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Nexsan 2018 Predictions: The Year of Dissipation for the Public Cloud

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Gary Watson, CTO and Founder, Nexsan

The Year of Dissipation for the Public Cloud

For many public cloud providers and their customers, 2017 marked a year of vulnerability and re-consideration. What was once seen as a secure, easy to manage and affordable means of storing data or running infrastructure became subject to a number of embarrassing failures, including big names such as the IBM Bluemix cloud infrastructure, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

These failures highlighted the fundamental importance of companies keeping greater control over their most critical data. IT began to question if the public cloud was the best place to store data and run operations. There became a time and a place for public cloud, but not every time and every place was the best fit, especially with the most critical data in mind.

Surprisingly expensive and challenging to manage

When businesses first started using the public cloud, it was a novel, cost-efficient way to store, share and manage data. The public cloud was great for functions like short-term storage. But in reality, it isn't nearly as cheap and efficient as people would like to believe.

Most organizations still need an army of people to manage it, and the price for most options continues to increase quarter after quarter due to storage and CPU growth over time, eventually making the public cloud more expensive than on-premises storage.   

And when you add in SLAs and IT compliance measures, especially the upcoming GDPR, the cloud becomes a very tenuous environment to manage. The regulations make security a top concern for many organizations, escalating with even more threats next year.

With UK General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR) law and FBI warnings against cooperating with cybercriminals and ransomware, paying out to keep quiet will no longer be an option. Organizations who face downtime and security breaches risk irreversible damage to their reputation; lawmakers are coming down hard to ensure businesses are held responsible for customer data.

Bringing IT in-house not only allows companies to save money, but it also improves the user experience while keeping tighter control over data security and locality. Essential data is the lifeblood of any organization, and it shouldn't be entrusted to outside services, which fail to deliver.

Alternatives in 2018

In 2018, we will start to see more organizations seek an alternative to the public cloud, whether this is due to budget restrictions, rising prices, availability concerns or a combination. Also, we'll see new solutions coming down the storage pipeline that will make orchestrating on-premises servers and virtual machines easier with lower costs and manageability and scalability as easy as if on the cloud.

I predict there will be a correlation between a return to on-premises and a slowing down of the adoption of the public cloud. From a storage perspective, I think what will surprise many is that in 2018 we will see organizations move away from convergence and instead focus on working with specialist vendors to get the expertise they need.

The channel will play a critical role in helping to guide and advise customers about public cloud options, especially as many organizations start to deal with the rise in regulations and prepare for GDPR.

We will see pressure placed on partners to deliver reliable, secure and compliant services. In particular, with many companies utilizing the cloud in some form, coupled with innovations in data storage and management solutions, we may well see a palpable retreat from the public cloud - the channel will play a fundamental role in helping to support customers through this transition.

As new developments make it easier to orchestrate, manage and scale servers and virtual machines with less manpower and at a lower cost, on-premises will become a much bigger competitor to the public cloud.


About the Author

Gary Watson 

Gary co-founded Nexsan in 1999, and has over 35 years of storage engineering experience. He held engineering and engineering management positions at Trimm Technologies, MDB Systems, and Rianda Electronics. His skills include microcode and firmware development, high speed electronic design using discrete components and FPGAs, PCB layout, computer security, and test engineering. A prolific public speaker, Gary has presented at dozens of public and thousands of private meetings.

Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018 8:11 AM by David Marshall
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