The potential of cloud computing – whether that’s simple data hosting through a cloud or running software and systems themselves via clouds – is undoubtable, and though we’re yet to see it quite reach that potential, there’s plenty of promise. The question that’s been on everyone’s lips over the last few days however has been the question of whether cloud computing could ultimately replace traditional storage solutions.
The first thing to note is that cloud systems cannot simply be created from thin air, though you can build clouds from clouds, there ultimately needs to be some storage potential in physical space at some point. What cloud computing can do is limited to the storage available at centralised data centres to at least some extent, though creating clouds can make more efficient use of the general space that’s available.
Cloud software of course requires you to be connected to the cloud you’re using – without an internet connection your cloud functionality may be limited. Though the wifi availability in the UK is generally pretty good, it’s far from perfect and a lot of businesses that need a lot of mobility are holding back from completely integrating with clouds for this reason.
This is likely to improve considerably in coming years however, and the introduction of 4G networks in the UK means that the internet is rapidly becoming faster and more accessible from even remote parts of the country.
A Specialised Service
Despite these limitations a completely cloud integrated business environment is quite foreseeable. As cloud providers become bigger and bigger, their ability to offer tailored, specialised services becomes increasingly better and there is a massive innovation to develop physical storage capacities that can eventually be used as clouds.
By outsourcing data hosting needs, businesses will be able to benefit from the expert knowledge cloud providers have, and this could represent a cost saving for everyone.
Cloud computing isn’t yet in a position to replace physical data centres, and the needs of businesses and the abilities of cloud providers aren’t quite aligned yet, but as we’ve seen from the massive industry growth over the last two years, it’s rapidly becoming more popular. In the future it could well be that all data is hosted remotely and as cloud providers start to tap into their potential it only seems reasonable that cloud will become ever more popular.
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