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Best and worst cloud computing trends for 2013

Does big data make you blush? Is cloud innovation dead? IT pros sound off on which cloud computing trends should stay and which should go in 2013.

Some of the cloud computing trends that IT pros hope to see in 2013 include cheaper, more accessible public cloud services, and they want to see buzzwords such as "big data" go the way of the dinosaur.

Generally, cloud computing experts want to see more serious adoption of the public cloud.

"Everyone is putting their toe in the water and not putting a real commitment behind it," said Tony Witherspoon, senior solutions consultant for a consulting company on the East Coast.

Stop cloud washing everything.

Bill Hill,
senior engineer working in the public sector

Furthermore, aspiring cloud computing architects should realign the way applications are designed so that they fit in the cloud, Witherspoon said, rather than migrating legacy architectures to a new platform.

On the vendor side, cloud providers should move beyond compute, network and storage, and develop new, innovative ways to solve customer problems, said Sean Perry, CIO of Robert Half International Inc., based in San Ramon, Calif.

Perry pointed to Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Redshift data warehouse as an example of the right approach, because it will offer a less expensive way to incorporate more data into companies' business analytics processes.

Google and Microsoft should offer basic Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) at low prices to compete against AWS, said Matt Lipinski, architect for London-based Reed Elsevier Technology Services.

Another IT pro wants to see better cloud interoperability.

"I hope that cloud vendors resolve to work better together," said Kris Bliesner, CEO of 2nd Watch Inc. a cloud consultancy based in Liberty Lake, Wash. "It is a huge pain today to try to manage cloud across vendors."

Public cloud computing vendors should address the lack of performance monitoring and management in their offerings as well, said Bob Plankers, a virtualization architect for a large Midwestern university.

"Private cloud still has the advantage there because of all the rich APIs [application programming interfaces] and performance tools organizations have in place," he said.

The anti-wish 2013 list: Bad cloud computing trends

In addition to outages, data losses, identity thefts, price increases and bad customer service, there are also a few cloud computing trends experts hope to avoid in 2013.

For example, it would be reasonable to expect more industry consolidation in 2013, but that might not be a good thing for the industry, according to Bliesner.

"The market is still so new that consolidation at this phase may interrupt some of the most important new technology research and development of the century. I'd like to see more innovators, inventors and cloud dreamers than folks focused on making a quick buck on market hype.

Cloud computing experts also want to see some of the market's vocabulary altered radically.

"I don't follow the big data company and product naming trend," said Tory Skyers, a solutions architect for a major VAR [value-added reseller]. "Call it something people won't chuckle at when I say it in public!"

Even the term "cloud" is up for review -- to be replaced, perhaps, with "software-defined data center" or simply used more sparingly.

"Stop cloud washing everything," said Bill Hill, a senior engineer working in the public sector. "We get it; cloud exists."

There's also always the bigger picture, pointed out Carl Brooks, analyst for 451 Research based in Boston, Mass. And by that, he means the really big picture.

"I hope that the cloud does not come alive, decide humans are too inefficient and start constructing Skynet," he said.

Beth Pariseau is a senior news writer for and Write to her at or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

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