Considering the IT landscape in 2014

Many of the much-hyped technology trends and predictions are finally going to make their mark this year.

This year we can expect to see many of the much-hyped technology trends and predictions from 2013 actually come to fruition. In particular, we can expect to witness the next wave of virtualisation and the emergence of automation. Organisations will also continue to adopt software defined networking and storage. Based upon the key IT growth areas of cloud, virtualisation and big data, here are a few trends we can expect to see make waves in 2014 and what this means for businesses.

Enter the next wave of virtualisation and the emergence of automation

The arrival of Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Glacier providing cost effective cloud-based data storage and Microsoft Azure offering platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service in Australia will become significant drivers of the next wave of virtualisation. In 2014, we can expect the continued adoption of software defined networking and storage, as well as data centres as a subset of this. Organisations are going to be making large investments in these areas next year.

What the next wave of virtualisation really represents, however, is the opportunity for automation. This means taking back a layer of virtualisation and cloud by extension, and giving it programmability.

The ability to create networks for example, such as the control of network packets on demand, where cloud providers can redirect traffic in just a few mouse clicks, will give customers the flexibility and agility they will be looking for.

Continued growth of the multi-hypervisor strategy

Cloud and mobility represent a new era for IT and next year we can expect to see more integration between the two, especially from a Microsoft perspective, with news the company recently claimed 57 per cent of hypervisor deployments in Singapore. The growth of multi-hypervisor strategies will create data management and protection challenges and will require organisations to rethink how they do back up and modern data protection in terms of the management of heterogeneous environments.

The end of support for Windows XP will see businesses re-think desktop strategies

Next year we can expect many organisations to rethink their end-user strategies, with the death of Windows XP from a support standpoint. Along with this, we can expect the rise of mobility, meaning non-PC type computing will take a much broader role within companies.

With Windows XP out of consideration, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which is currently a niche area, will be presented as an option in regard to niche applications, but will not necessarily be universally adopted. What we will see instead is a greater drive towards mobility and BYOD, which will drive application development and delivery, but not virtual desktop delivery per se.

For the most part, the game has changed and next year we are going to see organisations thinking about how they can facilitate mobile users and application type delivery rather than desktop type delivery.

Paradigm shift from client server architecture towards client cloud architecture

Driven in part by the rise of mobile devices, businesses will be encouraged to rethink the way they deliver content to consumers both externally and within their own organisations. As a result, in 2014 we can expect a move away from the paradigm that we currently understand as client server architecture, replaced with a thinking that focuses on client cloud.

The key differences between client server and client cloud is the illusion of infinity, elasticity of provision and billing models. Cloud in essence is just a finance model.

Moving from client server to cloud architecture will bring interesting possibilities for better business continuity strategies. Suddenly we are divorcing the user from their physical office or fixed piece of hardware, such as their desktop or laptop. For businesses operating on client cloud architecture, in the event that their office is destroyed, data recovery would be as simple as accessing data from the cloud, and having a mobile workforce open this up for them.

Growth of big data, causing challenges for businesses

Many organisations are reaching a volume of data where migration becomes logistically very difficult and in instances in which the infrastructure to support the data isn’t massive, businesses may struggle to manage and maintain backing it up. As a result, in 2014, we can expect storage of big data to become an exponential headache for organisations.

What organisations are now being tasked to do is to create the illusion of elastic storage within their business, which is expensive and a logistical nightmare. The most logical answer so far has been to move everything into the cloud.

Charles Clarke is the technical director for APAC at Veeam