Cloud computing is becoming more intelligent

The needs of UK businesses are evolving at an unbelievable pace – a technology aware workforce, challenging economic climate and access to new technology advances almost every day are creating the perfect climate for progression.

Out of all of the change that we will be faced with over these coming months, the evolution of the service cloud will be a key test of the true promise of cloud computing.

The service cloud is the aggregation point for platforms, applications and services to be delivered from or to. This is where, the heart of the business lives, the modern age comms room that delivers the data and computing power to support the desktop users.

Up until this point, the service cloud has been considered a more resilient and cost effective way of delivering these core services versus an in-house setup – there are many well trodden arguments for this, however, we are now beginning to see this evolve to give businesses more intuitive control of their environments as well as fulfilling the promise of building responsive infrastructures.

The service cloud will become more intelligent, allowing businesses to define parameters that automatically scale their environments, or tier their SLA. A typical scenario could be that a business requires their ecommerce site to have 99.999% availability during peak trading hours, but is happy for this to reduce during the night time.

More mature control systems allow this level of intelligence to be applied to fluid architectures and, will deploy the architecture to ensure that these SLA points are met, and ultimately, that the business is only billed for the 99.999% for the time it is applied, as opposed to today’s methodology of over specifying and environment.

Another, much simpler example could simply be setting a threshold for connections, that spins up another server image and adds it to a load balanced pool to share the load if a sudden spike occurs- such as one caused by an unannounced marketing campaign.

The providers delivering cloud services will begin to open up their platforms and distribute services from other clouds, promoting the message of choice and integration. Like it or not, there will be some large disruptive plays from the big vendors; notably, the arrival of Microsoft’s Azure platform and the continued rise of Amazon’s cloud offerings.

The importance of this means that businesses will demand more from their provider. They may want to host a core database in a private data centre, yet back up the data into a large public cloud to take advantage of different pricing and SLA models.

Quite simply, businesses will gain the power of even more choice and flexibility.

Hugo is a seasoned telecoms professional and leads Star’s Unified Communications strategy. He is responsible for delivering Star’s Network Services products, working with customers to develop new voice and data products and services to solve today’s business challenges.