Cloud Technologies Are Maturing to Address Emerging Challenges and Opportunities

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The price per TB (not GB) of flash and random access memory will drive the future adoption of cloud/big data predictive analytics and learning models. This is key in generating value in different verticals such as healthcare, education, energy, and finance. The ability to keep big data in an in-memory cache in a smaller footprint including mobile devices will result in improvements in gathering, collecting, and storing data from trillions of mobile devices and perform data, predictive, behavioral, and visual analytics at near-real time (microseconds). The key cloud adoption driver today is the number of cores per computing nodes. The future of cloud adoption will involve a large memory cache in addition to many cores per computing node (commodity hardware).

The technology of Hadoop frameworks has evolved since 2004, and it includes the MapReduce framework, the Hadoop Distributed File System, and additional technologies.There is a need for a “beyond Hadoop” framework, and the future of Hadoop will be built in to the platform (iOS, Linux, Windows, etc.) similar to a task scheduler in a platform OS. The new frameworks “beyond Hadoop” will need to provide distributed query search engines out of the box, the ability to easily manage custom queries, and the ability to provide a mechanism to have an audit trail of data transformations end-to-end across several mobile and cloud providers. The audit trail or probe will be similar to a ping or trace route command, and it should be available to ensure the integrity of data for end-to-end deployment.

Emerging Standards

There are several emerging standards ?for cloud deployments, primarily to address identity, security, and software-defined networking (SDN). IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS cloud deployments have matured, and there are several players that coexist in the cloud ecosystem today. The standards such as OpenID, Open Connect, OAuth, and Open Data Center Alliance have several cloud providers and enterprises signing up every day, but the adoption will take a few more years to evolve and mature. Open standards are the key to the future adoption of cloud and the seamless flow of secure data among different cloud providers. This offers a paradigm similar to a free market economy, which is a goal, but in reality, the goal to be strived for by future cloud players is about 60% open standards and 40% proprietary frameworks in order to promote competition and an even playing field. Customers will demand faster adoption in open standards for cloud deployments, and the keys to adoption are speed, flexibility, cost, and focus on solving their problems efficiently. The current approach of enterprises spending time and money in the evaluation, selection, and use of cloud providers will pave the way for pay-as-go-you go cloud providers on demand for blended services. There will be blend of services leveraging mobile and cloud deployment, such as single sign-on, presales, actual customer sale, post-sales, recommendation systems, etc. The cloud adoption of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS will give way to business models similar to prepay, post-pay debit/credit cards for products and services with “cloud” ready offerings.

The cloud/big data deployments will see the emergence of multiple data centers managed by multiple cloud providers, and the cloud will have to support distributed query-based search, with results that can be provided to the mobile user at near real time. This would require open standards to allow seamless data exchange between multiple data centers, maintaining the SLA levels for performance, scalability, security, and identity. It is a clear challenge and opportunity for the future of cloud, but it is likely that new mobile apps will drive the need for cooperation between cloud providers or result in consolidation of several players into a few mobile and cloud providers.

Billing Systems for the Cloud

Future cloud deployments will require both mobile and cloud provider payment processing to keep pace with other aspects of the cloud deployment model, such as security, scalability, cost-savings, and reliability. We would require, at a minimum, a billing provider to provide platform billing and reconciliation of payments between cloud and mobile service providers. The challenge of the future for cloud-based billing providers is the payment processing for a blend of services. For example, payment of different rates for providers in the cloud, such as device, mobile, cloud infrastructure/platform provider, storage, network, and payment service providers. The break-even and moderate margin for a pay-as-you go model in the cloud will be 40% cost and 60% revenue; the cost reduction over time would be as a result of consolidation from both the mobile and cloud service provider offering integrated services. The pay-as-you-go business model, with SLA guarantees, will be appealing for mom-and-pop stores that want to adopt cloud services, coexist, and compete with big retail stores, and will ultimately result in better service and lower cost for the consumer.

The future of cloud deployments will involve rapid adoption of new technology frameworks beyond Hadoop, open standards in the area of cloud security, identity, and trust, as well as a universal and simple query language for aggregating data from legacy and emerging data stores. Future cloud adoption will involve trillions of mobile devices, ubiquitous computing, zettabytes of data, and improved SLAs between cloud providers, as well as larger, cheaper memory cache and multiple cores per computing node. 

Chandramouli Venkatesan (Mouli) has more than 20 years of experience in the telecom industry, including technical leadership roles at Fujitsu Networks and Cisco Systems, and as a big data integration architect in the financial and healthcare industries. Venkatesan’s company MEICS, Inc. ( provides the analytics and learning platform for cloud deployments. Venkatesan evangelizes emerging technologies and platforms and innovation in cloud, big data, mobility, and content delivery networks.

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