Betamax was replaced by VHS which lost its place on the throne to DVD. Then Blu-ray came along, which has largely been ousted by digital. Nothing is static in technology, and some think the days of cloud computing are numbered.
Now that many businesses use at least some cloud computing capabilities and are looking ramp up with more, the natural question is "what's next?” If some experts are to be believed, the next wave might be more like a massive, interconnected network than a cloud. Here’s what it’s all about and whether you should worry about it just yet.
Cloud Computing Isn’t as Efficient as it Seems
For all of the convenience of cloud computing, there’s still one important flaw: it’s slow, perhaps much slower than some businesses need. That plus security issues could explain why some businesses are slow to embrace the public cloud, opting for the more expensive private cloud storage instead.
By standards of a decade ago, cloud computing is anything but slow. But consider the path that information follows before you can put it to use. According to Joel Shore for TechTarget, Andreessen Horowitz venture capitalist, Peter Levine, believes latency is becoming more of a problem.
So-called instantaneous information actually moves device-to-datacenter or datacenter-to-device. If you’ve ever sent a text to someone in the same room and waited minutes to hear the ding, you've seen that latency in action.
What’s Better Than Cloud Computing?
Levine believes cloud computing isn’t sustainable. Instead, he envisions a network, not a centralized data center. He envisions a “many-to-many” relationship between devices. His idea, Shore explains, is more like the Cisco fog computing concept.
That said, the cloud is still an important model. “Data eventually needs to be stored, after all,” says Shore, so a hybrid solution is more likely than the full retirement of all things cloud. But what that means for a full public cloud migration is anyone’s guess right now. Maybe the private cloud, even with the expense, is a sound choice, depending on the needs of the business.
The Future is More Likely a Hybrid
Before businesses stop in the tracks of cloud migration, there’s probably no need to worry right now about your cloud storage going the way of the Betamax tape. Virtually every storage model in use today has a purpose tomorrow. The New York Times mused about the era of the cloud back in 2010. Last year, Fortune said it carried a “disruptive, multiple hundred billion dollar impact.”
With a hybrid cloud plan, businesses get a “fit for purpose” solution, says Rackspace. There may be no such thing as a single solution in the future, but that may also be the whole point. Between public and private cloud plus dedicated servers for the highest security data and whatever “fog computing” has on the horizon for device-to-device-to-datacenter or “edge “computing, each business could then get the best of all worlds.
If anything is certain, it’s that change will always come. Just as cloud computing is starting to take hold, it looks like that old axiom rings true once again. But this time, the change might not be as radical as a full cloud migration. From here, at least for a while, hybrid solutions and edge computing may represent more of a fine-tuning than a radical change.
If you're in the planning stages of cloud migration, you're in good company. While this probably won't be the last step, it's an important one into the future of computing. With a professional services partner to handle some or all of the details, your migration project can go off without a hitch. Contact us to learn how.