The rapid growth of cloud computing follows a logical trajectory that began with the dot-com boom in the ‘90s. More small businesses needing server capacity to manage Websites created a market for shared hosting to meet consumer need at a much lower cost. But shared hosting has limited configuration capabilities, and user access to the operating system is constrained—hence the rise of cloud computing.
In the very near future, cloud infrastructure will become the default Web server environment, and that is a game changer for both local and international companies. It will prompt a much greater focus on small businesses and individuals, as well as the continued progress of the developer as an integral role in IT departments. The growth of the cloud platform industry will be exponential, accelerated by international emerging markets, as cloud virtualization is increasingly appreciated globally and is more readily available in more regions.
Cloud Infrastructure: The Future’s Default Web Server Environment
Cloud computing is a solution to the limitations of shared hosting and the high expense of dedicated servers. The principles are similar to shared hosting, but hardware is virtualized and managed by a hypervisor that is able to administer servers as well as create partitions of CPU, memory, storage and network. Since each customer gets their own virtual server instance, and there is no competition for resources amongst users, it appears to them as if they have a dedicated server. This allows for great flexibility and limitless options.
A Move Towards More Open-Source Platform Services
The next step is creating a platform atop the building blocks of Web infrastructure. Open-source developers are coming together to build tools to run platforms in the cloud, so we’ll be seeing many more of those projects generating a greater percentage of total cloud revenues.
A Greater Focus on Small Businesses, Developers, and Individuals
It’s only a matter of time before Fortune 500 companies begin to move their IT completely to the cloud. More interesting, perhaps, is that as open-source technologies start to dominate the market, there will be a significant increase in cloud services and the importance of developers. Instead of the CTO or CIO bringing the cloud into the company, developers and operators are making those decisions and making the transition natural.
Developers: The Center of Future IT Departments
Now that infrastructure is virtualized, developers are taking on a more operational role. Not only do they control the code and applications, but also the infrastructure underneath, which mandates the integration of software developers and information technology. It won’t be long before future IT departments revolve around developers, increasing the already rapid rate of innovation in cloud technology.
Growth Will Outpace the Traditional Market
International markets such as China, Korea, Hong-Kong, Brazil, Russia, India, et al. will help drive that growth. These markets believe in cloud virtualization and it’s fantastic for their use cases. It also makes it cheaper for developers to build out infrastructure; and now that public clouds are becoming readily available in these regions, we’re seeing a greater trend in usage across emerging markets as they bring their applications to the Web to build on top of cloud platforms. Particularly in Asia, where there is a tradition of staying at the cusp of the technological curve, many countries are excited about this technology.
Ben Uretsky is the founder and CEO of New York-based cloud hosting provider DigitalOcean.