Cloud 2018 Surprises and 2019 Predictions

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Cloud 2018 Surprises and 2019 Predictions

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, how will cloud delight us all?

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Given the speed with which technology evolves, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their thoughts on the biggest surprises in 2018 and their predictions for 2019. Here's what they told us about the cloud:

Brad Parks, VP, Business Development, Morpheus Data

In 2018, we saw some substantive changes in the hybrid cloud market…some of which were easy to predict and others which came out of nowhere. If I had to give the past year a summary headline it might go something like “Industry consolidation marks the end of first-generation cloud management.”

Cloud management is a broad topic, and to be honest, it’s been a bit nuts as vendors have used that term to describe a fragmented array of products ranging from optimization to security to automation to migration and more. The last year has been a mix of failures, acquisitions, and consolidation as the market shook out quite a bit. News hit that CMP grandfather RightScale was gobbled up by Flexera to strengthen its asset optimization suite while cloud cost analytic player CloudHealth saw a similar fate as VMware tried to round out its own multi-product CMP. Clearly, the market is demanding more full-stack solutions… it’s no longer enough to merely turbocharge or cost optimize some VMs. Cloud management is getting ready to enter a more mature phase where the demands are greater and not everybody is able to play.

DevOps collides with cloud management. The Dev side of the DevOps equation has been moving fast and as the harbinger of digital transformation, DevOps-centric organizations are going to refuse to accept the status quo. IT teams will either embrace leverage next-generation cloud management to enable developers or they will find themselves wondering what happened to their domain. The same is true for cloud management tools. Ops-centric tools are no longer going to cut it.

AIOps goes from buzzword to baller. Many core infrastructure platforms have started taking advantage of predictive analytics to improve the data center in recent years. Like everything else moving up-stack, we’ll see more and more DevOps and CMP processes impacted by these technologies. From workload placement to code optimization to security scanning there are very few places where AI wouldn’t help.

Federation isn’t just for Star Trek. Debates over public versus private clouds or AWS versus Azure have given way to acceptance that the world is both Hybrid Cloud (on and off-premises) and multi-cloud (taking advantage of multiple platforms). 2019 will see increasing interest in next-gen private clouds as well as an increasing need for centralized governance over independent cloud estates. This also means enterprises will be more and more open to wander from the grip of traditional hardware and hypervisor players to find solutions

Harry Sverdlove, CTO & Founder, and Sean Lutner, Infrastructure Architect, Edgewise Networks

Amazon finally provided the ability to do 301 redirects in elastic load balancing. Anyone who uses AWS has been waiting for the capability forever, so it was a happy surprise to see it rolled out.

There will be a sharp uptick in usage for serverless/functions-as-a-service as the hype train dies down and people realize cloud is just event-driven computing.

Uri Wolloch, Co-Founder & CTO, N2WS

Surprisingly, there are organizations that migrated their workloads to the public cloud and don’t have a backup and DR plan in place.

The cloud doesn’t take care of everything and it’s the customers’ responsibility to ensure their data is protected and compliant. We’ve seen companies that experienced data loss and downtime because they expected the cloud to be immune against disasters, human errors or malware.

Rich Petersen, Co-founder and President, JetStream Software

“Workload repatriation” was a surprise. I’ve heard that from various sources that roughly 80% of organizations had identified workloads in the cloud that they had determined would be better served running on-premises.

The increasing importance of the mid-tier MSP. Hyperscalers will certainly continue to dominate the cloud space, but through their ability to deliver more specific customer focus, location advantages, and a continued influx of private equity, MSPs that are “quite large but not humongous” will also grow in importance.

Jessica Califano, Product Outreach, Temboo

It’s no shock that the cloud is infiltrating the enterprise space, but the year over year increase in cloud infrastructure spending is much higher than many were anticipating at the beginning of the year. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), "The combined public and private cloud revenues now represent 46.1% of the total worldwide IT infrastructure spending, up from 41.8% a year ago.”

With cloud computing on the rise, it follows that governments will start to increase legislation around policy issues like access, privacy, national security, copyright and more. It will be interesting to see the economic implications around these new regulations and the effect that they have on innovation.

Dan Potter, VP of Product Management and Marketing, Attunity

Rapid emergence of new players. Since January, use of Snowflake emerged quickly; in fact, a big number of enterprise customers looking to the cloud for greater elasticity, agility, and cost efficiencies began to deploy on Snowflake throughout 2018. Moreover, Snowflake on both AWS and Azure rose to the top as a platform that allows organizations to maximize the benefits of cloud, providing the foundation to move data at the speed of change and enable real-time data analytics.

It is clear that Snowflake got investors' attention, too, with a $450 million funding round in October. Snowflake’s next-generation approach to data warehousing in the cloud, in addition to other solutions from Azure, AWS, and Google, provides a compelling value proposition.

Multi-cloud is a trend that is just starting to evolve and it will only continue to build throughout 2019. As all public clouds are not created equal, enterprises are moving their workloads to various cloud platforms based on the business requirements. For instance, one of our customers is using Azure IoT for processing operational data and Google Cloud AI Hub for data scientists to analyze some of the IoT data together with other IT data. It is about moving and processing data where it is most appropriate; it may be in one cloud in one technology stack or across various clouds and applications. As we continue to see a proliferation of databases and analytics tools that address very different functions, enterprises will bet on flexibility to move and use the data with agility, critical for businesses who need to analyze data to operate at the speed of change.

Michael Payne, Product Team Lead, Aquicore

Many companies are still hesitant on migrating to the full cloud. This is largely due in part to continued concerns over regulatory and security restrictions and is perhaps why Kubernetes has so much momentum with its support for the hybrid cloud.

PaaS providers that wrap one of the big three cloud players (AWS, Google, Azure) might see a dip in market share as the IaaS giants start to put more weight into their own solutions for development environments going beyond the infrastructure with OS and middleware layers.

Dale Kim, Sr. Director, Products/Solutions, Arcadia Data

While we keep hearing that many organizations are moving aggressively to the cloud, it’s interesting many of these same organizations are taking carefully planned, incremental steps. So rather than pursue a “lift-and-shift” strategy from on-premises to the public cloud, or adopt a cloud-native deployment, IT teams have taken calculated steps by adopting cloud object stores as a first step in enabling elasticity in their systems.

Since elasticity and efficiency are key topics for today’s deployment, we see more adoption of serverless architectures. Many systems don’t need to run 24/7, and organizations will leverage serverless environments to scale up and scale down their deployments to meet their exact compute and storage needs.

Ryan Duguid, Chief Evangelist, Nintex

IBM's acquisition of Red Hat is by far the biggest news in cloud computing. At $34 billion, this was a massive acquisition, and a significant consolidation in the tech sector.  The move signals just how serious IBM is about upping its game in the cloud, but also shows just how far behind IBM has slipped compared to vendors like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. It will be interesting to see where IBM goes from here, and whether this deal enables them to win over new customers or retain those who always buy blue.

I expect 2019 to be the year where AI and ML go truly mainstream. Right now, most companies are just dabbling, trying to understand what’s possible, while at the same time, the platform vendors are working tirelessly to make these capabilities easier to understand and consume. More importantly, the leading vendors in the low to no code application development space are likely to start to wrap these capabilities, truly bringing AI and ML to the massive, all at an extremely affordable price compared with the benefits to be had.

Glenn Sullivan, Co-founder, SnapRoute

Many operators are moving their workloads into the cloud without a well thought out strategy for modernizing their on-premise deployments. This is leading to a fractured infrastructure strategy, where operator data centers are an afterthought — instead of a core component of a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy.

Cloud applications are more demanding, portable, and dynamic than ever before but the network isn’t keeping up. To support cloud services, we need to put the emphasis on the operator first, resulting in a Cloud Native Network Operating System (NOS). By doing so, we create a NOS approach that aligns with containerized microservices, cloud-native, and DevOps in terms of agility, scalability, customization, and security. 2019 is the year to apply Cloud Native principles to the NOS, bringing the management of development, operations, and network into alignment, curing a host of ills.

cloud, cloud 2019, hybrid cloud, multicloud, predictions

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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