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7 Major Current Trends in Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has experienced exponential growth over the last few years. As of December 2013, almost 60 percent of current small-to-medium businesses (SMB) use cloud services, and 72 percent of these businesses virtualize substantial portions of their servers. The growth is only expected to increase over the next few years. Here are just a few of the major current trends in the industry today.

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1. Hybrid clouds. There has been an ongoing debate between the merits of public and private cloud models for quite some time now. Hybrid clouds feature an infrastructure that combines private cloud security with cost-effective, powerful and scalable public cloud attributes. IT executives get more choices for personalized solutions while big data advocates and security experts are still satisfied. As hybrid models become mainstream, more companies are likely to adopt this cloud deployment model and drop the old debate.

2. BYOD. Since the vast majority of consumer electronics in the world are mobile devices, “bring your own device” is more relevant than ever in the world of cloud computing. End users are using their mobile devices to put more and more of their own data into personal cloud services for streaming, storage, and syncing. This means that IT departments must find the means to integrate personal cloud services for their employees in a BYOD environment with tools such as Mobile Device Management.

3. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). PaaS solutions enable businesses to reduce their IT costs while increasing application development through more efficient testing and development methods. According to the International Data Corporation, a prominent analyst firm, by 2017 the PaaS market is anticipated to expand from $3.7 billion to $14 billion worldwide.

4. Big data analytics. Similar to the public and private cloud model debate, many organizations are realizing that it may be much simpler and more beneficial to combine big data analytics with cloud computing than to choose one over the other. The emergence, within the next few years, of big data analytics as a service will offer businesses of any size an easily attainable and scalable tool for competing in the global marketplace.

5. Graphics as a service. Typically, running high-end graphics applications requires substantial hardware infrastructure investment. However, cloud computing is changing this reality. There are a number of new cloud-based graphics technologies from prominent graphics companies, including NVIDIA and AMD that allow end users to run high-end graphic design applications with a simple HTML5 web browser.

6. Identity management and protection. Security has always been a major concern with cloud computing. As more businesses move more information and data into cloud servers, this concern is more important than ever. It is anticipated that over the next year, there will be identity management solutions based on new cloud based security paradigms.

7. Web-powered apps. As efficiency and scalability are among the primary benefits of cloud computing, then it only makes sense to start developing cloud-based applications that are compatible with multiple platforms. With cutting edge initiatives such as famo.us bringing new life to HTML via JavaScript, it will not be long before the Internet becomes the main platform for these applications.

By John Grady, Senior Manager of Product Marketing

XO Communications is a nationwide provider of managed network and IT infrastructure services. At XO, John has been responsible for launching numerous products such including XO’s 100G Service and several XO Cloud Services.

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