Cloud computing – the process of storing and managing data online – has revolutionized the way companies develop IT solutions, enabling businesses of all sizes to store data and develop new applications without having to purchase or maintain their own hardware. Today, large and small businesses alike are able to access cloud computing solutions via providers such as Azure, Google Cloud, IBM, Amazon Web Services, and many more.
Best of all, given that cloud computing as we know it today is still a relatively new innovation, there are still no-doubt plenty of exciting new developments on the horizon in the realm of cloud computing. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the latest cloud computing innovations in order to catch a glimpse of what the future might hold in store.
Cloud as a Platform for Innovation
In order for software developers to build complex software solutions and applications, they need a dedicated environment to work within. In the past, this meant investing in an on-site data center – a solution that was out of reach for most small companies and individual developers.
Thanks to cloud computing services such as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS), though, software developers are now able to access the tools and environments that they need to build complex new solutions and applications for a fraction of the cost. This ability has leveled the software development playing field and has opened up the door for smaller organizations on a tighter budget to build software that competes with that of large corporations.
By leveling the software development playing field in this manner, cloud computing services have paved the way for a drastic increase in software innovation. As more and more organizations that may have not otherwise been able to engage in high-level software development begin to make use of cloud computing in order to develop new software, this increase in innovation will likely only continue to grow more profound in the coming years.
Containers are an advancement made possible by cloud computing that performs a role similar to that of virtual machines (VMs) with a few added advantages. While VMs are designed to store a complete operating system, containers are able to store a single application and its dependencies in one lightweight package. Since they are self-contained, containers are easier and faster to deploy as well as more reliable than VMs. They also present less of a security risk since they make use of a smaller code footprint.
Microservices are a relatively new cloud mechanism that allows companies to speed up their time to market by compartmentalizing various aspects of a project so that DevOp teams are able to work on their assigned task without interfering with other components of the application. These microservices are built into containers on the cloud and are designed in such as way as to
allow for an application architecture that is much more organized and efficient.
Much has been said about the benefit of containers and microservices, however, these two technologies are still only as good as the manner in which they are used and managed. This is where orchestration frameworks come in. By using orchestration tools such as those provided by Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, architects and developers are able to automate the deployment, management, and scaling of applications that are stored within a container or microstructure. In this way, orchestration tools make it possible for the full, theoretical benefits of cloud computing such as on-demand scalability to be realized in a practical way.
Hybrid Cloud Solutions
In the past, organizations looking to store data on the cloud were forced to choose between either a public cloud architecture or a private cloud architecture. Each one offered its own set of pros and cons, with the public cloud being more affordable and easier to scale and the private cloud is more secure.
Today, however, organizations are able to choose a hybrid cloud solution that allows them to build their architecture using elements of both the public and private cloud, effectively enjoying the benefits of both. As hybrid cloud technology continues to be refined, we expect hybrid cloud solutions to play an increasingly prominent role in how organizations approach to cloud computing.
Cloud computing has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for large and small organizations alike, allowing them to access affordable development platforms, decrease their time to market, improve their security, and much more. As cloud computing service providers continue to roll out increasingly effective new innovations, the future of cloud computing looks bright.
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