Crystal ballIt’s that time of year again, and industry commentators are sharing their cloud predictions for 2018 and beyond.

While the subject of cloud computing is a massive area, I’d like to highlight a few predictions that bode well for the continued growth of iland as a focused cloud service provider.

Growth of Cloud Storage

  • Cisco estimates total cloud storage to increase from 370EB in 2017 to 1.1ZB in 2018
  • Increased regulation has driven requirements for several copies of backup data – on-premises, off-site or in the cloud. In certain industries, leglisation has required longer term retention of data, often up to 7 or 10 years.
  • According to a 2017 Gartner survey, 42% of respondents said they would be looking to implement cloud backup in the next year, while 13% said they were doing so already.
  • Increased availability of high-speed fibre broadband, as well as FTTP and MPLS circuits has made backup to the cloud much more accessible for small medium businesses.
Over the last year, iland has seen massive growth in the take-up of its cloud backup offering, based on Veeam Cloud Connect. Cloud backup is probably one of the easiest cloud services to test and adopt, especially as it only takes a few clicks within the Veeam B&R console to add iland as a service provider and start sending backup or copy jobs to the cloud. Find out more here.

Growth of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

  • Gartner sees the DRaaS market to grow from $2.01B in 2017 to $3.7B by 2021
  • 2017 has seen a great deal of natural disasters around the world, from hurricanes and floods to wild fires. Customers have been rushing to buy DRaaS services, and existing customers invoke DRaaS for real.
  • Aside from natural disasters, the rise of ransomware has been another important driver for DRaaS. The very low RPOs often make DRaaS a better solution than trying to recover from daily backups.
  • As with cloud backup, increased availability of high-speed fibre broadband, has made DRaaS replication across the internet much more achievable for most customers.
As iland continues to enjoy its spot in the top-right of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for DRaaS, the company has seen many organisations having to use the service for real in Texas, Florida and California. One organisation in Florida was able to go from no disaster recovery protection to fully replicated and tested within five days as Hurricane Irma swept in. We are able to provide a number of different DRaaS solutions depending on your requirements. For more information click here.

Hybrid or Multi-cloud

  • The IaaS market grew 31.4% in 2016 according to Gartner. While the hyper-scale providers accounted for the lions share, others in the market saw a 13.2% growth. 451 Research predicts that IaaS will continue to grow from an estimated $16B in 2017 to $30B in 2021.
  • Cisco sees SaaS as the most highly-developed cloud service and will account for 60% of all workloads.
  • Cloud lock-in is seen as an issue with many of the hyper-scale cloud vendors. While everything might be going well now in terms of pricing, availability and performance, how do businesses plan to leave a cloud provider if things are no longer working out?
  • In regulated industries such as financial services, organisations are advised not to put all of their eggs in one basket and therefore to use several clouds or managed services for their IT requirements.
For many VMware-based customers, there is little value in going through the pain of virtual machine conversion just to get their VMs into the hyper-scale clouds. I’ve blogged in the past about some of the trials and tribulations of this. However, with the advent of technologies such as VMware NSX, as well as iland’s DRaaS solutions used in a migration context, it is relatively easy to migrate production VMs to the cloud with minimal downtime and they can effectively stay on the same IP network as when they were running on-premises. The iland Secure Cloud Console provides the same level of detailed reporting and visibility as users would see in the vCenter on-premise.

As discussed earlier, the availability of high-speed connectivity has meant that the speed of access (and latency) has improved dramatically over recent years for customers running VPN tunnels over the public internet, or using leased lines and MPLS circuits.

On the subject of SaaS, iland has many successful ISVs amongst its customer base who are able to offer their software to customers as a SaaS solution, removing the need to either build their own cloud infrastructure, or for customers to have to provision their own systems on-premises.

Being based on a VMware infrastructure, customers are able to import and if required, export their virtual machines using the Open Virtualization Format (OVF). This then allows them to run on-premises again, or perhaps on another VMware-powered cloud, of which many are available around the world.

On the topic of multi-cloud, many of iland’s IaaS and DRaaS customers are also starting to use the hyper-scale cloud providers for other use cases. They can benefit from iland’s carrier-neutral data center locations that, in many cases, are also the home to some of the hyper-scale providers. Even if they are not, iland’s partnership with carriers such as, Megaport, enables them to easily connect at high-speed and low latency to ExpressRoute or DirectConnect services.

Learn more about iland’s secure cloud here.

GDPR/Compliance/Security

  • For many years security was seen as a blocker to cloud adoption. In most cases now, this is covered by the cloud provider and their vendor partners, even if you have to develop solutions for your requirements from a diverse set of product offerings.
  • The advent of GDPR in May 2018 has created increased requirements for security and compliance around data ownership, access, and deletion, and importantly who is responsible for the data – the service provider or the organization/customer creating it?
From the outset, the iland secure cloud has been built to provide all the aspects of security and compliance that an enterprise customer would require. This includes Trend Micro Deep Security to protect the virtual machines running in the customer’s virtual data centers, as well as Tenable Nessus to monitor and protect VMs exposed to the internet.

From a compliance perspective, iland has a dedicated team of professionals to ensure that we are at the forefront of compliance initiatives such as, ISO 27001, CSA Star, SOC, HIPAA, PCI and GCloud. We partner with world-class data center providers to ensure the highest levels of security and availability for our suites.

GDPR will bring in a whole new set of requirements around data privacy, and iland is constantly improving our processes and procedures, as well as offering services to enable customers to understand their commitments around data protection as May 2018 draws closer.

Richard Stinton

Richard Stinton

Richard is an Enterprise Solutions Architect for the iland EMEA business and has over 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, most recently in the Cloud space with iland, Microsoft Azure and VMware. Starting out in Engineering CAD/CAM and GIS systems with McDonnell Douglas and EDS, he moved to mainstream IT and Systems/Service Management with HP, BMC Software and Mercury Interactive, before joining VMware in its early days. Richard has a breadth of experience having worked in customer support, sales, partner management and product marketing. In his current role as EMEA solutions architect, Richard works with customers to implement and optimise cloud technologies.