cloud services, agrees. “The new role of cloud services brokerages will be further defined and evolve over the next five years to provide niche services to organizations moving to the cloud, but also realizing that their specific IT needs will require the use of more than one cloud services provider,” said Jackson.

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About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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  1. Be careful of #1. As colo providers develop cloud offerings, they compete with their best customers. As cloud providers build data centers, will they have the expertise to do it right? Data center providers should focus on designing, building, and operating world-class facilities. Cloud providers should focus on delivering seamless servers, storage, and network capacity. Better to do one thing well than lots of things poorly. In 2013 the lines between colo and cloud will not blur -- they will become more clear. The auto mechanic that fixes my car can probably redo my kitchen, but I'd rather hire a specialist for each!