5 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2011: Page 2

Posted January 4, 2011

Jeff Vance

Jeff Vance

(Page 2 of 3)

2) Connected devices stress networks and network management.

The age of the PC might be in its final days, but our network infrastructure isn’t ready for an era where everything from TVs to game consoles to thermostats to coffee makers is Internet-enabled.

“As we look out to 2011 and beyond, an even larger cloud is starting to appear on the horizon, and that is the cloud made up of the explosive growth of mobile phones, devices, and sensors all connected to the Internet,” said Lew Tucker, VP and CTO, Cloud Computing, Cisco. “Often called the ‘Internet of things,’ this growth in the number of connected devices will certainly push the adoption of IPV6 but also the need for us each to better manage and interact with a growing number of connected devices in a secure manner.”

Better protocols, such as IPV6 and HTML5 WebSockets, will help, but organizations will also have to rethink how users access, store and manipulate data in a connected age.

“Looking at the various reports coming out of IBM and Ericsson, we could be looking at potentially one trillion Internet connected devices by 2015. To put that in perspective, we passed the five billion milestone in late August/early September,” said David Link, CEO and co-founder of ScienceLogic, a provider of provider of IT Operations and Cloud Monitoring solutions.

In an age where pacemakers, industrial sensors and parking meters are Internet connected, managing devices will be of paramount importance.

“It’s not so much about managing just systems or services – it’s about managing SYSTEMS of systems and services,” Link said. “This is an unprecedented scale that I don’t think many companies are ready for – the stress testing alone on existing management tools would almost require the full-time attention of an IT department.”

2011 isn’t going to be the year any of this gets sorted out. Instead, it will be the year when organizations start waking up to the kudzu-like growth of connected devices. It will also, hopefully, be a year during in which funding will start flowing to forward-thinking startups that promise to solve the trillion-device trap.

3) Apps become even more important.

One way we can start to tame this looming trillion-device craziness is the single-function app. Many connected devices won’t be connecting to the Internet at large. They will use the Internet for single purposes. The devices themselves will be containers for very specific apps that leverage the cloud for their smarts.

The app model should start to seep into the enterprise in 2011, with enterprise app marketplaces emerging.

“Just as consumer demands forced Apple to give birth to the iTunes Store, many companies desire a consumer electronics-style experience for their business needs. Enter cloud-based application stores, where an enterprise can purchase, download and deploy business applications in their cloud environment,” said Pat O’Day, CTO and co-founder of cloud hosting provider BlueLock.

O’Day sees strong parallels between music and cloud computing in terms of format (mp3 vs. OVF), enabler (mp3 player vs. virtualization) and the delivery system (network vs. cloud). App stores for the enterprise are already available from Google through Google Apps Marketplace, and the U.S. Government recently launched Apps.gov, a GSA-operated Web site that government agencies can use to buy and deploy cloud computing applications.

In other words, expect enterprise app markets to evolve beyond the close-knit ecosystems of today, where apps are built to support and optimize the original software, such as with Salesforce.com, to general cloud app stores that look more like the app stores available to smartphone users.

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Tags: cloud computing, apps, networks, Enterprise IT, smartphone apps

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