Four Key Tech Trends That Will Define Hosting Demand in 2014

gartner-hybrid-cloudDuring its Symposium/ITxpo this week, Gartner has highlighted some technologies and trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2014. Hosting Journalist selected 4 trends that are relevant for the hosting industry.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

1.      Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. The vast majority of hybrid cloud services are initially not so dynamic. Early hybrid cloud services are most of the time more static, engineered compositions – such as integration between an internal private cloud and a public cloud service for certain functionality or data. More hybrid deployment compositions will emerge as cloud service brokers CSBs evolve, which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. Enterprises that are expanding into hybrid cloud computing from private cloud services are taking on the CSB role.

A hosting solution that could emerge from this trend, is for example a private Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering that can leverage external service providers based on policy and utilization.

2.      Cloud/Client Architecture

Cloud/client computing models are shifting. In the cloud/client architecture, the client is a rich application running on an Internet-connected device, and the server is a set of application services hosted in an increasingly elastically scalable cloud computing platform. The cloud is the control point and system or record and applications can span multiple client devices. The client environment may be a native application or browser-based; the increasing power of the browser is available to many client devices, mobile and desktop alike.

The increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.

3.      Software Defined Anything

Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As a collective, SDx also incorporates various initiatives like OpenStack, OpenFlow, the Open Compute Project and Open Rack, which share similar visions.

While open standards and true interoperability will benefit this technology development trend, different interpretations of SDx definitions may be anything but open. Vendors of SDN (network), SDDC (data center), SDS (storage), and SDI (infrastructure) technologies are all trying to maintain leadership in their respective domains, while deploying SDx initiatives to aid market adjacency plays.

4.      Web-Scale IT

Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google and Facebook are re-inventing the way in which IT services can be delivered. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers. Gartner calls the combination of all of these elements Web-scale IT, which is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility.

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- Koen Stegeman, Editor-in-Chief and CEO