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Cloud Predictions for 2013

2013 Will See The Rise of the Hybrid Cloud

I've read about a dozen different sets of predictions for cloud computing in 2013 and will coopt many I consider to be the most credible in order to create my own "hybrid" top four list.  They are also influenced by a series of conversations with the team at CloudVelocity as well as a couple dozen briefings with some of the top minds in cloud computing held since October. Are you ready?

1) Hybrid cloud will enter the hype cycle as enterprises cross the process chasm between private and public clouds and data centers. New and existing multi-tier apps will be orchestrated across clouds for cloud migration, cloud cloning and cloud failover as the first generation of enterprise grade hybrid cloud solutions.  These solutions will allow high performance IT teams to deliver services faster, more efficiently and reliably than other teams stuck in dedicated hardware lock-in traps.  Over time these new solutions will have a powerful impact on how IT teams are organized and how the acquire new technologies, because they represent superior operating models.

2) Amazon will experience intense pricing and functionality competition and hybrid cloud leadership will be up for grabs. A new generation of enterprise-grade IaaS (and emerging PaaS) competitors will emerge with highly competitive offerings as the hybrid cloud barrier (see #1) is crossed by more enterprises now able to automate hybrid cloud processes.  In 2013 Amazon will acknowledge the hybrid cloud and claim that the hybrid and public clouds are for all intents and purposes identical.  They will be right, yet they will have missed an opportunity to lead on this point in 2012 (eee Two Weeks in Vegas) before their new competitors were ready.  Hybrid cloud leadership will be up for grabs as Microsoft, HP, IBM, VMware, Verizon, Rackspace and even Cisco vie for leadership in what could arguable be the largest new tech category in recent memory.

3) Retail colocation players who do not embrace hybrid cloud operating models will face margin pressures and will cede market leadership to those who do embrace and thrive on hybrid cloud.  In early 2012 boutique analyst firm Nemertes published a research report in early 2012 on The Coming Colo Crunch.  It was one of the best demand-side analyses available on third party data center hosting and services, including IaaS.  Clearly there is robust demand for third party specialization in bricks and mortar as well as infrastructure and platforms as the business case for enterprise data centers is further eroded by rising capital and operating expense, increasing hardware-bound complexity and the rising cost of power relative to other IT costs. I think it was Lew Tucker (when at Sun) who coined Lew's Law about IT being increasingly impacted by electricity costs over time.

4) Debates about public versus private cloud will be rendered meaningless. Hybrid cloud will fulfill the promises of the public cloud marketing machine and will begin to transform IT operations from being bureaucratic and static into more entrepreneurial and fluid operating models.  Speed will replace price as the primary driver for cloud as it goes hybrid.

5) There will be a flood of hybrid cloud startups and extreme "hybrid cloud" makeovers.  Every new cycle attracts new talent and the hybrid cloud transformation will be no different. Prepare for the rush of "one trick ponies", repositioned public cloud migration tools (see Anand's blog on hybrid cloud requirements) and startups from stealth who anticipated the boom.

More Stories By Greg Ness

Greg Ness is a Silicon Valley marketing veteran with background in networking, security, virtualization and cloud computing. He is VP Marketing at CloudVelocity. Formerly at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox, Blue Lane Technologies, Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, McAfee, IntruVerofficer at Networks and ShoreTel. He is one of the world's top cloud bloggers.