It's been interesting to track the progress of cloud computing, from its nascent beginnings as a disruptive but misunderstood technology to its subtly increasing presence in the digital landscape. As cloud rises in prominence, the requirements for infrastructure and data center design evolve as well. A simple example is scalability, where in the cloud world, capacity utilization can vary dramatically.
Companies are also looking for ways to increase their return on investment from the cloud, whether they're making their first forays into the system or seeking to build on a successful initial deployment. At the same time, cloud services and data center providers are constantly moving forward and driving innovations that make "virtual" colocation more attractive, productive and lucrative.
The convergence of businesses and service providers have given rise to cloud maturity, which, according to Data Center Knowledge contributor Pete Johnson, has spawned the rise of "cloud computing 2.0". While cloud computing has improved on traditional hosting and outsourcing methods, as with any technological endeavor there is always room for further enhancement. As some providers make more of an effort than others to embark on the next stage of cloud computing, organizations should take new developments into account when conducting cloud vendor and data center research.
Flexibility is one of the main potential growth areas in cloud computing 2.0, Johnson wrote. As vendors become more comfortable with their service offerings and agreements and as adopting businesses see the value gained by adaptability of different solutions, it is likely that customized, objective-based services will cause cookie-cutter models to be phased out. Many cloud components, like infrastructure-as-a-service, still retain some rigidity and irreducible complications that can produce a less than optimal user experience. In the future, users should be able to scale their system to their exact specifications. This way, organizations will be able to trust that their cloud services, data storage centers and servers will be able to handle the effects of any new directive or methodology.
"More flexible instance sizes, live vertical scaling without a reboot, better and more consistent performance, and improved ease-of-use through graphical tools are among the features that Cloud Computing 2.0 promises to bring us," he wrote.
Why commoditization and consumerization are the future
As more cloud users demand customizable options and solutions providers enter the playing field, commoditization and consumerization will become key attributes of cloud computing 2.0. The increasingly bustling cloud marketplace will have many positive benefits for all involved, wrote Data Center Knowledge editor Jason Verge. More standardization of cloud components will reduce organizational confusion, diminish contract negotiation periods and ultimately drive up the quality of cloud solutions.
Ultimately, it is likely that commoditization is at least partially necessary to drum up future cloud adopters, as set standards and a more thorough vetting process can encourage companies that may still feel reticent about migrating to the cloud. The customer-driven aspect will also make it easier for organizations to seek out the deal they want. This could also make it more attractive for companies to take a more active role in data center provisioning.