- Getting heads out of the clouds and going hybrid
Just because the cloud is new and sexy, it is not the answer for everyone, and a blend of dedicated and managed servers could still be the best option. There are cases where businesses are better off avoiding cloud. Relational databases don’t scale in a shared system, for one. Enterprise software runs into problems when moved to the cloud as the architectural and licensing limitations built into older products means they do not scale. Also, enterprise load balancing requirements are better suited to a physical environment rather than in an unnecessarily complex and expensive cloud setup. Because of this I foresee a reverse trend in some quarters – customers will make the move back to physical systems or a hybrid solution combining cloud and physical technologies.
- Cloud hosting simplified
This is already happening, but in 2013 the focus on grabbing the attention of technically illiterate business decision makers will intensify. Providers will do everything they can to help people understand how cloud works and get them to buy into it.
- Getting rid of SLAs
Service level agreements are the lowest common denominator – they are contracts that serve simply to allow the provider to be slow and lazy and frustrate the customer. Companies that manage to SLAs are going to be seen in the context of those that don’t and share their performance. Transparency is the key – everyone wants a fair and open deal, so expect to see more companies doing away with SLAs.
- GPU cloud servers
The increased availability and affordability of previously unimaginable levels of GPU power through the cloud is levelling the playing field across many industries. We’re getting closer and closer to a world where designers will naturally be rendering huge chunks of content at high speeds using their low spec MacBooks linked up to a GPU cloud server.
- Web hosting service comes out of its shell
If the technology behind web hosting is being simplified, do we still need to hire the patronising techies so prevalent in traditional IT departments? You may notice your web hosting consultant becomes more like-minded, more pleasant and ultimately more ‘human’ in 2013.