Top tech trends in public cloud computing

Cloud computing is gaining momentum as the model behind the digital transformation and the rebuilding of many activities. In this scenario, what are the top tech trends in public cloud computing for 2021?

Fidel Chaves
9 min read

What is cloud computing?

We have dedicated an entire article on cloud computing and why its future is hybrid. Nevertheless (never thought I would be using that word), let’s recap shortly to discuss the top tech trends in public cloud computing.

 

Someone once told me to think of the cloud as a massive hard drive, which might be easy to understand, but what is it based on? Well, most cloud infrastructure relies on giant warehouses with pentagon security and an absurd level of reliability to function. Think of a CPU farm, not for depleting energy in search of crypto, but to let you quickly access your iCloud photos.

 

Cloud computing is not well defined, maybe because it is a topic that keeps hitting the news, and nothing changes more than information when being replicated. We all live in a world of memes; you know what I’m talking about. Cloud computing can refer to a range of services that offer on-demand availability of computer system resources, mainly two: data storage and computing power. You are basically renting someone else’s hardware over the Internet.

 

This model can work as a Plug-and-Play, kind of your electric connection. You plug your devices, they pick up the current, and get charged through usage. The thing is, computing power can escalate really quickly. Fireship, in his video How to Burn Money in the Cloud revises a user case who spent over 70k in less than 24 hours. I still remember when my father told me to turn off any lightbulb that wasn’t strictly necessary.

Public cloud computing vs. private cloud computing

We’ve already discussed public and private cloud computing and why we think that the future is hybrid. If you want a short version of it, here you go.

 

A hybrid cloud comes up as the solution that integrates both services into one combining the capabilities of a public cloud with those of a private cloud through software that enables communication between them.

 

When hiring public cloud services, an organization becomes part of the public cloud system. Plus, public clouds are less expensive and provide flexibility to increase the storage space of their clients. On the contrary, a private cloud is dedicated to that organization exclusively, whether handled internally or by an external provider. Also, public clouds offer more security.

 

With a hybrid cloud, you wouldn't have to choose. You can migrate workloads between both clouds based on your needs. In this case, hybrid clouds enable keeping unified management of resources, unlike a multi-cloud strategy, where each environment has to be managed separately.

Types of cloud services

We have already mentioned the different types of cloud services in another article. If you are not feeling like clicking and navigating elsewhere, we’ll discuss them right here. There are three main types of cloud services, each with its benefits and drawbacks.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service is one of the three main forms of cloud computing, providing virtualized computing resources over the Internet. With IaaS, a third party posts infrastructure components traditionally found in on-premise data centers, like servers, storage, networking hardware, and the virtualization layer. All of these services are offered in a pay-as-you-go model. Compared to SaaS and PaaS, IaaS involves the most investment and dependence on the cloud provider. It’s generally suited for temporal or experimental workloads.

 

IaaS is not without drawbacks. It can be hard to manage and monitor through the vendor, and the workload availability and performance are highly dependent on the provider’s network availability and performance.

 

In this case, you’ll manage:

 

  • Applications
  • Data
  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • Operating System

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service, or PaaS, is a cloud computing model in which a third-party provider delivers hardware and software tools to users over the Internet. PaaS is like renting a car: you buy it, and you are the one driving it and paying for gas.

 

PaaS frees developers from installing in-house hardware and software or running a new application, but it doesn’t typically replace the entire IT infrastructure of the business. It usually incorporates operating systems, servers, databases, middleware, networking, equipment, and storage services—all owned, operated, configured, and maintained by the service provider. The business only provides data and the application.

 

In this case, you’ll manage:

 

  • Applications
  • Data

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a service, or SaaS, is the last of the three main categories of cloud computing and the most common with consumer-level products. You’ve probably seen the pattern now: as-a-service simply means over the Internet. SaaS is a third-party application available over the Internet—this could be your email client, productivity software, or any application.

 

There is SaaS for virtually everything. Generally, SaaS operates on a pay-as-you-go model, making it like a leasing system, which offers business flexibility, but at the same time does not allow one-time purchases, tying you up eternally to a specific provider. Also, organizations or individuals start relying on outside vendors for the software and have little or no control. Do you remember those times when Google, Facebook, or Whatsapp were down? Yeah, it is scary how dependent we’ve become.

 

In this case, you’ll manage:

 

  • Nothing, just the software.

 

Other types of services include Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), Serverless computing, and Function as a Service (FaaS) which we will not cover today. Let us know if you are interested.

What are the top tech trends in cloud computing?

I came in here for the top tech trends in cloud computing! I hear you say. You might not know it, but I have been on the Internet for some years now, and I can feel when my digressions are too much even for this medium. Maybe I’ve been beating around the bush because, at the bottom of my heart, I know that engaging in futurology puts me on thin ice. Every prediction is destined to fail.

 

Despite the economic setback for most sectors during 2020, there is no other strategy in view that would be more effective than deepening investment in technology and digital resources. This also applies to increasing the usage of cloud computing.

 

According to Gartner, the U.S. IT consulting firm, corporations plan to increase their expenditure on IT and technology by 6.9% on average in 2021. Forrester, another U.S. firm, specializing in market research, says that 30% of companies will continue to increase their investments in cloud technology, digital security, and networks. These predictions are based on some facts that 2020 has left us:

 

  • The statement "Data is currency" has become clearer now than ever.
  • 92% of organizations are already in the cloud, at least partly.
  • Around 50% of all corporate data is stored in the cloud with no signs of decreasing.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated remote work trends. Working anywhere needs cloud access everywhere.

 

Cloud computing is gaining momentum as the model behind the digital transformation and the rebuilding of many activities. In this scenario, what are the cloud trends for 2021?

A boost in demand

Cloud environments will be the main target for companies and organizations in their path to transformation, rapidly adapting their business models to the new digital era. That will also be enhanced by the arrival of 5G technology, which will enable deploying the infrastructure wherever it is needed: devices, the customers' premises, or the cloud itself, at all times, guided by uniform and cloud-native management.

The hybrid year

The global hybrid cloud market is expected to see some significant growth by the end of 2021. The hybrid storage and data services based on the features of a public cloud with those of a private cloud are the keys. The hybrid cloud offers greater flexibility to move workloads between the two environments, in sync with the needs and costs of each company.

 

But also the major global public cloud providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, have added to their services the management of a private cloud, which will invariably strengthen multi-cloud usage.

Privacy as a priority

Gartner also claims that information technology applied to data protection will be a robust trend. Specialists expect that, over the next five years, large organizations will continue investing in technology to guarantee that data is processed privately and securely in untrusted environments. Let’s hope so, at least.

More entertainment

Amazon already offers its own cloud gaming platform, as do many other companies. This stride forward from the global giant only confirms that, from now on, as it happens with music, movies, and series, those who consume entertainment will do so directly from the cloud, with straight subscription-based library access. You thought only Disney could play monopoly? No, now every kid in the street wants to own the world. It’s a Brave New World out there.

Automation and integration

If you are not familiar with automation, you can find more about it here. If you are not interested, let’s move on. In 2021, those who have already taken steps to migrate their applications and systems to the cloud will move to the next phase—automating tasks to eliminate routine processes in technology departments and, therefore, optimizing resources. It will also be the time to integrate different environments between hybrid cloud or multi-cloud models, which will allow moving workloads to the most convenient scenario.

Support for innovation

The massive use of the cloud will turn into a platform in which many emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence, can finally consolidate. Innovation does not seem to get any slower nowadays. It may be hard to realize that while experiencing it. But new technologies arise each year, making the future uncertain, for better or for worse.

Improved experience

The popularity of cloud computing will lead companies to improve their services with a focus on customer experience. For example, many companies have already migrated their internal data centers to the cloud to fix bugs, and this trend will continue to grow. Let’s hope that streaming services get some of these “improve the experience” vibes and finally strike a deal among them. I’m done juggling with five different subscriptions.

 

At Awkbit, we know the importance of cloud computing, whether public, private, or hybrid. Optimizing resources, improving the customer experience, and providing a reliable service are our goals when developing for our clients. We understand that research and development in new technologies is always a good investment—something good comes out at the end. Kanter's law states that “In the middle, everything looks like a failure”. If you don’t believe me, ask Elon. Are you interested in migrating to the cloud?

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Sources & further reading