2012: The year cloud computing took a bite out of IT

As new public cloud plays leap in and the private cloud slowly evolves, we're on the brink of a shift to cloud computing for critical business workloads

By , InfoWorld |  Cloud Computing

When we started talking about cloud computing five years ago, it meant one thing: Services such as Amazon or Salesforce that customers could self-provision over the Internet and pay as they go.

That's what we call the "public cloud" today, as opposed to the "private cloud," which refers to the application of public cloud technologies and practices to one's own data center. And guess what? The public cloud was where the action was in 2012 -- and it's where much of the action is going to be in 2013. According to IDC, businesses will spend $40 billion on the public cloud this year, rising to nearly $100 billion in 2016.

[ Download InfoWorld's special report, "Cloud computing in 2012." | Also check out our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" and "Cloud Applications Deep Dive." | Stay current on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. ]

Despite that rapid growth, public cloud dollars still represent a small fraction of the trillions of dollars devoted to IT globally every year. The data center isn't going anywhere -- but it needs the greater efficiency and agility the private cloud offers. The question of the day is whether the private cloud will evolve quickly enough to stop an accelerated exodus to public cloud services.

The rush to infrastructure in the cloud In 2012, the biggest thing to happen to the cloud was the arrival of three major new IaaS (infrastructure as a service) players: Google Compute Engine, HP Cloud, and Microsoft Windows Azure. All three entrants face an uphill battle competing against the incumbent leader Amazon Web Services -- and even against Rackspace, long the distant No. 2 IaaS provider.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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