For several years, cloud services have invaded the IT market. Increased efficiency, cost reduction, scalability and flexibility are the major benefits of cloud services. Gartner predicts, for example, that by 2023, global cloud spending will grow by 20.7% to $591.8 billion, up from $490.3 billion in 2022. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2025, businesses will spend more on cloud services than on traditional IT solutions.
Cloud services are split between public and private clouds. The former is provided via the internet and shared by several organisations, while the latter is dedicated to a single organisation. According to a Flexera survey, 92% of respondents use a public cloud, while 82% use a private cloud. According to the same study, in 2021, 41% of workloads were running in the public cloud and 38% in the private cloud.
In reality, today the hybrid form is the most popular. This environment uses both the private and public clouds, thus taking advantage of both systems.
Did you know?
If your institution is connected to the Belnet network, you can use the OCRE (Open Clouds for Research Environments) framework agreement. This agreement allows you to access different cloud solutions (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS...) from a variety of vendors and service providers and to benefit from advantageous discounts. We'll come back to this in more detail next month. So don't miss our April newsletter.
Focus on cloud storage
The numbers are growing all the time
Although local data storage still has a long way to go, cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular. The growing adoption of cloud storage is driven by a number of factors including cost savings, scalability, accessibility and ease of data retrieval. The choice depends on the specific needs of the user, but it is estimated that 60% of the world's corporate data is now stored in the cloud.
According to the Run the World application, the cloud storage market is worth around €150 million. This figure is expected to rise to 168 million euros by 2025.
In 2021 the average cloud user had 1.44 terabytes of data stored in the cloud, whereas in 2018 they held only 563 gigabytes.
Again, many institutions do not choose to store their data solely in a public or private cloud, but often choose a hybrid form of storage. This allows users to take advantage of the private cloud for storing sensitive data and the public cloud for its cost effectiveness and scalability.
An IDC report estimates that this volume could reach 33 zettabytes by 2025, with 30% of the world's data being stored in the public cloud.
Amazon, Microsoft and Google are the top 3 players in the public cloud. In 2021, Amazon Web Services announced that it had reached 100 exabytes of data in its AWS Cloud solution. In the same year, Microsoft claimed that its OneDrive solution was hosting 2 trillion files and that this figure was growing by 300 trillion each month, while Google cloud Storage was hosting 2 trillion files in its Google cloud Storage solution.
If you are looking for a customised and hypersecure storage solution in a private cloud, Belnet Storage may be the solution to your needs. Please visit our Belnet Storage webpage for more information.
New trends are emerging
Edge computing is another trend in cloud storage. It involves storing data closer to the edge of the network instead of in a centralised cloud. This reduces latency and improves the performance of applications that need to process data in real time.
It is also possible to opt for 'multi-cloud' storage to take advantage of the specificities of several different providers, but also to ensure redundancy and facilitate recovery in case of damage.
More recently, artificial intelligence and machine learning are being integrated into cloud storage platforms to automate the tasks of data management or analysis of very large amounts of data.
Of course, security and privacy have become essential features with the increasing amount of sensitive data stored in the cloud.
Research data storage, the cloud is appealing to researchers
The greater accessibility of data stored in the cloud allows researchers to access their data from anywhere with a simple internet connection making remote collaboration more efficient. The volume of storage can be easily reduced or expanded.
Security is a key issue with cloud data storage. It is facilitated by various features such as encryption, access control and authorisation, and data recovery.
Cloud storage also facilitates the exchange of data between researchers who can easily provide access to their data without physical transfer.
On the public services side, cloud storage is also high on the agenda
Administrations serving citizens store very large amounts of data such as civil status documents or tax documents. This data often requires extensive security measures that can be provided by cloud storage solutions.
Law enforcement agencies also rely on cloud-based data storage to store and access data related to their operational activities in real time, facilitating interdepartmental collaboration and coordination of actions.
Healthcare is one of the largest users of cloud storage and the fastest growing sector.
A greener cloud, the challenge of tomorrow
Cloud data centres account for 3% of global energy consumption, according to BMC.
The biggest challenge for the cloud will therefore be to maintain sustainability. Cloud services will need to involve the use of energy-efficient hardware and renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint. Cloud service providers are increasingly investing in sustainable cloud initiatives to reduce their environmental impact.