Cloud is booming

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20 January 2017 | 0

One way to track the growth of cloud computing is to follow the investments in the infrastructure and equipment that make it run.

According to the IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, total spending on IT infrastructure products, including server, enterprise storage and Ethernet switches, for use in cloud environments will grow a healthy 18% this year to top $44 billion (€42.1 billion). Meanwhile, IDC said, investment in old-school non-cloud architecture equipment will actually decline by more than 3% in 2017.

Clear trends
The trends are clear: the cloud — public, private and hybrid — is growing even as traditional on-premises IT infrastructure is dwindling. IDC put it plainly, the “continued strong movement toward utilisation of off-premises IT resources around the world” is driving double-digit growth in spending on cloud infrastructure.

To be fair, non-cloud spending will still comprise more than half (57%) of total infrastructure spending in 2017, and a slightly bigger majority (almost 58%) of infrastructure spending will go to on-premises data centres using private cloud and traditional IT architectures. Within those on-premises deployments, moreover, IDC forecasts “sustained movement toward private cloud deployments with the share of traditional, non-cloud, IT shrinking.”

Public cloud vs. private cloud
This is only part of the story. Just as important, public cloud infrastructure spending is totally dominating investment in off-premise private cloud architectures. Some 61% of cloud infrastructure spending is going into public cloud data centres, while off-premises private cloud environments will garner just under 15% of total cloud spending.

And although spending on these deployments is growing at almost 17% to support “increasing adoption of private and hybrid cloud strategies within corporate datacentres,” that still cannot match the public cloud’s accelerating growth.

Long-term forecast:  even more cloudy
Looking farther ahead, IDC predicts spending on off-premise cloud infrastructure to grow more than 14% annually to $48 billion (€45 billion) in 2020. And almost 81% of those dollars will go into public cloud data centres. Combine that with on-premises cloud infrastructure (which is growing at almost 13% per year), and overall cloud infrastructure is growing almost 14% annually, IDC said.

The non-cloud spending is declining at a rate of almost 2% a year.

Scale is everything
According to a statement from IDC’s Natalya Yezhkova, research director, Storage, the key driver is growing investment in “new hyper-scale data centres opening across the globe and increasing activity of tier-two and regional service providers.” The on-premises side, meanwhile, is getting a boost “as end users continue gaining knowledge and experience in setting up and managing cloud IT within their own data centres.”

None of this should be too surprising, the momentum toward the cloud has been obvious for a while now. While there is still a place for traditional, non-cloud IT infrastructures in some enterprises, the number of use cases continue to erode as the cloud becomes less expensive, more ubiquitous, more manageable and more secure.

What is, perhaps, most interesting is the IDC forecast seems to support the notion that the same fate ultimately awaits hybrid and private cloud implementations, as the public cloud becomes the default choice for new workloads and updates of legacy systems. The cloud’s dominance over traditional IT may not yet be official, but the writing is on the wall — and in IDC reports.


IDG News Service

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