“Only 39 per cent of organisations we talked to in our annual Data Health Check had actually tested their disaster recovery solution in the last 12 months, with the majority citing “time” as the main reason for this. Leading analysts predict that by 2018, over half of organisations will be using managed failovers as an alternative to traditional recovery testing as it takes away the complexity and a lot of the risk of traditional DR testing.
“The analysts identified that nearly half of organisations aren’t equipped with the in-house skills required to respond to the complex and constantly changing IT landscape we see today. As organisations begin to better understand their IT abilities, it’s predicted that over 70 per cent of CIOs will introduce new types of technology partners in the next two to three years to alleviate the strain on in-house IT teams.”
Groucutt then goes on to discuss the future of hybrid cloud: “In 2015 the cloud computing trend will still be “hybrid cloud” in its various guises. “Hybrid cloud” means different things to different people, but for us it means customers choosing to tactically adopt the specific services that offer the most value.
“Disaster recovery is one example of this and Office 365 is another. The move from Microsoft to offer free versions of Office on tablets and smartphones is a very clever one. For a while now we have really been looking at Microsoft and Google and waiting for one of them to offer a serious challenge to Amazon Web Services’ dominance of cloud computing. Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft is doing just that, and it’s using Office as it’s best weapon.”
But the big story in 2015, says Groucutt, is going to be Windows Server 2003 reaching end of life with support ending in in July.
“Like XP in 2014, Server 2003 has been one of the data centre workhorses and one of the operating systems businesses really rely on. Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) this year showed that 60 per cent of businesses still have some 2003 boxes that will need upgrading. It is at points like these when businesses have to review whether they want to continue to run those applications in-house, or whether they want to move them out to the cloud.”
Radek Dymacz, Head of R&D at Databarracks outlined further cloud trends that Databarracks expects to see in the year ahead: “Technologies that solve specific pain points for organisations, like Docker, for example, will continue to grow in popularity. Docker has been the headline-grabber 2014 and has already matured to the point that its developers are being criticised for moving too far away from their initial vision, and its evolving more into a platform rather than just a container.
“It has been a target for criticism that while it’s technically an open-source technology, it’s really controlled by the company behind it. Rival products are being launched to “rein in” the problem, and more open projects that developers can tailor to meet their specific needs. We can expect to see more of this in the next couple of years.”
Cloud object storage is another “one to watch” in 2015, says Dymacz: “We have been saying this for years, but object storage is something that’s hugely underused at the moment. Data is continuing to grow faster than most organisations know what to do with, and the costs associated with storing that data are growing year on year.
“Odds are, most businesses end each day with more data than they started with – but not all of that data is business-critical. IT managers are getting smarter about the way they sort, store and retrieve their data. By moving non-critical data to inexpensive, cloud-based object storage it’s still available should you need to restore it, but it costs a fraction of the price of high-performance disk space you’d keep your active files on. AWS’s S3 storage service, for example, offers storage costs as low as 3p/GB.”