November 30, 2016

Enterprise Workloads Expected to Continue Cloud Migration

If you had any doubts as to whether the enterprise is embracing the public cloud and cloud migration in general, a report out by Cisco earlier this year provides clarity that the enterprise is embracing the public cloud and the applications running on them. In Cisco’s most recent market analysis of the cloud industry, they claim that within three years, more than three-fourths of all data center traffic, 83 percent, will be based in the cloud.

Workload Migration is Continuing

This data center traffic prediction is just one of the many data points that are reported in the study. One area that is driving this shift to the cloud is the notion of Internet-connected devices, or IoT (Internet of Things). Cisco’s report claims that in the same three-year period, there will be 34 billion connected devices. These devices will be sending data across the network, to the tune of 3.5 ZBs by the end of 2019. What is a ZB you say? It is a big number – one sextillion or 10 21 bytes of information.

A recent Forbes article points to a McKinsey study ( full report available here) that even looked at the migration to cloud at a workload level. A workload is nothing more than a definition of the amount of processing that a computer has been tasked with at a given time. It typically involves an application, processing capacity on the computer and storage. The article highlights that there is a move among larger enterprises to a move select workloads to hyper scale providers like Amazon, Microsoft, or Google simply because they have the capacity and scale to meet the demand.

Cloud Migration Split by Verticals

It is important to note that this cloud migration journey is somewhat split across verticals, with manufacturing, retail, and oil and gas being among the first to make a move. Other verticals are forecast to move as well, but perhaps at a slower rate due to regulatory and security concerns, especially amongst the health care and financial services industry.

The power of the public cloud environment is quickly becoming the ability to interconnect an entire supply chain of market participants so that they may exchange data, in a highly optimized and cost effective environment. This environment provides a way to securely exchange metadata so that these firms can perform data analysis with data that they traditionally would not have had access to or it would have been too costly to gain access to. This interconnection concept is one that Equinix has architected and provides in its data center facilities across 40 markets in 21 countries with their Equinix Connect™ solution.

Next year I predict we will continue to see a migration of select workloads to these hyper scale providers and an increase in big data and data analysis activities within these enterprises. This analysis will be used to provide more customized products and services to their end customers and in many cases, may be used to reduce risk in their business operations.

I am interested to hear your thoughts. Is your enterprise planning a cloud migration project? Are you planning a hybrid strategy or one that relies primarily on a public cloud model?

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