As we wrap up 2013, it's time we took a look at some of the biggest cloud technologies that made an impact over the course of the year.
First things first, I most likely will not list all of the technologies that were big parts of the year. So, if you feel I missed something, feel free to add it in the comments section.
That said, the concentration around the user and the information delivery model has allowed the modern datacenter and the cloud infrastructure in general to really evolve. We're seeing new methods of optimization and cloud control, and entirely new ways of controlling the user experience. So, what were some of the big technologies that impacted the cloud?
APIs (cloud apps). This has been a big one. Platforms from VMware, OpenStack, CloudStack, Eucalyptus, and Amazon are creating easier ways to connect via the cloud. APIs are creating intelligent infrastructure cross-connects to reduce the amount of resources required. APIs at the software and hardware layer will continue to make cloud communication easier on an application and infrastructure level.
Software defined everything (SDx). We're really taking off with this whole virtualization concept. Software defined platforms really do revolve around specific components virtualization. This can be storage, networking, security, or even a datacenter platform. With technologies like SDN, we are able to create intricately connected datacenters capable of greater resiliency and business continuity.
The hybrid cloud. There is going to be a lot of blurring when it comes to cloud model definitions. The future of the cloud will see pretty much everyone adopt some type of hybrid cloud platform. Why? Firstly, most organizations are already in the cloud. Secondly, there are a lot of new options in terms of connecting a private cloud with some cloud resources. More companies are moving just a part of their environment into various cloud options. The reason it all will start to blur together is that the management framework is evolving. New cloud management solutions aim to control your cloud regardless of the platform. Hybrid, public, private and even community clouds can all be controlled from a single console.
Mobility. Forget about devices. The fad around mobility being defined around the device is over. Now, mobility revolves around the delivery of applications, workloads, and data to an ever-mobile user. This can be to any device. In the future, the goal will be to deliver the best possible user experience regardless of the device. Here is something we all need to come to terms with: The age of the PC, as we know, is coming to a close. In fact, this is being written from a Surface Pro, and a keyboard. Look for a much more mobile user, and a much more mobile data layer.
Data, security, and compliance. This was going to have to change. Even big regulations like SOX, PCI/DSS, and HIPAA are making technology adjustments. The recent Omnibus Rule as a modification to HIPAA actually allows you to store data for collaboration in the cloud. Solutions like Citrix Sharefile Cloud for Healthcare jumped all over this, signed a business associate agreement (BAA), and can now process protected healthcare information (PHI) directly from the cloud.
Alright, so what did I forget? Well, we do have this entire conversation of robotics that is going to be controlling the cloud and the datacenter model of the future. Robotics aside, we know that cloud and datacenter automation are becoming big topics as well. The future cloud platform will blur a lot of lines when it comes to the compute process. Ultimately, the goal is to create the most positive user experience possible. Which technologies do you see making the most impact? Will user devices create even more ways to connect? Will we see a "personal cloud" follow us around permanently? When it comes to cloud computing, the next couple of years will be interesting.