Dissecting the planetary-scale cloud computing trifecta, CIOSEA News, ETCIO SEA

Dissecting the cloud computing trifecta on a planetary scale

Planetary scale cloud computing is a global imperative in the modern business landscape to scale the economy. The incessant building of data centers and the repeatable scaling of hardware layers is not enough, individual physical servers must be virtualized. The walls of a building can only scale certain growth, only virtually enabled cloud computing can realistically produce planetary scale growth.

Vivek Kundra, former United States federal CIO, stated, “Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain higher quality cybersecurity personnel than many government agencies.”

While a planetary scale is an ideal version of cloud’s future, it’s plausibly closer than expected given the globe is witnessing a daily increase in organizational cloud spending and overall storage investments. Gartner predicted in April this year that public cloud end-user spending will reach nearly $500 billion in 2022! The forecast is on track as the big three — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud — all invest in expanding their cloud services and profits, and have unprecedented dominance in the public cloud space.

Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner, said in the study, “CIOs have moved beyond the era of irrational exuberance in procuring cloud services and are carefully selecting public cloud providers to meet specific, desired Driving business and technology outcomes in their digital transformation journey.”

Next generation flexibility

Scalable cloud computing provides IT resources that enable businesses to improve operational efficiencies in a world where customer and customer expectations are constantly changing, and gives businesses additional flexibility to optimally meet them, enabling businesses to can achieve competitive advantage. Even small and medium-sized businesses can provide cloud providers with additional bandwidth when they need it, without having to overhaul their entire IT infrastructure and unnecessarily invest in a temporary increase in cloud capacity. That’s the well-equipped kind of flexibility that cloud-based cloud computing can offer.

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As cloud-based services allow businesses to create password-protected platforms, scaled cloud computing can provide seamless and enhanced communications for effortless global collaboration in a hybrid reality. The prospect of data storage is a great added icing on the cake for businesses opting for cloud-based services, as all business data is easily accessible anywhere there is an internet connection. The cloud has made accessing data easy and reliable compared to traditional IT resources, which always have the option to delete important data and company information. Even when it comes to data security, according to a Microsoft blog, about 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust public cloud service providers like Microsoft Azure to protect their customers’ data due to their strong encryption systems and provision of cloud data security.

Because of cost savings, flexibility and scalability, data security, data storage and team collaboration, about 70 percent of companies have already switched some of their services to cloud-based computing. For example, in October 2020, the Microsoft Corporation merged with the ZEISS Group to improve healthcare and manufacturing quality through data solutions. Along with ease of deployment and lower total cost of ownership, these benefits are expected to increase demand for cloud computing and drive market growth.

Scalability, elasticity and utilization

Cloud scalability is one of the key characteristics of cloud computing and typically does not result in disruption or downtime. It can take months to scale the same on-premises physical infrastructure, which incurs huge additional costs and can require a lot of thought. The scalability of the cloud is a major plus as it gives organizations the ability to easily change infrastructure requirements. A globally scalable solution like the cloud can guarantee stable, long-term growth that is planned in advance and can meet more variable requirements. It is a key feature of choice for organizations with unpredictable and variable workloads.

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There are two types of scalability in cloud computing – vertical scaling and horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling is basically what is known as “scaling up” or “scaling down”. Businesses can add or subtract power from an existing cloud server by adding memory (RAM), storage, or processing power (CPU).

For horizontal scaling, referred to as scaling in or out, organizations can add other IT resources, such as servers, to their systems to spread the workload across multiple computers. This results in increased performance and storage capacity. Horizontal scaling is preferred for companies that have highly available services and require minimal downtime.

Cloud elasticity is the actionable increase or decrease of IT resources to dynamically handle loads. It is a process by which the system scales when a load increases by adding more resources and when it decreases it removes the newly added resources. It’s most important to use them in pay-per-use cloud environments when companies don’t have to pay for the same resources, but only pay for them when demand spikes.

The big question of costs

When running a cloud of the scale and computing power we’ve discussed, organizations should carefully consider power and cooling expenses. Google’s data center in Finland is a good example of looking at efficient cloud spend. The tech giant is taking a creative approach to reducing its electricity bills by using naturally cooled seawater for heat exchange instead of the usual electrically powered air conditioners. This also gives the company plus points in improving its environmental friendliness.

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As a public cloud provider, Google even has a competitive advantage among the top 3 because it saves these vital energy costs and thus makes the operating costs economical.

Unfortunately, companies are still investing too much in the cloud. In a study conducted by HashiCorp, 94 percent of global companies overspend on the cloud – almost all respondents cite avoidable cloud spend. The main reasons for this overspending include idle or underutilized resources, over-provisioned resources, and a lack of required skills.

Of course, cost and scope are closely related. The advantages of cloud providers’ pay-as-you-go model are one of the most attractive elements for companies to adopt fully cloud-based solutions and IT resources. Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO of HashiCorp, notes in the 2022 study, “Enterprises benefiting from multi-cloud have nearly doubled over the past year, and the majority of enterprises now have a centralized cloud team. This centralized expertise enables them to operationalize at scale and capitalize on their cloud strategies. Unsurprisingly, talent shortages topped the list of cloud blockers, fueling the need for cloud platform teams and infrastructure and security automation tools.”

Many emerging research markets have forecast the immense spending on cloud computing services, with IDC underpinning total global cloud services spending and opportunities to surpass $1.3 trillion by 2025.

There is a tangible uptick in cloud computing on a planetary scale that will make it easier for organizations to increasingly rely on the cloud for improved business operations, data storage and overall organizational simplification.


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