Recent Gartner report shows demand for public cloud computing services rising


Whether or not it’s Windows Azure, Amazon EC2, or something like Google’s AppEngine we’re talking about, one thing is certain – public cloud services are highly sought-after right now. Of course the next question is, why not? After all, there are some very specific and extremely sophisticated things that a dedicated public cloud can achieve through its infrastructure and applications.

Likewise, the ongoing list of capabilities is increasing exponentially all the time. Newer forms of hybrid services are also springing up left and right; most of them end up being deployed on public clouds as well. All incoming data seems to indicate that the world is poised for continued growth and expansion in virtually all public cloud areas and arenas.

From a Gartner press release dated September 18th, 2012:  

“The public cloud services market is forecast to grow 19.6 percent in 2012 to total $109 billion worldwide.”  

The thing about public clouds is that they have an almost limitless number of potential uses for both businesses as well as individuals. In other words, on the same public cloud you might have a fairly large corporation along with an individual who runs their own business through various cloud services. Also, there’s been a great push in recent years to explore the addition and deployment of specific services aimed at entertainment, for example.

What’s interesting about this is the fact that you might have people paying for a specific type of media delivery system (think Netflix) and the company that’s delivering the service is working through a public cloud which is essentially helping them to leverage their concept. Basically, the old model where a company is more-or-less completely “self-contained” is falling by the wayside when it comes to computing, networking, web services and application delivery. Now it’s considered normal, even preferable, for companies to lean on 3rd party (cloud computing) providers who are acting as technical intermediaries between the actual business and the consumer.

In terms of specific segments of the public cloud market, IaaS is being hailed as a clear leader and is currently experiencing rapid growth. Why is IaaS doing so well?
IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) is by all accounts, clearly a type of public cloud computing model which offers businesses the greatest range of choices and control.

If you have IT employees that are actually certified in IaaS and truly understand how to use it, you’ll quickly discover that you’re not really losing anything at all by switching over to a cloud computing system at all. In fact, you’re going to gain the capabilities inherent to the system itself while at the same time drastically cutting costs down to insignificant levels. Most of the potential savings will come in the form of monies not spent on hardware, software or extensive energy consumption, but there’s also something to be said for the ability of IaaS (and cloud computing) to allow for near instantaneous implementation of new apps and services.

From the same Gartner release noted earlier:

“…infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the fastest-growing segment of the public cloud services market and is expected to grow 45.4 percent in 2012.”

There is actually hard data out there which perfectly illustrates the viability and growing popularity of public cloud services; the question is, just how far is adoption going to go? In other words, are we actually going to see traditional infrastructure replaced entirely by cloud computing? Will most organizations and businesses opt to continue pushing everything they have (and perhaps do) into the cloud? The answer for both of those questions apparently seems to be a resounding, yes.

A good comparison between the older grid networking / computing model and the cloud would be (from a corporate standpoint) delivering one’s own mail vs. using the post office or a delivery service. In this example, the post office/delivery service would represent cloud computing and hiring your own couriers and buying your own transportation would be akin to the older method of establishing IT services. Clearly, it’s cheaper to simply pay an upfront fee which completely covers the cost of delivery of various sized packages, right? Having to deal with the costs associated with fuel, labor and perhaps time lost in performing your own deliveries will be much more substantial than if you simply relied on an established service.  

The aforementioned example perfectly demonstrates why public cloud computing has taken off; basically, it’s cost-effective, already in place and much more sensible for companies to rely on in the long run from a technical standpoint. When you combine all of these perks with the control of IaaS, the question becomes, why haven’t more businesses adopted cloud computing? 

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