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Cloud Evolution 2014 and Beyond – A Viewpoint Direct from the Data Centre

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Mar 11, 2014
Talking about the brilliance of Cloud computing has become rather a cliché. Don’t get us wrong, Telehouse is a big exponent of Cloud computing – as a colocation facility, we brought the earliest form of it to Europe, and Cloud does bring cost savings and reduced data centre space for end user companies. We do, however, have to keep an eye on the fact that, as Cloud gets bigger and more complicated, so do the networking and hardware capabilities behind it, not to mention the regulatory web that governs it.
 
It only takes a quick glance at any report into the area to understand how far Cloud has grown, how quickly it has grown, and, most importantly, how much growth there is still to come. A recent Cloud Industry Forum survey found that only 3% of companies consider Cloud unimportant while 94% plan to take up Cloud in some form.
 
This is great for business and Cloud providers alike, but it is causing complications in the backroom – every new innovation is a new hurdle to a company attempting to effectively run its own private Cloud. As the capability and adoption of the Cloud is increasing, networking requirements are following suit. Capitalising on the opportunities presented by new Cloud based technologies requires access to extensive connectivity solutions. That means ever increasing capital investments and specialist expertise from the people running your Cloud.
 
At the same time, new expectations of the Cloud are creating larger hardware requirements – a company looking to tap into big data analytics will need to process their data in the Cloud, a far more intensive computing requirement than simple storage. Look out for a joint project being run between ourselves and Warwick Business School later this year which will examine the data centre requirements of Big Data in greater depth.
 
Finally, there’s the increasing regulation of the industry. As regulatory requirements develop, it is paramount that corporations are able to ensure that they are aware of the regulatory compliance of their infrastructures, down to a physical server level. More expertise means more capital required.
 
It’s a situation that draws parallels with the factories that inspired Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Smith highlighted that specialisation improved outcomes not just within a factory (his famous pin factory) but across the entire supply chain.
 
Each entity in this is a specialist who may be supplying a number of coat manufacturers, but they will each produce a better product faster than a single factory attempting to perform every function - the colocation providers of the industrial revolution.
 
Just as the weaver of Smith’s wool coat could keep up with the latest loom design, and with the newest techniques because they specialised in weaving, devoted colocation centres and cloud providers (and those who do both) keep up with the latest developments and complexities of the data centre, by specialising in it.
 
In the coming years, complexity will make it impossible for companies to cost effectively carry on running their own private Clouds – the costs of retaining the talent required to run a data centre and of buying and maintaining the latest technology will simply be too large. Specialised data centre providers will be the key to continued effective use and growth of the Cloud.
 
With that in mind, the question of whether to run your own data centre becomes obsolete. You need to ask when investing in Cloud and infrastructure as a service is should it be hosted in a public or privately accessible through a colocation provider? Both offer that all important specialisation, and if your computing needs are modest the Public Cloud may be the way to go. However, the largest companies in the modern economy have a worry that barely shadowed Adam Smith’s thinking – security. For that an infrastructure-as-a-service operation based out of a strong colocation provider is certainly your strongest option, plus it will provide the room for growth and reliability you require from the factory of modern business.

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