Cloud 2019 Predictions (Part 3)
Containers lose their luster and clouds become more specific in this cloud prediction.
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Given the speed with which technology is changing, we thought it would be a good idea to see where IT professionals see the cloud going in 2019. Here's what they told us:
People will stop talking about containers. Containers are the hottest topic in enterprise IT since the cloud itself. For a while, everyone was obsessed with what technology leaders like Google were doing with the technology, and the top three topics of conversation at any DevOps meetup were containers, containers, and containers. But as the rubber hits the road, enterprises are increasingly driven by what containers allow them to achieve – multi-cloud operations, highly-available global scale applications – rather than the technology itself. So as container adoption radically accelerates, people counterintuitively talk less about containers, and more about the apps and services that containers enable.
Specialized services shift the balance of power in the cloud. As enterprises more fully embrace the cloud, they will begin to seek out specialized cloud services to meet specific technical and business needs. These may include cloud services that prioritize lower TCO for storage and compute, or cloud services optimized for specific features and architectures, such as security and hybrid computing. These specialized services will put new competitive pressure on the big public cloud providers, who will need to respond with new offerings or see their dominance in the cloud start to erode.
On-prem will be cloud-native. In 2019, more enterprises will begin running cloud-native technology and infrastructure on-prem, in their own data centers. “Cloud-native,” as a result, won’t be relegated to public cloud offerings. It’s somewhat counterintuitive to think the most advanced model for deploying and scaling applications today can be applied on-prem as well as in the public cloud, but it’s possible; there’s no reason these benefits should be limited to the public cloud. Next year, we’ll see more and more businesses embracing this paradox. If they don’t, they will miss out on much of the value that cloud-native has to offer.
Cloud will only continue to grow as more and more companies move from in-house operations to hosting with AWS and other cloud vendors. They’ll do this to decrease cost and increase speed to market.
Deployments to public cloud infrastructure will accelerate over the next year, adding to a pressing need to make migrations more efficient and reliable. Enterprise hybrid clouds need standardized deployments and application workflows. For example, cloud storage should be deployed so that it looks like local storage and users can’t tell the difference. Enabling this requires a layer of abstraction. Compute, networking, and storage need to work seamlessly together in hybrid deployments — watch for and contribute to software-defined storage standards development in 2019.
The percentage of organizations using at least one cloud-based tool reached 81 percent worldwide in 2018. Even though we expect this number to increase in the coming year, recent research shows that most companies don’t deploy appropriate security measures to protect data in the cloud. If this trend continues, we will see massive data breaches in 2019.
AIOps implementation in a containerized world. I'm forecasting a cloudy, code-based enterprise future and a containerized world, rife with noisy, data-filled virtual processes for IT operators to monitor and maintain. This means a primary focus for the future should be ensuring an organization’s incident monitoring systems are capable of handling huge data streams. If not, maintaining the steady uptime and efficiency that an enterprise system requires will be impossible. If that’s not enough, tools may lack the power of penetrating and analyzing data within and between containers. Therefore, I also predict a rise in artificial intelligence for IT operations (or "AIOps") implementation, as it grants the ability to see what’s inside these containers to track and analyze the information generated.
John Gray, CTO, Infiniti, InterVision
Servers and systems will be replaced by containers, microservices, and serverless computing. Application development teams now have sufficient real experience with containers, microservices, and serverless computing to allow them to completely refactor applications. This will lead to much more agility, reduced costs, and paying only for computing resources consumed. Microservices can be quickly composed and adapted to support new needs. However, the production environment contains many more pieces than with legacy monolithic applications. In addition to the increased number of application components, many of them are only running for an instant, which makes application monitoring and troubleshooting significantly more difficult – this difficulty will be overcome by DevOps teams integrating leading-edge application performance monitoring tools into these next-generation applications.
Cloud 2.0 is coming. Combined with new technologies like containerization, serverless computing, service mesh, security mesh, hyperscale, and cross-cluster management, etc., I think Cloud 2.0 is coming our way. Future cloud infrastructure need not be limited to be VM-centric; instead, it will become more and more service and data-driven. Kubernetes offers a strong opportunity to make this shift a reality. The goal is for all cloud functions and features to be enabled to serve business needs directly and instantly, whether it's security, storage, networking, etc.
More organizations will “go digital.” In order to reduce costs as well as provide more services to customers/partners, organizations who were traditionally paper-based and less outfacing (financial, insurance, healthcare), will “go digital”. This will be done by offering more and more online services and external access into services.
Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) and Zero Trust will gain momentum. The move to a digital business means many more services have to be exposed to the outside world. Organizations will want to be able to “go digital” but maintain a small attack surface, this will be achieved by deploying SDP and zero trust solutions.
The rise of smart clouds. The adoption of streaming data capture from IoT and sensors, data governance policies, security standards, expanded data curation, and compilation and widespread adoption of AI and machine learning (ML) have made it impossible to rely completely on on-premises solutions. Technologies such as AI, ML, and analytics thrive in environments with expansive amounts of data and compute abilities beyond those available in on-premises solutions. These trends greatly favor cloud-based architectures and will only increase as vendors offer more advanced solutions.
The cloud wars will escalate in 2019. Serverless architecture will drive down costs even further, and I would expect hybrid to become more popular with pushes from VMware and AWS. Online marketplaces will shift spending from offline distribution and vendors, and resellers will increasingly adopt digital VAR-like models. Machine learning and AI will continue to rise in adoption and increase the allure of cloud computing. Because of these technologies, the public cloud will become the de-facto choice for developers.
In 2019, expect to see more and more channel partners and vendors moving towards cloud services for both security and performance reasons. In contrast, direct consumers will be slower to adopt cloud technology and understand the cloud, due to lack of knowledge about the security and costs associated. Both end users and partners should research cloud services before taking the leap, to ensure it is beneficial, cost-effective, and from a reputable company.
With the widespread adoption of the cloud, multi-cloud will become more of a mid-market reality versus just a large enterprise market play. This past year, most organizations are still “multi-cloud by accident;” however, in 2019, we will truly see more organizations become “multi-cloud by choice,” eventually resulting in the multi-cloud becoming the mainstream approach to cloud services and platforms.
Organizations will replace VPNs with micro-perimeters — for Zero Trust hybrid cloud security. Many organizations are pursuing a hybrid strategy involving integrated on-premises systems and off-premises cloud/hosted resources. But traditional VPN software solutions are obsolete for the new IT reality of hybrid and multi-cloud. They weren't designed for them. They're complex to configure, and they give users get a "slice of the network," creating a lateral network attack surface. A new class of purpose-built security software will emerge to eliminate these issues and disrupt the cloud VPN market. This new security software will enable organizations to build lightweight dynamic micro-perimeters to secure application- and workload-centric connections between on-premises and cloud/hosted environments, with virtually no attack surface.
In 2019, we expect to see AI and ML integrated into data protection solutions for workloads running both on-premises and in the cloud. This will not only make backup and DR strategies more efficient through automation and orchestration but will enable organizations to identify trends and lower storage costs through deep learning algorithms.
Tools and platforms that help organizations manage hybrid and multi-cloud are the opportunity in 2019. Organizations will have many clouds (private, public, hybrid) but they’ll want one place to manage the data in those clouds.
Cloud adoption will reduce in 2019 as the economics, a maturing understanding of capacity needs, and unreliability of major cloud vendors mean that more companies elect to go in-house for more of their systems.
Return of the data center?
At the same time, more organizations will use the cloud for some of their requirements as GDPR and other initiatives mean that companies are more sophisticated in terms of security and so able to make more fine-grained decisions. The DOJ will move to break up the dominance of AWS.
Enterprises that have already implemented cloud infrastructures are increasingly wary of being locked to a single cloud provider and looking for new opportunities to increase their resilience and tactical versatility. Many more of these enterprises will pursue hybrid and multi-cloud strategies throughout 2019, tapping different cloud providers at once and favoring fully open source solutions on cloud infrastructure as a service to escape vendor lock-in and realize cost savings, optimized performance, and superior reliability.
AIOps is going to revolutionize IT Operations and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). IT operations itself is a valuable application of AI: operational excellence is critical for success in the modern, software-defined world of computing resources. AI-based automation and optimization guidance based on learning from aggregated performance data will give operations a new scale and democratize excellence in cloud operations to an extent that today is only achievable by the largest cloud-native operators.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.