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Forecast for 2017: Unquestionably Cloudy

By Mike Ruth, Director, Strategic Marketing & Alliances

Forecast for 2017:
Unquestionably Cloudy

One of the biggest trends we saw pickup last year and are confident will accelerate in 2017: the continued adoption of cloud computing. From clouds with machine-learning capabilities to the rise of the federated cloud, there’s plenty of movement in this space. Here’s a look at what’s next.

Cloud adoption continues to rise

Starting in 2017, large enterprises will move to cloud in a big way, according to research firm Forrester, as enterprises scale their compute resources. By 2018, organizations will run relatively little of their technology on premises. Well over half of that infrastructure will operate in the cloud, according to a recent Cloud Computing Survey, published by global IT market-watch firm IDG.

We’re talking important workloads here: almost three-quarters of survey respondents said they already use the cloud for infrastructure-as-a-service, or plan to soon; 59% pointed to disaster recovery as a prime cloud app; and 53% are or plan to use the cloud for communications.

Federated cloud and intercloud concepts take hold

The IT industry usually considers the cloud as a service offered by competing providers. But what if those providers worked together? That’s the idea of the intercloud, a “cloud of clouds,” according to Wired founding executive editor Kevin Kelly, who came up with the term. The concept is similar to an electrical grid: cloud resources owned by multiple parties and shared via open standards. The ultimate outcome: customers get the capacity they need, regardless of the computing power they require.

We’re on our way to realizing this vision with hybrid and federated cloud environments. As a cloud infrastructure and cloud connectivity provider, Zayo fully supports these approaches. Today’s businesses need the right balance of public and private cloud resources to accommodate fluctuating workloads, protect mission-critical data and optimize cost efficiency. We focus on helping our customers architect and manage their cloud resources to meet specific business needs.

Cloud networking is the weak link

That’s Forrester’s assessment, and based on our experience, we fully agree. It’s why we’ve focused on ramping up our Connect to Cloud capabilities — providing dedicated, secure, high-capacity connections to public and private cloud providers via on-net data center access or through partner cloud exchanges. Connect to Cloud provides direct network connectivity to more than 150 on-ramps to 50 cloud providers. And we’re expanding cloud connectivity – most recently in Montreal to AWS’ new Canada region, and with more on-ramps to come in, Singapore, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Cloud connectivity is the critical link to integration and the evolution toward the Intercloud.

Our forecast for 2017? Unquestionably cloudy. That makes our resolve to provide our customers with effective, integrated cloud solutions all the more clear.

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