Real-World Cloud Computing
Disruptive IT Forces that Are Changing Business
An end-to-end IT ecosystem that will change how we do business
By: Wayne Salpietro
Aug. 2, 2013 10:30 AM
Today four converging IT trends are changing the IT paradigm and will forever change the way businesses communicate, collaborate, store and manage information. Each on its own would have significant impact without the others. However, combined together, they are a disruptive force.
Each of these will be disruptive trends that will reshape IT and businesses. Unfortunately, as they evolve, they will also stress the IT infrastructure to be successful. For example, mobile devices in the business world will have data burst issues. Information growth has been well documented but data velocity will stress networks. Cloud is all about data costs over the networks and retention at the target.
Looking at each in detail will add perspective and provide answers to the above mentioned issues.
Given the increasing percentage of BYOD usage in the enterprise, the data volume across the network will grow exponentially. If this trend follows the data storage growth where we see 50%+ growth annually, we will have two costs in rapid growth. Each of these can cripple existing IT budgets on their own, but both together are sure to consume IT budget dollars and run into budget deficits. Optimizing the data (compression and/or deduplication) will enable reduction of data volume and the associated costs of network traffic.
Social media growth is partly responsible for rampant data growth. Initially the business to consumer interactions occurred with brand communities. More recently, business to business interactions are occurring, enabling business information exchanges on products, technical comparisons, blogs and video blogs just to mention a few use cases.
The social media impacts on businesses are the most nascent and will most likely accelerate very quickly since the generational usage of social media is filling the business world every year by the millions. In addition, existing business professionals are adapting to the social media landscape in parallel. Expect this segment to explode from an adoption perspective but also from a data creation, collaboration, business analytics and communication perspective.
The IDC Digital Universe Study (2012) predicts a 40 ZB data growth by 2020. But it's not just structured or unstructured business data we create, it's data created as "things" that communicate with each other such as building management systems and infrastructure technology, cameras, microphones and sensors used in traffic management and metropolitan security (New York, London, etc.). In fact, by 2020, 30 billion things (Gartner 2013) will be permanently connected to each other (via the Internet) with another 200 billion connected intermittently. All these devices are collecting data and building "Big Data" repositories of information about people, places, things and information.
Storing, communicating, analyzing and processing have costs that, although they are helped by Moore's Law, the data growth is outpacing storage density increments, network bandwidth capacity expansion, processor speed and I/O bandwidth improvements. And, the cost of doing business in our increasingly competitive business world will go up. The ability to minimize the data across the network and at rest is easily accomplished with data deduplication and/or compression technologies.
The predicted "Big Data Era" is upon us enabling data growth as we have never seen it. As we harness the high volume of information and analyze it in real-time, we develop a velocity of business with a variety of information that will enable "those that do" to compete more effectively with each other and "those that don't" will be kicked to the side of the business road.
"The Cloud" is an amorphous entity few can accurately define. A huge data store, a series of service offerings, application-specific delivery entities, compute expansion engines and are private and/or public in approach. It's become "any and all" of these and in the future most likely more than these because "the cloud," as a business concept, will continue to evolve. Cloud will evolve and it will be about moving your data there, storing it, computing on it and getting your data back. All of which goes back to the mobility, social and data growth issues I've previously discussed. There will be more data, there will be more devices asking for it, there will be more "number crunching" and more predicted results than ever before. More people, places and things that are included in the IT ecosystem working in real-time.
What about the efficiency of all of this data movement, retention and processing? Remember the cloud business model is based on efficiency. Cloud provider costs are critical; they are cut down to a minimum to deliver competitive prices for their services that depend on volume with razor-thin margins to maintain their profitability. Applying data optimization technologies such as deduplication, compression and thin provisioning will help increase data efficiency for data at rest and (data optimized) replication can drive incremental network efficiency.
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