Cloud computing is radically altering the way business manage data. Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the internet, with pay per use pricing. This saves millions of dollars for companies in investment in buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers.
It’s hard to keep track of all the technological advancements we have witnessed till now. The evolution of open source cloud and enterprise infrastructure software transformed the way many how companies provide open source development services. Back when OpenStack first showed up, it was first seen as a better, more efficient way to deploy and manage virtual machines, but turned out to be much more. It was a natural evolution with huge potential.
Last year, we witnessed such an evolution in open source cloud that changed the way the technology was used, with many incremental upgrades. Today, most applications we use on a daily basis have become cloud-native. In addition, hybrid and edge computing environments present even more potential.
So basically, open source cloud is bring major changes in a short span of time. Here are a few things that happened last year that you might have missed.
With enterprises increasingly starting to favor multi-cloud strategies, OpenStack had a phenomenal growth. According a survey sponsored by Cloudify, OpenStack was found to be the most widely deployed cloud infrastructure. Half of the organizations surveyed were found to manage more than one cloud, and prefer multi-cloud strategies that avoid vendor lock-in. A combination of AWS and OpenStack turned out to be quite popular in enterprises including non-IT ones.
Edge computing expands the scope of the open cloud
The advent of Edge computing birthed a new breed of enterprise cloud computing solutions, albeit raising the complexity notably. Evidently, it’s not the scale of the cloud that keeps growing exponentially, but also the scope. To effectively leverage Edge computing, a powerful cloud software stack that can be deployed efficiently and sustainably, is required. This is where open source makes a difference.
Kubernetes the game changer
Before Kubernetes, development and deployment of cloud-native applications were challenging. After Kubernetes, the open source platform does all the heavy lifting. The platform for running containerized workloads attracted developers from the open source community around the world, and functions quite similar to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution and a Platform-as-a-Service resource. It also offers the facility to monitor the status of a deployment in-progress, and complements a DevOps ecosystem.
Hybrid cloud gave enterprises choices – to figure out the right kind of cloud that can handle their workloads. However, its definition changed over time. Initially thought of in the context of cloud bursting where the on-premise infrastructure can reach out to a public cloud if usage spikes, hybrid cloud now address data and application portability without racking up bandwidth bills for enterprises.
Hybrid cloud today is essentially a functional and effective combo of Software-as-a-Service applications, container platforms, and public clouds, which facilitates data and application portability from one location to another whenever necessary.
For open source enthusiasts, the last few years were full of exciting developments which contributed to the growth of many open source services – from open source CMS development to open source cloud. Infrastructure software are getting paradigm shifts and new developments under open source licenses massively expands their potential. As of now, 2018 hasn’t been disappointing for open source supporters. Hopefully, we will see open source dominating even more soon.
Every online business needs a good web host to keep their website from underperforming during traffic spikes. It’s not something every web host out there can do. Over the years, web hosting evolved in a spectacular fashion especially with the advent of cloud technologies.
Will the cloud impact the future of web hosting as well?
It most certainly will. Back in the days, large websites with growing traffic had to resort to a dedicated server with powerful hardware and abundant resources to sustain website performance. This was an expensive option for many small and medium-sized online businesses. However, as cloud technologies evolved, new hosting options emerged.
Cloud hosting is just as good as a dedicated server but with a pay-as-you-go pricing model where the tenant only needs to pay for the resources they use. And when they require more resources, the cloud host scales. Essentially, the website gets everything it needs from the cloud environment, and the website owner pays only for what the website consumes in order to sustain performance. This can however vary depending on the nature of the web host and the hosting package.
The bottomline is that cloud is indeed transforming the concept of web hosting.
Trends to watch out for in 2018
Demand for comprehensive hosting packages
Users no longer see web hosting services as a service that hosts their website on a server. They now expect more solutions in a single hosting package. The modern-day hosting approach is all about getting a comprehensive hosting package with web design, search engine optimization, eCommerce, and email hosting services.
They essentially get their website designed, search engine optimized, and secured with SSL for eCommerce transactions in addition to getting their email hosted by the web hosting provider. The one-stop shop approach would only become more demanded this year according to experts.
Dwindling numbers of hosting data centers due to Autoscaling
Last year, many surveys found that over 80% of IT managers use cloud technology instead of data centers. Based on the findings, experts predict that corporate data centers or hosting infrastructures would eventually go obsolete with the cloud’s rapidly increasing momentum.
Cloud computing is only getting cheaper while offering improved performance and robust security. The cloud’s autoscaling feature allows the number of servers in a data center to scale automatically depending on the varying computational load.
The cloud’s many benefits also led to an increase in cloud hosting resellers, which is only expected to grow exponentially in the next decade.
Advanced forms of security
Despite the cloud’s rapid growth, many are still concerned about having their personal data stored in the cloud questioning the extent of security cloud can offer compared to a private dedicated server. There’s some validity to such concerns. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link after all.
Cloud’s security is still not evolved yet to have no ‘weak links’. There are vulnerabilities. Quite recently, even Amazon suffered serious security breach. However, this only served as a wakeup call and cloud security only advanced further since then. This year, we will be witnessing much more advanced forms of cloud security.
Green hosting is not exactly a new trend. The concept of green hosting stemmed from the fact that servers that power millions of websites in the internet consume an immense amount of energy. To reduce such power consumption, many hosting companies went the eco-friendly way minimizing the impact of web hosting on the environment.
They instead use renewable energy, carbon offsetting, energy saving technologies, and even plant trees around their data center. Green hosting appeals to people who are concerned about the environment. We may see it in a different form this year, and web hosting is expected to consume a lot less energy in the coming years. Green hosting in 2018 is also expected to be part of eco-friendly initiatives by many tech companies.
The evolution of web hosting from a big picture view has always been consistent. It only gets better over time. Now with the cloud taking matters into its hands, we can expect more stable, high-performance, and well secured hosting solutions to come out this year in more than one form. The trends mentioned above are just a few of the ones worth noting. Nevertheless, nothing will be driving web hosting irrelevant for a long time for sure. Websites will always need a home.
Developing a technology solution is quite complicated nowadays. For starters, it requires thorough research on technology trends. Once you begin, you will be hearing the term ‘Cloud’ a lot; a service that’s gradually becoming the norm in the business world. There’s a lot to learn about cloud computing, and not everything can’t be covered in a single article obviously.
This blog will serve as a guide to using the three main categories of cloud computing:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
So what exactly is cloud computing?
To answer this, you need to know what Cloud is. In a nutshell, the cloud is basically a sophisticated infrastructure technology. The important constituents include interconnected servers, databases, and computers. Multiple users can use the cloud but only based on their individual access permissions.
The main traits of cloud technology include:
- A simple sign up is all that is required to avail the cloud service unlike traditional IT services.
- Accessible across multiple platforms including mobile, laptops and desktops.
- Billed only for the usage (pay-as-you-go model)
- Scalable and flexible to meet your demands
- Multiple users can share resources uninterrupted
Let’s get into the details.
The most popular of all cloud services, SaaS might be familiar to you in many different forms including Google Apps, Netflix, DropBox etc.
- Accessible through web browsers
- Generally hosted on remote servers so the users need not be concerned about hardware upgrades, software updates and patches
- Integration with third party applications done using APIs
- Application is managed from a central location
Where it’s suitable
- If your applications considerably raises or reduces demand
- If your applications are meant to be accessible through web or mobile
- For short term projects where you will be billed only for your usage
- For startups that want to launch their websites without hassle
Like the name suggests, PaaS or ‘Platform as a Service’ provides a platform for creating the software which is later delivered over the web. PaaS and SaaS share a few common traits, though the former offers a platform for the developers to work on. The benefit of this is that the developers will be able to focus on developing the software without being concerned about storage, load balancing, operating system, software updates etc.
- Based on virtualization technology, which means you can scale up or scale down resources as per your requirements
- Integrated databases and web services
- There are tools to manage billing and subscription
- Provides services that facilitate software development, testing and deployment
- Multiple users can utilize a single developmental application
Where it’s suitable
- If the development process demands speed and flexibility, and if multiple developers and third parties are involved
- If agile methodology is practiced in software development, PaaS makes it easier for developers to overcome the challenges associated with the methodology
- Large organizations can use PaaS if they intend to personalize applications
- If the organization wants to reduce overhead costs by utilizing PaaS’s infrastructure
IaaS or ‘Infrastructure as a Service’, like the name suggests, provides a cloud-based infrastructure that includes storage, servers, network and operating systems based on the demands. This is a unique service that allows organizations to procure only the resources they need (as a service) rather than purchase the whole infrastructure.
- Resources can be purchased as a service
- Dynamic scalability priced based on the infrastructure
- Multiple users on a single piece of hardware
- Great control over the infrastructure
- One of the most flexible cloud computing models
Where it’s suitable
- If the organization needs complete control over the applications they use
- For startups who wants to go live faster without having to invest time in procuring the hardware and software
- For applications that need to be scaled up based on traffic spikes
- For organizations that are uncertain about an application and how its evolution will benefit them in the future
Everything mentioned above should have made one thing clear to you – each of the three cloud computing models offer unique features and functionalities. So the choice actually depends on the requirements of your business. The benefits are obvious, and as mentioned before, cloud will eventually be the norm.
Do you know of the biggest challenge an organization faces when they go digital?
Striking a balance!!!
Striking a balance between on-premises and off-premises computational systems, the business operations, the storage and the time to the cloud…
If it sounds complicated, let me assure it’s a bit more complicated to put into practice. But businesses do manage somehow. Now things have gotten easier thanks to the evolution potential of cloud technology.
Cloud computing has been intriguing IT people and corporate decision makers for years now because it can give that balance they have been seeking. Many of them realized its potential. Still many are reluctant to shift to the cloud because of security concerns. Having all the data in the cloud logically means they’ve been made accessible to almost every one right? On the contrary, no they aren’t. But that’s another story for another time.
I am here to introduce you to one of the latest evolutions of the cloud which impacts web hosting – The Hybrid Cloud.
A lot of companies that took the leap of faith by adopting cloud technology for their businesses are having a great time now. Still there’s some confusion regarding the necessity for various cloud solutions to meet a wide array of client needs.
We will consider the web hosting needs for now, which brings us to…
Hybrid Cloud Hosting
It’s a web hosting model that employs both public and private cloud services.
Let me put it this way.
You know how good dedicated servers are when it comes to security. You are the single tenant in a dedicated hosting server, which essentially means robust security systems and all the server resources for your website alone. Now combine that trait with the many benefits of public cloud. The result is Hybrid cloud hosting.
Still don’t get it?
Okay, let me cram it up in a nutshell.
Hybrid cloud hosting provides an absolute solution for an organization by coupling private and public cloud.
You might be thinking of the benefits now? How is it better than a dedicated server or a public cloud service? Well for starters, you don’t have to deal with any limitations of both.
Let’s look at the benefits to give a better idea.
Benefits of Hybrid cloud to give you a better idea
1. The right solution for the right job
Public cloud helps you deal with spiking traffic with a scalable service where you pay as you grow. There will be other tenants in the environment. Dedicated server is where you are the only tenant – a service ideal for a moderate control over traffic and for mission critical applications requiring advanced security.
With that said, let’s start thinking about the many use cases of a business. Different types of applications of a business will have different sets of requirements. While a public cloud can aid start-ups, handle web traffic spikes, and benefit test and development, it has limitations when it comes to security for mission critical applications.
Dedicated servers can give that but has limitations when it comes to handling applications with variable demand patterns.
Hybrid cloud combines the benefits of these two to provide the solution you need when you need it. Dedicated, public cloud and private cloud servers essentially function as a single platform providing a one size fits all solution. Technical barriers are not going to be a problem. Trade-offs are so insignificant that they are negligible.
End result – More focus on growing the business and reaching your business goals.
This same benefit brings us to the next one.
2. Enhanced business agility and flexibility
Public cloud aspect of the hybrid cloud solution aids you in times of heavy usage effectively reducing the likelihood of outages and minimizing downtimes. Host the applications in the development & testing phase temporarily till you can decide where to host them permanently.
When it comes to hosting, customers may expect a lot. They will want the services to be seamless. This is where the ‘self-service’ aspect of hybrid cloud comes into play. The customers will get the scalability and cost efficiency benefits of a public cloud (off-premises infrastructure) while housing their key applications on a private cloud. This way, the customers will have more control, allowing them to determine even the scalability of the service by themselves.
End result – Enhanced business agility and flexibility for their enterprises. Meanwhile hosting vendors won’t need a lot of technical staff, and can focus better on priority requests.
3. Improved security
Almost all of the security concerns a business will have can be addressed by combining both cloud and dedicated resources. When it comes to securing personal information of customers and their transactions, businesses used to rely on a dedicated hardware (because…robust security systems). Cloud wasn’t an option.
Now that hybrid cloud is here, they can have sensitive information totally secured on a dedicated server while still retaining the scalability and high performance of the cloud.
End result – Security benefits of dedicated server and scalability/performance benefits of the cloud combined will let them seamlessly conduct business and financial transactions in a secured, agile environment.
Everything you read till now is what hybrid cloud offers in the web hosting department. It’s a solution that gives power to customers while meeting the varying demands of businesses whenever necessary. You basically pay for what you use while having your business run in a high performance, scalable, secure and responsive environment. The self-service aspect is what makes it intriguing.