Cloud computing continues to be a hot topic in the business world, with companies committed to investing in platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and private cloud solutions in the new year. As we enter 2018, what is need-to-know information for cloud trends?

Fog Computing

Fog computing, also known as fogging and edge computing, is poised to take off in a big way in 2018. If fog evokes clouds, it should: the concept refers to leveraging the cloud capabilities closer to the edge of the network. Less cloud, more fog in other words.

Fogging redistributes resources and brings together physical and virtual resources with data centers, cloud environments, and end devices (such as computer, IoT devices, and more).

Fog computing has practical applications in the real-world—think smart medicines or autonomous cars—but it has a lot to offer businesses, too. By using edges of the cloud, which may be closer to the data center, companies can decrease latency and increase efficiency.

A 451 Research study forecast that fog computing would grow from a $1.032 billion market in 2018 to more than $1 billion by 2022.

Cloud Containers

Cloud containers have become a key buzzword in IT, particularly regarding cyber security. Major companies like Facebook and Google use cloud containers in their production environments. Containers are sometimes called JeOS, which stands for Just enough OS.

Cloud containers create an isolation boundary at application levels, rather than server levels. For example, consider a dedicated MySQL container that creates one virtual instance of the application.

If something goes wrong in within the container, it only affects that container, not the server or the virtual machine. Containers are flexible, easy to use, and secure. Containers also put an end to frustrating compatibility problems between applications on the same OS.

Cloud containers sound similar to virtual machines, however, they are on a much smaller scale. The container does not need a full OS or a virtual copy of the host’s hardware. Since they require very little — often, a bare-bones OS, a couple libraries, and a few pieces of software — companies can run multiple containers on the same server versus a single virtual machine.

Containers are also quite portable; once a container is created, it can be moved across servers. Containers are low-cost, versatile, portable and easy to use, which makes them popular among security-minded organizations. Expect to see containers become more popular in 2018, both standalone and as a complement to virtual machines.

Building A Cloud Redundancy Strategy

Redundancy comes to the cloud in 2018. Since organizations rely on cloud for their IT infrastructure, a disruption in service would spell disaster. To encourage redundancy, organizations are placing their primary systems on one cloud, then a backup on another cloud. This way, if the primary cloud experiences an outage, they can access systems via the backup.

To ensure that data does not get lost during a cloud switch, IT teams can mirror database updates between the primary and secondary cloud platforms with low latency to reduce the amount of data that is lost during the transfer process.

Redundancy spells additional work for IT teams, who must understand the requirements and different procedures of multiple cloud environments, sync data on a regular basis, and keep both environments up to date.

Admittedly, the likelihood of a large-scale cloud outage causing a serious disruption to your business is low. Cloud providers have their own redundancy built in. However, it’s always smart to have a backup plan, and this is where the cloud redundancy strategy fits in. It never hurts to be prepared, especially when the cost of the secondary cloud is low, since your organization isn’t actively using the platform.

Net Neutrality

Put in place in the U.S. just over two years ago, net neutrality was abruptly removed by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission or FCC. Those rules prevented internet providers from slowing down traffic to certain websites and offering so-called fast lanes for a fee. Now, internet service providers in the U.S. are allowed to discriminate against users, block traffic, or offer paid fast access — as long as they state they are doing this.

Many U.S. consumers and businesses advocated in favor of net neutrality and are upset about the change. Advocates of the net neutrality repeal believed the internet worked fine before net neutrality was put in place, and argued that repealing the measures will not hamper intellectual freedom or information access.

Proponents of net neutrality plan to sue to get the measures reinstated, placing the onus on the FCC to prove that revoking net neutrality was the right decision. It’s no doubt that U.S. net neutrality will continue to be a hot topic in the coming months.

In contrast to the U.S., Canada has actively doubled down on its support of net neutrality, which it believes is key to freedom of expression and equality. Canada upholds net neutrality and mandates the ISPs cannot set different prices based on content. ISPs can, however, charge customers different prices for higher speed or more monthly data usage.

Join our newsletter, or check back in the next couple of months to find more in-depth articles on trending cloud topics and ways a private Canadian cloud can help your business operate better and grow, including securing and safeguarding your data, privacy concerns, and best practices in disaster recovery for 2018.

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