The 5 Hottest Trends in Cloud Computing for 2012

This year is shaping up to be a monumental year for cloud computing. As more businesses take creative and individualized paths to the cloud, trends have begun to emerge among SMBs.

Tom Bittman, a Gartner analyst, takes stock of five cloud computing trends in a post on the Gartner blog:

1. Real Deployments: We’ll see about a 10X increase in private cloud deployments in 2012.

2. Hybrid Plans: According to polls, enterprises are already looking beyond private cloud to hybrid cloud computing (not cloud bursting, per se, but resource pool expansion). Interest in hybrid is affecting architecture plans and vendor selection today — but actual hybrid cloud usage is really rare right now.

3. Choices Expand: The cloud management platform market is very immature, but there are choices, and four distinct categories are forming: a) virtualization platforms expanding “up,” b) traditional management vendors expanding “down,” c) open source–centered initiatives (most notably OpenStack), and d) startups often focused on Amazon interoperability.

4. Sourcing Alternatives: While on-premises private clouds are becoming the most common, there’s a growing interest in private clouds managed by service providers — but with varying levels of “privacy,” and understanding that is critical.

5. Value Is Shifting: Many enterprises have assumed that the primary benefit of private cloud is lower costs. That’s changing. According to recent polls, the majority of large enterprises consider speed and agility to be the primary benefit.

For more on private clouds in the enterprise, read Bittman’s full post on the Gartner blog. And for more great content from around the web, check out the 50 Must-Read IT Blogs from BizTech.