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An IT Forecast: Where Cloud, Mobile and Data Are Taking Us

Enterprise Cloud in the News

An IT Forecast: Where Cloud, Mobile and Data Are Taking Us
A thorough piece on CNET by Gordon Haff looks at the interconnectivity of cloud computing, mobility and Big Data, and sees these three forces as instrumental in shaping the future of IT.

"Through the lens of next-generation IT, think of cloud computing as being about trends in computer architectures, how applications are loaded onto those systems and made to do useful work, how servers communicate with each other and with the outside world, and how administrators manage and provide access," Haff writes.

He says the trend also covers the infrastructure and plumbing that make it possible to effectively coordinate data centers full of systems increasingly working as a unified compute resource as opposed to islands of specialized capacity.

Computing is constantly evolving. What makes today particularly interesting is that "we seem to be in the midst of convergent trends of a certain momentum and maturity to reinforce each other in significant ways. That's what is happening with cloud computing, mobility and Big Data," Heff writes.

Keys to Hybrid Cloud Planning
The hybrid cloud approach - the blending of both private and public cloud environments - is growing more commonplace. But the reality of building a system that leverages the benefits of both architectures is turning out to be a greater challenge than many anticipated, according to Information Week.

With private cloud implementations expected to accelerate this year, hybrid clouds are destined to grow in popularity. Enterprises will be expected to ramp up efforts to evaluate application and data location scenarios based on factors such as cost, core business enabling and business alignment.

Before jumping into a hybrid cloud scenario, enterprises should consider the following factors as part of their deployment roadmap:

  • Understand your IT architecture and application needs.
  • Be realistic about the integration challenges that lie ahead.
  • Factor management tools into the equation.
  • Ramp up organizational skill sets.

Cloud Computing a Lifesaver?
In spite of its current popularity, many people don't realize the cloud's potential extends far beyond trimming budgets and bolstering the next social networking start-up.

Cloud computing is proving it can be an important tool for extending or even saving human life, according to an article on Silicon Angle.

Case in point: Cycle Computing created a 51,132-core supercomputer on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud to test 21 million synthetic compounds that could be useful in treating cancer. The cluster ran for 3 hours on March 30 and cost $4,828.85. A comparable build out using a traditional infrastructure approach would have cost over $20 million and taken months to deploy. The same research could have taken a year to complete if the simulation was run on the 1,500-core cluster Cycle Computing's client, Schrödinger, typically used for biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.

Researchers no longer have to endure the longs waits to rent time from supercomputing centers or obtain billions in funding, which is substantially speeding innovation in the industry, according to Silicon Angle.

Netflix started its journey with a traditional enterprise environment and a traditional data center infrastructure. It found the infrastructure too fragile for its needs, and the traditional operations model didn't respond fast enough to the needs of the business. Netflix changed its approach because it recognized that the future of its business required a different way of doing things.

There's a Tax for That
Responding to Vermont's business sector uproar against a tax on cloud computing, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill taking the extraordinary step of refunding $1.9 million in sales tax revenue.

According to the bill, cloud computing is defined as the use of "pre-written software run in underlying infrastructure that is not managed or controlled by the consumer or a related company."

Vermont already taxes the sale of pre-written software when it's purchased at a store or downloaded from the Internet. The tax department contends that cloud computing is also taxable.

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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