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» VIEW ALL POSTS Jan 4 2013   7:27PM GMT

2013 – Year of the Cloud for Sure this Time



Posted by: Beth Cohen
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Will the predicted Cloud Computing revolution finally arrive? Has Platform as a Service (PaaS) finally matured enough to be widely adopted? These and other burning questions are part of Cloud Technology Partners’ 2013 tech future predictions. In the spirit of the holidays I give you ghosts of predictions past and cloudy forecasts for 2013.

Enterprise SaaS takes off – With $14.5 billion in SaaS sales (an increase of 17.9% from 2011), lots of providers are getting it right. The biggest news is the boom in enterprise SaaS application adoption. Originally touted as the great leveler, allowing small businesses to take advantage of sophisticated systems hereto only affordable by big companies, the enterprise is rapidly dumping their high maintenance in-house systems and deploying a variety of SaaS services instead. Salesforce of course has long been a big player in this space, but the Workday’s spectacular IPO in October indicates a bright future. Look for lots of interest in Microsoft cloud products such as Office 365 and Azure as companies realize that these are cheaper and more flexible alternatives to traditional desktop tools. The rapid adoption of mobile devices in the workplace and its demand for more business customized apps is only going to accelerate this trend.

OpenStack grows up – While it remains to be seen if OpenStack wins the cloud infrastructure wars against VMware, CloudStack and Eucalyptus, given the number of cloud service providers lining up behind HP and Rackspace to roll out Openstack commercial services, it is not difficult to predict that 2013 will be another banner year for OpenStack. Practically the every major tech company in the world with the notable exception of Amazon is throwing their support behind OpenStack. On the technology side, more tools and functionality than ever makes the future of the largest cloud Open Source project ever definitely rosy.

Cloud Hardware Architectures get real – Over the last year or so, several vendors including VCE, the uneasy coalition of EMC, Cisco and VMware, Dell, and NetApp, have announced prepackaged cloud hardware stacks. On the surface the idea is appealing to enterprise IT infrastructure teams unprepared for the cloud revolution. However, as companies quickly found out, there is a big difference between dropping in a rack of hardware and building a productive enterprise cloud infrastructure. Since a primary cloud objective is hardware and software abstraction, more vendors will be developing infrastructure architectures tolerant of commodity hardware and supportive of transparent upgrades.

VMware Cloud gets it right – All indications are that 2013 will be the year that VMware finally gets it right after years of passing virtualization off as cloud. Enterprises that have been patiently waiting for a full suite of cloud features and tools will be rewarded with a system that will be expensive (what else is new), but actually delivers the goods.

Cloud Tools mature – With more offerings than ever from startups and mature companies alike, the market for sophisticated tools will be heating up as companies realize that they need orchestration, brokering, PaaS and cloud management suites. There will be lots of activity, new offerings, acquisitions, and of course, the inevitable hype.

About the Author
Beth Cohen is a senior cloud architect for Cloud Technology Partners, Inc., focused on delivering solutions to help enterprises leverage the efficiencies of cloud architectures and technologies. Previously, Ms. Cohen was the director of engineering IT for BBN Corporation, where she was involved with the initial development of the Internet, working on some of the hottest networking and web technology protocols in their infancy.

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