15 Next Generation Cloud Computing

The next generation of cloud computing will be the confluence of three key cloud capabilities – (a) ability to build and deploy quickly in Cloud environment (Platform as a Service), (b) ability to work from anywhere and anytime using cloud solutions (Software as a Service), and (c) availability of host of next generation Cloud services (e.g. Data as Service).

Figure: Next Generation Cloud Computing Aspects

Major innovation will take place in the area of Cloud platform services. The next generation cloud platform will be highly intelligent, support multiple configurations, inter-operable across various infrastructures, provides high degree of service flexibility to consumers, and easily integrate with enterprise environment and processes. It will provide a common platform for building SMAC capability in an organization –Social Media, Mobility, Analytics, and Cloud-driven services. The merger of Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) will create next generation of intelligent, software-driven machines that can be operated remotely with minimum supervision and control. The software-driven concept will also extend to hardware such as servers, storage, networking equipment. The entire infrastructure can be virtualized and centrally controllable, or software-defined.

Organization (cloud service consumers) will be at an enormous advantage as it is highly likely that any new technology or business service could be available as Cloud service. Already concepts such as Big Data, Analytics are already available on Cloud. In August 2014, IBM launched Watson Discovery Service to enable researchers accelerate the pace of scientific breakthroughs by discovering previously unknown connections in Big Data. According to IBM, “Available now as a cloud service, IBM’s Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to scale and accelerate discoveries by research teams. It reduces the time needed to test hypotheses and formulate conclusions that can advance their work – from months to days and days to just hours – bringing new levels of speed and precision to research and development.”

Cloud computing is also embracing open source in a big way. OpenStack is one such example. It is an open source Infrastructure as a Service. “OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.” – OpenStack. OpenStack also provides various shared services such as Identity Service, Image Service, Telemetry Service, Orchestration Service, and Database Service.


Figure: OpenStack Cloud Operating System
Source: OpenStack

Extending this same open source adoption further, Intel laid out a vision for open cloud computing. Called Intel’s Open Cloud Vision, its three key themes are federation, automation, and client-awareness. Federation will allow “communication, data and services move easily within and across cloud computing infrastructure.” Automation will allow cloud services to be “specified, located, and securely provisioned will minimum human interaction.” Client-aware means that “cloud-based applications are able to recognize individual client device capabilities to adapt and optimize application delivery securely, while enhancing the user’s experience.”


Figure: Intel Cloud 2015 Vision
Source: Intel

InterCloud – a concept briefly introduced in the first chapter – will become increasingly popular. We will see bundling of different cloud services provided by different cloud provides into one to manage cloud resource better.

Finally next generation cloud computing will bring in enormous amount of benefits to end users. End users will increasingly use more personal cloud services such as putting personal data in the cloud. Organizations will realize that employees no longer maintain personal folders in their office workstations; employees just put everything in cloud (e.g. Google drive, Apple iCloud) by leveraging BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that corporates extend. Therefore employers will be compelled to explore ways to incorporate personal cloud services in the enterprise environment.

According to Herb Van Hook, Deputy Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for BMC Software, the next generation cloud computing “…will deliver value to the business faster by automating everything from request to deployment and configuration  and do so up and down the stack and across the entire infrastructure.” The key drivers of next generation cloud computing will be Business Value, Efficiency, Scalability, Security, and Self-Service.