Key trends in cloud infrastructure: Hybrid, smart storage, security, and more

Key trends in cloud infrastructure: Hybrid, smart storage, security, and more Aaron Shelley is director of cloud product development at Zayo.


The past decade has brought much change to the IT infrastructure industry as enterprise IT companies scale up their data consumption to unprecedented levels. Today’s enterprise IT giants require far more speed, power and bandwidth to successfully run their businesses and this is only possible via enhancements to the underlying infrastructure.

Infrastructure develops so quickly that industry practices in 2020 will likely be unrecognisable from what they were 10 years ago. Infrastructure has become more powerful, faster and more secure – and we have still only just scratched the surface of what’s possible.

This article will examine some of the current trends within the industry as it stands, as well a look at what the future holds for IaaS in 2017.

The evolution of cloud technology

The thinking behind cloud technology can be traced back to the sixties but it has been somewhat of a late bloomer. Technology giants are now investing more in cloud technology and this has had a strong impact on Internet infrastructure providers and consumers. At the same time, the rate of adoption of cloud technology is growing among smaller-sized businesses and also in the consumer market, as the cloud continues to permeate our daily lives.

Thanks to the advancements in infrastructure, there are now multi-cloud solutions. That means, using cloud hosting technology across multiple data centres to harness their collective power. A multi-cloud solution can offer increased resilience in the network and can mitigate latency issues for IaaS providers. The best multi-cloud solutions are those with integrated management and security hosting environments, as they allow for a seamless transfer of information.

Nowadays, IaaS providers are using the cloud to implement big data solutions. Big data computations and storage can now all take place within the cloud environment which means data is more widely available and can be accessed instantly. However, as big data solutions become commonplace, the mainstream infrastructure must also scale up accordingly to meet the needs of modern businesses.

Smart storage and security

As big data continues to grow there is an increased need for storage (now known as smart storage). Autonomic storage is the next generation of hybrid storage solutions and is an example of real innovation in the IaaS industry. It places data on the appropriate storage tier, enabling tier-to-tier data migration meaning that storage is no longer passive but instead improves both the performance and flexibility of the network.

In addition to smart storage, advances in technology have also made data more secure. With so many high-profile cyber security attacks and breaches in 2016, the security of data within the Internet infrastructure has become paramount for all IaaS providers and businesses alike. IaaS providers implement managed security systems as part of their offering, adding an increased layer of security to the network whilst specialist infrastructure providers are best placed to implement security on the network. In fact, many companies are currently reaping the rewards of outsourcing their data security to high-quality cyber security specialists.

As 2017 goes on, it is clear that the cloud will be undergoing significant developments. Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions will also require vigilant management as workloads increase, whilst cloud infrastructure providers will have to ensure that they are capable of managing modern cloud solutions and ensure as much of the process as possible is automated to eliminate the risk of human error. 

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