5 Cloud Predictions for 2012 – Private Clouds, PaaS, & Hypervisor Uptick

As we say goodbye to 2011, it’s been an incredible year of technology as the cloud continues to mature.

Here’s a few of my predictions for 2012.

1. PAAS Heats Up: Azure vs. Cloud Foundry vs. CloudShift

In 2012, platform-as-a-service will garner much attention as new and innovative “cloud” applications are introduced into the market.  While Microsoft will dominate the Windows/.NET development community, both Cloud Foundry and CloudShift will emerge from betas and battle it out for PAAS supremacy.

2. Private Cloud Comeback: OpenStack, CloudForms, vCloud

In 2011, we have seen a raging debate regarding the value of a private cloud.  In 2012, the value will be clearly articulated as Enterprises begin to build-out private cloud environments..  These new private clouds will start small but they will quickly grow while paving the way hybrid cloud deployments.

3.     Commercialization of IT leads to major security breach

You’ve been hearing a lot about BYOD (bring your own device) and employees using free cloud providers for services in the name of productivity outside of the purview of internal IT.  In 2012, we will see a large Enterprise experience a breach because of these so-called productivity enhancing cloud applications.  An innocent act by a group of users will set this movement back.

4.     Cloud Consolidation

In 2012 we will see the rapid consolidation of cloud technologies across the industry.  Proprietary software vendors will seek smaller open source vendors in hopes of shedding their legacy images while closing product gaps.  Unprotected Open Source projects ala MySQL will be especially tempting to acquire as they can be brought under the control of a single company and monetized accordingly.

5.    Rise of the Network Hypervisor

In 2012 we will continue to see dramatic changes within the network layer of the cloud.  OpenFlow, Nicira, BigSwitch, Cisco (LineSider) and others will see an uptick in inquiries and deployment of the technology.  Finally, at least one of the major hypervisor vendors (Citirx, VMware, Microsoft, or Red Hat) will jump into this arena either organically or via an acquisition.

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