Top Five Emerging Cloud Computing Trends for 2022

Consumer and enterprise cloud storage adoption has exploded in recent years, with Gartner estimating that public spending on cloud services will end the year up 23 percent from 2020, totaling $332 billion. Much of the growth has been attributed to the pandemic-driven shift to remote work, and the cloud industry is constantly looking for new ways to meet demand, as well as increasing the adoption of existing methodologies.

Cloud Computing Trends

 

Here are five trends that will impact cloud computing in 2022 and beyond:

  1. Containerization
  2. Environments of Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud
  3. Internet of Things: IoT
  4. Computing at the Edge
  5. Greener Clouds

The Proverbial Tip of the Iceberg

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Containerization

Containerized applications, which are rapidly growing at the enterprise level, are made available to users through services such as Docker and Google’s Kubernetes. Containers combine the advantages of virtual machines with the power of a self-contained operating system to provide consistent, predictable software performance across multiple machines. Containers allow applications to be fully packaged with all of their dependencies while still running without the additional resource demands of a full VM. A container’s mobility in the cloud provides performance uniformity and resource distribution throughout an entire business. Users also have greater access to versioning control, which allows them to track differences between containers and roll back when necessary.

Environments of Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud

Enterprises can store their data on-site in a private cloud and benefit from low latency and high data transfer speeds. Data is offloaded to third-party service providers in a public cloud, lowering infrastructure costs. Hybrid clouds are the ideal middle ground, best suited for businesses with storage needs such as large media files that require frequent access from local devices while offloading archival media to a public cloud provider. Multi-clouds are when two public clouds work together to provide enhanced data redundancy. These solutions are expected to grow 20% year on year, reaching a market size of nearly $100 billion by 2022.

Internet of Things: IoT

In a nutshell, IoT refers to the proliferation of “smart” devices that can be assigned an IP address. Lightbulbs can communicate with a phone to automatically brighten or dim based on the time of day or night. Smartwatches can connect to news services to display headlines on your wrist. Software updates are being downloaded and installed in electric vehicles. According to the Internet and Television Association, the number of IoT devices is expected to exceed 50 billion by 2020, with no signs of slowing.

Many of these devices use cloud services to offload data and processing power to remote servers with far greater computing power. In the coming years, the growth of IoT will place a high demand on cloud computing.

Computing at the Edge

Edge computing is being developed by cloud providers in response to the stresses posed by IoT devices. Most data centers were designed to collect large amounts of information in a centralized location, similar to how cities bring together large populations. However, half of the population does not live in a city, and information storage is becoming decentralized via edge computing in an effort to bring data and processing closer to home. Not only does this reduce latency, but it also lowers bandwidth usage costs and improves data connectivity reliability.

The latency associated with connecting to a server across the country makes this an untenable solution in the case of autonomous vehicles, where every millisecond counts and the computing demands of the vehicle’s sensory array are frequently offloaded. Edge computing is poised to absorb the new demands created by the autonomous and intelligent vehicle revolution, providing them with local access to processing power and information.

Greener Clouds

The power requirements, heat management, and infrastructure outlay of cloud computing have a growing environmental impact that must be mitigated. According to the Department of Energy, data centers account for 2% of total electrical consumption in the United States, with typical data centers requiring 10 to 50 times more energy per floor space than the average commercial office building. In light of this, businesses are reducing their carbon footprints in a variety of ways, including the use of wind and solar power assets and the planting of trees. Cloud providers are constantly striving for greater efficiencies in their hardware and software, where even minor improvements can add up to massive long-term power consumption reductions.

Google even uses historical weather data to predict server farm cooling requirements, and Microsoft has experimented with aquatic data centers, which allow the vast ocean to absorb heat. Amazon has pledged to transition its Amazon Web Services (AWS) to a 100% renewable energy operation by 2025, announcing the construction of 23 new wind and solar projects around the world in 2021.

Another growing concern is electronic waste, as aging hardware is discarded in the tens of millions of tons each year. With rare earth mineral shortages looming and supply chain breakdowns in computer hardware production, the need for robust computer hardware recycling grows by the day.

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The Proverbial Tip of the Iceberg

Cloud technologies are constantly evolving, and the biggest players are employing a plethora of novel strategies to maintain their competitive advantages. The year 2022 will be significant for the industry as it strives to keep up with the exponential growth in computing demands.

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