Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) achieved 100% revenue growth, on its cloud computing services, Azure cloud and Office cloud, in its fiscal Q3 2014. This is no surprise, given that the Redmond giant has almost 1 million servers and holds vast domination over the cloud computing platform.
Cloud services basically allows users to use hosted services based on a subscriber model, ensuring that customers consume services which are constantly updated and improved. The massive increase in the number of internet users has spurred the demand for services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Netflix.
Earlier, data was primarily stored on hardware devices, such as floppy disks, memory cards and hard drives. The main issues on these units were the lack of storage available and the possibility of a sabotage. Cloud storage has made it possible to store various forms of data such as music and documents with little to no risks.
In this infographic from eclipse.net, the rapid adoption of the cloud and its future possibilities are depicted:
- The value of the cloud computing industry has risen from US$46 billion in 2008, to US$150 billion by 2014.
- In a survey by Forbes, three-quarters of respondents used cloud computing, with Amazon, Microsoft and Google being the most popular services.
- 86% of companies use more than one type of cloud computing device, with most using at least four.
- Asia-Pacific will be the largest market for cloud computing by 2016, with a mind-boggling 1.5 zeta bytes of global cloud computing usage.
- Within five to ten years, 50% of all information technology will be stored in the cloud.
- In another survey, 75% of respondents used the cloud for storing photographs, while 70% use the same for storing e-mails. Only 43% of users, store music and research notes on the cloud.
The rise of cloud computing is directly linked with the number of connected devices and the number of internet users. With an estimated 40 billion connected devices by the year 2020 and the number of internet users set to reach 3.6 billion by 2017, the cloud will continue to grow and expand as users look for more ways to store information.
Security issues persist on most cloud computing platforms and the lack of infrastructure needed to support a robust cloud network is another obstacle. For complete domination of the cloud fast internet connection and resilient bandwidth are two key prerequisites.