A roundup of the key developments and challenges for enterprise cloud computing in 2012

by Ali Din, Sr. Vice President and CMO at dinCloud

2012 was the year cloud computing took off and went mainstream. Some startups recorded exceptional growth, and won numerous awards and recognition. But for some service providers, 2012 was a pretty tough year with a number of outages, affecting millions of users and some even causing permanent data loss to its customers. Still, this didn’t put a damper on the acquisition spree we saw during 2012 as cloud computing’s value continued to shine.

Let’s look at what were the key developments and challenges for enterprise cloud computing in 2012.

The evolution of the cloud was much greater than what was expected. Cloud computing helped IT in many organizations become more dynamic – spending grew to over $109 billion, up 20% over the previous year. And that’s not all. Gartner predicts that the total outlay for cloud computing services could nearly double, to $207 billion, by 2016. , It appears that installing-and-upgrading software and infrastructure is becoming less popular by the day

We also noticed many vendors doing some variations to their service catalogs. For example, some hosters like GoDaddy decided to rationalize their cloud server offering. Meanwhile, there were also some new cloud products launched by a variety of startups. For dinCloud, we expanded our portfolio by launching cloud hosted servers and NetApp-based cloud backup and storage solutions.

Some vendors embarked on a rapid restructuring to an on-demand cloud compute model and enhancing their portfolios with cloud acquisitions. Some high level acquisitions in 2012 include Dell-Wyse acquisition for virtual desktops, followed by Oracle acquiring network virtualization technology firm Xsigo to boost cloud prowess. VMware paid top dollar for Nicera, a software-defined-networking vendor.

Along with these developments, there were some setbacks, too. In 2012, despite many precautions taken by cloud service providers we saw outages on a regularly basis caused by human error, quality issues, technical glitches and natural disasters. The major cloud computing outages in 2012 were Google Gmail, Amazon Web Services, Apple iCloud and GoDaddy.  These outages ranged from 2-4 hours and affected millions of users, as well as companies like Quora, DropBox, Pinterest, Heroku, and NetFlix.

Outages like the aforementioned can make a company apprehensive about the cloud, so the benefits associated with being in the cloud (E.G. 50% savings on IT spend and agility) has to outweigh the risks associated with downtime. The scale to weigh this decision will be different for every customer, but if the benefits outweigh the potential risk, then we can see more mainstream adoption in 2013.

Ali Din is Sr. Vice President and CMO at dinCloud, a cloud transformation company that helps organizations rapidly migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud through business provisioning. For more information, visit www.dincloud.com or follow @dinCloud on Twitter.

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