Cloud computing platforms have seen a significant increase in modern application development, with cloud infrastructure configuration accounting for up to 33% of global IT spending between 2017 and 2018. So, let us ask: what is the state of the cloud five years later?
Let’s take a look!
State of cloud computing today
The cloud, like all new technologies, was not adopted and implemented overnight. It took time for people to understand what the cloud was, and even longer for tech companies to develop the infrastructure and technologies that would support the cloud. It is not easy to go from a concept to a fully realized business offering.
(See how emerging technology goes through a hype cycle.)
Cloud computing has been steadily gaining traction in the modern IT landscape due to its numerous benefits, such as agility, scalability, and high performance.
Cloud computing enables organizations to configure flexible architecture to handle dynamic applications by allowing resource provisioning in response to changes in workload requirements. Cloud platforms also allow for:
Rapid product testing and delivery
Elastic global scaling
Better overall application performance
Today, organizations around the world have harnessed cloud computing technology to provide a massive and diverse array of service offerings. Enterprises are increasingly adopting cloud computing services:
92% of enterprises surveyed already embrace a multi-cloud strategy.
83% have used the hybrid cloud strategy.
Enterprises continue to accelerate public cloud adoption, with 36% of organizations spending more than $12 million on public clouds per year.
It is clear that the cloud has evolved into a technology that businesses cannot afford to ignore. Making the most of the cloud is not an easy task, but many organizations are figuring out how to optimize their cloud spend without blowing their budgets. The vast array of cloud-based offerings continues to expand as more businesses experiment with the new technology, seeking to maximize its potential.
Cloud computing trends 2022
Here are today’s emerging trends—see how they highlight the prominence of cloud computing in today’s rapidly changing tech landscape.
Multi- and/or hybrid cloud environments. An increasingly popular choice, that is being adopted by organizations to support workloads that require a vendor-agnostic, multi-platform approach.
Edge computing. A decentralization trend in which compute and storage elements are deployed closer to the devices for reduced latency and bandwidth optimization.
Serverless computing. This computing model involves several levels of backend-as-a-service offerings that let developers code freely while cloud providers manage platform implementation.
Data democratization. A system that allows user to access, explore and analyze data to aid in decision-making for data-driven applications
Cloud computing concepts
The cloud has numerous use cases because it is used by a diverse range of individuals, private organizations, and government agencies. The fundamental premise of cloud computing is that the complexities of infrastructure implementation and service location are hidden from the end user.
For individuals, the cloud allows users to access information or SaaS-based applications from any device connected to the internet without the fear of local loss of data or the requirement of installation and regular updating.
While for organizations, cloud computing offers an agile and highly scalable platform to host applications and offer services.
While use cases vary, the following section investigates how a typical cloud computing framework works, as well as different cloud-based models available to organizations for a variety of purposes.
How cloud computing works
Most modern application development trends, such as containers and CI/CD pipelines, are significant factors driving organizations to adopt the cloud. While there is no denying that the cloud has become an important part of the majority of companies’ IT infrastructure, it can be difficult to understand what this means from an operational standpoint.
The backend of an application—the primary group of computing components responsible for storing and processing data—is hosted on remote servers using cloud computing. These servers are connected to the internet via protocols, which are pre-defined rule sets.
The application is then accessed by the users via the front end: a browser or application endpoint with server communication permissions. The infrastructure required to run the server and related components is managed by the cloud service provider, which can be managed in-house or by an external third-party vendor, so that the application’s users only need to connect to its services via an internet connection.
Types of cloud computing offerings
A typical application delivery includes numerous components that necessitate provisioning, configuration, and management. To assist with this, cloud-based services are provided via various business models that focus on a specific component as the primary offering.
Let’s look at the three most common: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
The cloud service provider manages the basic IT infrastructure, such as servers, storage, and networking, in an IaaS offering. This enables the ‘user organization’ to take advantage of the available infrastructure and configure the platform of its choice for application hosting. An IaaS offering includes the following features:
Allows to provision development, staging, and test environments as required
Enables application hosting with on-demand scalability
Offers pre-configured data storage, backup, and recovery
Supports on-demand computing for high-throughput requirements such as big data, machine learning, and other complex simulations
PaaS cloud offerings go beyond abstracting the physical computing infrastructure to provide a dynamic, on-demand platform for application delivery, deployment, management, and testing. This enables developer organizations to rapidly develop code and deploy it to production without having to manage infrastructure or set up deployment environments.
SaaS is by far the most common offering, delivering entire applications over the internet via subscription. The cloud provider will do the following in such offerings:
Host the application code and the underlying infrastructure.
Handle all aspects of its maintenance as per a mutual service level agreement (SLA).
Individual users can then use an endpoint such as an application or browser to access the software service. Google Workspace, Netflix, Dropbox, and YouTube are examples of well-known SaaS applications.
Cloud computing deployment strategies
With a steady rate of adoption, various types of cloud computing strategies have evolved to meet the needs of various use cases. There are three common methods for setting up a cloud infrastructure.
One of the most popular deployment strategies due to its ease of management and cost savings. Third-party service providers own and operate data centers in a public cloud, delivering computing resources over the internet. Among the most popular public cloud platforms are:
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
A single organization purchases/configures data center resources to be managed and maintained on private networks. Private clouds can either be:
Physically hosted on self-managed data centers
Remote servers managed by third-party service providers
Though the efforts and cost towards managing a private cloud are considerably higher than a public cloud, organizations that deal with sensitive data or niche domains that cannot avail a third-party service commonly opt for a private cloud deployment model.
Automation and orchestration technologies are used to bind together public and private clouds deployment models for the sharing of data and applications. Businesses typically use hybrid clouds to improve flexibility, access more deployment options, enforce security and compliance, and optimize existing infrastructure.
Benefits of shifting workloads to the cloud
Though use cases differ for different organizations, following are some of the most commonly known benefits of adopting a cloud service:
Cost optimization. With cloud computing, organizations eliminate the capital expenses of purchasing and configuring computing infrastructure, the personnel and costs of running on-premises data centers.
Speed. Cloud computing platforms offer services on-demand, allowing services to be deployed and applications to access production scale resources within minutes of deployment.
Scalability. The ability to scale up resource capacity rapidly is one of the prime benefits of leveraging the cloud. This allows an organization to provision resources based on demand spikes while keeping operating expenses low.
Enhanced application performance. By deploying services on globally distributed Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) and efficient load balancing mechanisms, a cloud deployment enables high availability and workload performance.
Reliability. Cloud computing also simplify data backup and disaster recovery, thereby assuring business continuity. Additionally, by leveraging innovative monitoring and storage strategies, cloud-based stateful workloads are considered much more resilient and reliable than those running on a monolith framework.