As predicted in 2012, hybrid cloud has now entered the hype cycle, with highly respected analysts and vendors making bold predictions that last year might have been considered provocative. As enterprise IT shifts from hardware-centric to software-centric infrastructure, billions if not trillions of enterprise tech investments will likely shift from specialized hardware (and the resulting support infrastructure and skill sets required for its operation) to ever more powerful software-enabled models.
Just as the evolution of virtualization within the data center planted the seeds for more elastic networking, the rise of IaaS cloud is setting the stage for more elastic delivery of apps and services into and between data centers and emerging clouds. Many of the most powerful benefits of custom, dedicated hardware infrastructure pale when compared to the power unleashed by apps that can achieve unprecedented levels of agility, protection and efficiency by simply leveraging –as needed- the massive clouds being built globally in some of the world’s most advanced data centers.
A few weeks ago I was speaking to a small group of tech executives at a CIO Summit event in Napa. I was asked what I thought about the risks of the cloud, especially from a security and control standpoint. I answered that with more than $50B now being spent annually on cloud infrastructure, one may be asking the same question about their colocation provider in 3-5 years. The real question to ask is: who will be able to keep up with the innovations being unleashed by that level of spend?