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How 2015 Will Shape Up in the Cloud

5th January 2015 · Our Thoughts

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Many of you will have returned to work today for the first time after a fortnight of over indulgence. While you’ve been consuming enough turkey and mince pies to keep the supermarkets in business, the digital world has certainly seen a festive period of mixed fortunes.

As the first working week of 2015 gets underway John Lewis has already reported that more of its online shoppers (56%) opted for ‘click and collect’ this Christmas. Clearly a revolution in online shopping is taking place with speed and convenience at the forefront of how ecommerce is shaping retail. This is also backed up by news that online takeaway orders on Christmas Day were up by 19%, according to figures from Hungry House. Believe it or not but thousands of Brits ordered a takeaway on the 25th with burgers and fried chicken the most popular choices.

And yet we’ve also witnessed a bit of ‘old school’ making a comeback too. The Logicalis Realtime Generation Survey shows that 77% of 13 to 17 year olds chose to send a handwritten card – more than double those sending Christmas wishes via social media sites – although more than 40% of the same sample did admit to asking Santa for a digital gift this Christmas!

And if we need further evidence of digital versus old school, we need look no further than the music industry. Download music sales are down for 2014, but on-demand streaming and vinyl sales have boomed. According to data released by Nielsen Music, overall on-demand audio and video streams from services like Spotify grew 54 percent from 2013, to 164 billion in 2014. Whilst sales of vinyl albums increased 52%, up from 6.1 million in 2013 to 9.2 million in 2014, with paid album downloads dropping 9%.

So it’s in with the new and in with the old it seems! However there is no doubt that we are living in rapidly changing times and not least in our industry. So what are the changing trends that will affect us in our work in 2015 and how will the world of the cloud evolve in the New Year?

Attack alert

Unfortunately for Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony PlayStation Network the experience was far from one of festive goodwill after they both were both subject to Christmas Day DDoS attacks. Online security will continue to be a major issue throughout 2015 whether you are protecting your individual gaming account or your entire business.

iomart works with Arbor Networks to provide protection for our customers. Dan Holden, the Director of ASERT, Arbor Network’s Security Engineering and Response Team, says the trend in 2014 was for large traffic floods known as volumetric attacks but so-called stealth attacks at the application layer grew also grew. As a result he believes that layered DDoS protection is the best way for businesses and organisations to defend themselves.

“Network perimeter defenses provide proactive protection from application layer attacks,” Dan said in an interview with Tech Radar, “but they need to be coupled with a cloud or service provider DDoS protection service to deal with higher magnitude, volumetric, attacks which are meant to saturate Internet connectivity.”

You might not be able to prevent a DDoS attack but what you can do is detect it quickly and mitigate the effect it has. Judging whether your organisation can afford an Internet service outage will be a key strategic business issue in 2015. To find out more visit /secure/ddos-protection/

Weather report

This time last year the rain started and it didn’t stop. For almost a month homes and businesses in the West Country suffered severe flooding. With all the precious data we keep both in our homes through our smart devices and in our businesses for our staff and customers, 2015 should be a moment to consider the benefits of secure cloud storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Particularly as we start to move more into the world of wearable tech in sport, health, fashion and the home, we need to consider what we do with the data that is generated. Some organisations generate TBs of data each week and ensuring that data is protected and secure is invaluable. A good service provider can help ensure that data that needs to be stored for legal reasons is archived properly and data that needs to be accessed every day is readily available. In the event of a disaster such as a flood or fire on your premises, having your data secured offsite in a third party accredited data centre and with a fast recovery process in place will be invaluable.

Cloud storage and backup is an essential part of business continuity and is an issue that all organisations that operate online will have to come to terms with better this year.

Good Cloud Relations

Which type of cloud will be of most use to your business in 2015? The answer is that you don’t need to choose. You can now combine a number of cloud services depending on your business need.

We are living in a ‘multi-cloud world’ where hybrid, private and public cloud services have collided. In one global survey carried out recently 77% of respondents said they planned to deploy application environments across multiple clouds in the next 12 months.

Different workloads need different support particularly within the enterprise. This is why the relationship between businesses and their cloud service providers are going to become even more important this year. CSPs who can offer compelling cloud services that are secure, cost-effective and above all can manage complex cloud environments are going to be in demand.

As 451 Research noted in its ‘2015 Trends’ report, traditional hosting and infrastructure as a service is expected to grow into a $60billion market in 2015. The respected research organisation says service providers need to offer “compelling solutions to solve business problems rather than peddling generic technology resources. As mobile solutions and the Internet of Things gain traction the performance of these hosted solutions is even more critical.”

451 Research predicts that over 80% of the enterprises it surveyed that currently buy cloud services and technologies will spend more on cloud-specific budgets this year. As businesses overcome their internal resistance to change, the multi-cloud approach looks set to be the way forward.

Wishing you a happy and successful 2015 in the cloud.

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