With 2015 around the corner, now seems like a great time for everyone to prognosticate on what’s going to happen next year. With that being said, I'll throw my hat in the ring and submit some of my ideas on where I think things will go next year. It will be fun to look back and see where I was right and where I was wrong.
Expect to see massive geographic expansion of cloud locations
I'm a little ahead of myself on this, as Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) (AWS) has already announced a new location in Germany – its first in Europe that pairs off nicely with the original Ireland location. It’s unlikely that this is the last, but rather the first of many geographic expansion announcements by a variety of cloud service providers. Larger geographic footprints are going to be a big deal in 2015 – partially due to lower-latency and partly for compliance reasons.
Expect to hear more about Solid State Disk (SSD)-based servers
SSDs are replacing traditional hard drives in the server environment because they dramatically increase the performance of the two things most servers do on the web – serve web pages, and serve databases. Because of the dramatic acceleration of performance increases with these newer disks, customers who were only optionally offered this technology this year will demand it as a standard next year. It’s exciting to see this market grow, especially as prices come down, endurance of the drives themselves goes up, and capacities increase.
Better CPUs for Cloud
Another big change we expect to see is an announcement by Intel (News - Alert) (most likely), but potentially other alternatives like AMD or ARM, introducing CPUs that are a better fit to cloud server environments. This might be lower power draw, increased cores, increased speed or all of the above. Traditionally, we see these new CPU configurations come out at higher price points and generally decrease in price as they go mainstream. I think this trend will continue, but I think the time it takes to go mainstream will dramatically accelerate because of the demand in the datacenter/cloud environment for these types of CPUs. Whatever the big breakthrough, there will be insatiable demand from at least one data center environment that absolutely needs it.
Look for an uptick in the level of internationalization
This is a big deal because, traditionally, vendors are used to dealing with customers in their own language and culture. As vendors specialize, and due to the growth in emerging markets like South America and Asia, we will see new customers reaching out for solutions from distant locales. This can be a challenge for vendors, as they will have to adjust their schedules to handle things in new time zones and languages. I think the majority of cloud/hosting vendors will see at least one major customer win from what would traditionally be a foreign market or a market that they have not traditionally done business with.
Bigger, faster, better… cheaper
With the flow of information increasing, the obvious prediction is bigger, better, faster servers that keep getting cheaper. Already, many providers are including large bandwidth allotments whereas, in the past, it was something that was sold on a per/GB transferred basis. In addition, virtually every measurement of server grade will continue to go up. At the same time, customer data and data requirements will go up as well, especially for mobile applications and compliance. Expect to see larger capacities of virtually everything – CPU, memory, and storage. Every year, for decades, we always think we’re reaching the limit, either from a technology point of view or regarding what customers will demand… and every year, we’re proven wrong. Everyone keeps asking for bigger, better, faster, and cheaper.
Expect to see more detailed cloud billing
What started out as hourly billing is now measured in seconds by some providers and the trend is towards that. You’ll also likely see more tools and services to dissect cloud billing to see where you can save or what resources can be toggled to optimize spending vs. performance. This also becomes more salient as customers move or grow their applications in the cloud. As spending goes up, the level of concern for pennies here and there goes up as well. The reality is, per second billing for resources will become the norm and tools to increase efficiency will take off.
Those are my predictions for 2015. Hopefully, I'll be right about more than one. The most exciting part about next year will be not only which predictions come true, but which new technologies or opportunities emerge and really surprise everyone. Expect 2015 to be another year of big change as we move onward and upwards towards a growing cloud ecosystem. I hope your 2014 was great, and 2015 is even better!
Marty Puranik is founder, president and CEO of Atlantic.Net, a profitable and growing Hosting Solutions Provider in Orlando. In 1994 Marty and a classmate founded Atlantic.Net from their dorm rooms at the University of Florida. Operating under the name ICC Computers, they quickly developed a reputation for quality and service and in 1995 launched one of the first commercial Internet services in North Florida. In 1996, ICC ceased retail operations to focus solely on Internet connectivity. Under Marty’s leadership Atlantic.Net became one of Florida’s largest privately-owned ISPs, providing Internet access in cities and small towns throughout Florida and the southeastern United States. Marty’s strengths as a leader and visionary have helped him lead a successful business for 17 years.
Edited by Maurice Nagle