2014 is the Year Servers Get ‘Smart,’ Hybrid Cloud Grows Up

Robert Miggins is the senior vice president of business development for Peer 1 Hosting. He has worked for more than 14 years in IT infrastructure, including sales, marketing, product development and operations.

Peer 1 Hosting

According to Gartner analysts, more than half of IT budgets will be spent on cloud computing in the next few years. There’s no need to speculate on whether cloud adoption will continue to rise in 2014 and beyond – it will. However, exactly how cloud infrastructure is deployed and managed is up for grabs.

While both public and private cloud deployments are on the rise, it’s hybrid cloud environments that currently provide organizations with cloud computing’s best benefits–- a trend that will shift in 2014 as the next generation of dedicated servers, or “smart servers,” evolve to offer all of hybrid cloud’s core qualities, but manageable as one environment.

Today’s hybrid cloud models are complex environments that combine a single-tenant private architecture with a multi-tenant cloud, in order to achieve private cloud’s security and performance benefits along with public cloud’s high availability and security. Many service providers and systems integrators have emerged to address the challenges of deploying a hybrid cloud, yet there are obstacles that these providers can’t address or eliminate because of hybrid’s inherent complications. Smart servers employ a thin layer of virtualization which gives them scale and flexibility, offering a simpler and more cost efficient alternative, while still retaining the basic reliability of bare metal infrastructure.

Smart servers are essential to the next generation of hybrid environments, due in part to their simplicity and ease of deployment. First of all, they can be deployed in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours or days it takes to ramp up standard dedicated servers. They also cut down on the time it takes to scale up resources – for example, a standard server needs to be shut down, reconfigured and manually rebooted in order to provide additional RAM; but a smart server can simply scale up available RAM using its thin hypervisor layer, eliminating downtime and optimizing performance to create a better user experience.

As smart servers become more standard, we’ll see cloud hosting truly become an on demand service, providing CPU, RAM and storage where and when organizations need those resources. This is the utility style computing that cloud technology has always promised, and it’s going to become much more real in 2014 as smart infrastructure provides all of hybrid cloud’s capabilities – performance, security, availability and flexibility – from a single box.

While cloud computing is still relatively new, it’s evolved rapidly in a short period of time. It still has its limitations, with ease of use and seamless manageability a long way off, but cloud’s enterprise-readiness is a proven fact. As infrastructure becomes more intelligent and fluid, for example by incorporating smart servers, it will give enterprises the ability to customize their infrastructure to their exact resource needs – a far cry from the pre-configured cloud environments of yesterday. Here’s to a much smarter hybrid cloud in 2014.

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  1. There are so many reasons that make the hybrid cloud architecture the right one for business. Connectivity limitations, local performance, privacy implications, elastic storage, and more. I haven't heard much about 'smart servers' yet (maybe just terminology) but the concept is right on; hardware resources configured and governed by smart software!