Do your friends and family glaze over when you explain to them what you do? Ever find yourself falling asleep at an IT conference? Not anymore with your very own Cloud Bingo card.
If terms used to describe the cloud were a drinking game I don’t think I’d make it through an IT conference sober. So how did we get here? it started with the generic term of ‘Cloud’ and then came (and please don’t slam a shot for each of these)
- Private cloud
- Public cloud
- Hybrid cloud
- Multi cloud
- Hybrid Multi cloud
- Distributed cloud
And now we’re seeing a set of phrases to describe the next evolution of cloud
- Abstract cloud
- Hyper cloud
- Super cloud
- Meta cloud
Feeling woozy yet?
It feels like every few months there’s a new way to describe cloud computing, remember that a lot of the times these terms are created because a company wants to own the term, to get it adopted in the market and to create positive brand recognition with it. Just accept this and then look to see if what they are describing reflects reality and then consider what it means to you, don’t get to hung up on what it’s called.
The cloud is and always will continue to evolve, how rapidly you keep pace with this, or which parts of this evolution make sense for you and your business is the important part.
For the sake of this post I’m going to assume that you are part of the 89% of companies that are now using multiple clouds and are increasing the number of and variety of applications you are running across those clouds.
Let’s look at an example from the past to give us a sense of the future.
Do you remember the world before virtualisation? This was such a fundamental change in the way that we operated IT that it’s worth looking back on why it happened.
Prior to virtualisation, for each major application IT would define, install and configure what they believed to be the best technology stack. With every new application came another new technology stack and over time this is where the problems compounded…
- Inconsistent for security, backup and recovery
- Required a lot of diverse IT skills
Now consider what using multiple clouds looks and feels like.
You could say that each cloud has become a new form of technology silo, and that’s alongside your on-premises IT. This has brought back a lot of the problems we listed above and some new ones as well, one that stands out for me in particular is ballooning costs.
In the previous world we were constrained by the physical resources available, so once the upfront costs were sunk then on-going costs for additional resources above and beyond this were subject to controls and approvals, this is not the case with the cloud. Anyone with the necessary authority can simply allocate any resources they need from any cloud they need it from whenever they need it, and who wants a cheap relatively low cost instance or VM when you can have a big powerful one right?
The problems today are similar to the problems of the past but we won’t solve them the same way. No one is looking for a vendor to take all the wonderful freedom that the different clouds offer you and then lock you away in a small but consistent subset of these in their ‘walled garden’.
Companies will run all manner of applications in the cloud, Virtual, Elastic, Enterprise, Containerised, Serverless etc etc and what is needed for this is to find ways of delivering consistent services across the clouds that allows for this freedom whilst solving for many of the problems that we previously discussed.
This is the evolved cloud, the abstract cloud, the super cloud, the meta cloud….hic
Different vendors are going to offer you their different approaches to this and here is NetApps
With BlueXP we’re delivering a consistent set of data services across on-premises and the clouds, our storage OS ONTAP is available as a third party service or uniquely, a first party service in Azure, GCP and AWS. We take care of the storage of your data, the backup and recovery, the encryption and provide consistent data analytics over the top to help you deal with compliance.
You now have one way to deal with your data across any cloud and for any application that you choose to run in that cloud.
Then Spot delivers continuous cost optimisation for the compute requirements for all of your workloads, and increasingly is also providing automation and security services.
This gives you the freedom to innovate using any application, in any cloud whilst all the tricky data and cost optimisation stuff is simply taken care off for you.
This is the next evolution of the cloud, but it certainly won’t be the last so I’ll keep updating my Cloud Bingo card.