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DZone Research: Biggest Changes in the Cloud

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DZone Research: Biggest Changes in the Cloud

Take a look at these cloud industry executives' takes on how the growth of serverless computing as well as containers are changing the cloud.

· Cloud Zone ·
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To gather insights on the current and future state of the cloud, we talked to IT executives from 33 companies about their, and their clients’, use of the cloud. We asked, "What’s been the most significant change in the cloud environment in the past year or two?" Here's what they told us:

Serverless

  • Serverless architecture and container-based solutions.
  • We see a lot of change around the premise of what a compute resource is with serverless and microservices becoming much more impactful. A lot of cross-pollination of services across cloud providers. The ability for cross-cloud solution mapping. 
  • 1) Serverless technology pattern will continue to evolve. 2) ML and calibration of predictive models into every form of application. 3) Single biggest change is how apps are thought of and changed. 
  • “I don’t think there’s a man that has democratized computing more than I have” – Steve Wozniak. I believe the same can be said for AWS. Virtual workspaces are created in moments. You can move mountains with a mouse click. The move to serverless computing. Dynamo DB makes it easy to put high-end computing at everyone’s fingertips AWS Aurora serverless. Pay only for resources used on second by second basis allowing anyone to afford high-end computing. Huge advantage in a changing world.

Containers

  • The emergence of Containers as a service and Function as a Service.
  • 1) AI/ML is a big piece. Fundamentals have not changed. Massive cheap computing on demand in someone else’s data center. It’s cutting-edge and most people have trouble coping with what they can do with it. 2) Evolution of containers and microservices is a significant swing. A lot is being taken care of for you by the big cloud vendors (Docker, Kubernetes). Serverless computing is kicking into gear as the next big thing. Lightweight processing. Container management – ACI. Leads us to get an understanding to use serverless, instances on demand, managed container environment. Making technology go away. 
  • The big change is the move to innovation as the motivator. The rise of Kubernetes and the consolidation of thought around that platform. The industry is building the new platform that apps will be built on based on containers and Kubernetes. Consolidation of thought around the new platform. Progression to higher problems is becoming easier. Istio is about managing the connection between different applications on the cloud. The incredible pace of definition and delivery. A single platform definition pervasively defined in the industry. Faster development because it gets people unstuck – they know which horse to ride. 
  • Containers added to the agility and ease of applications in the cloud ability to move on-prem to cloud. Few are used for stateful applications. That’s what we see in the future. Expand agility within and across clouds. 
  • I don’t know if it is really a new change, but containerization is making a huge impact on architecture, both in planning, designing, and implementing cloud applications. 
  • The emergence of containers as a disruptive force. 1) Containers as paradigms of self-contained execution environments. Higher density, security, multi-tenancy. Docker and OCI is a great trend. 2) K8 orchestration solutions. Standardizing on Kubernetes is a win-win for everyone.

Hybrid Multi-cloud

  • Multi-cloud has really risen in prominence in the past two years. Clients are moving from unconsciously implementing multiple clouds (e.g. via shadow IT), to strategically plan the best ways to leverage multiple clouds for economic and technical benefits - not to mention protection from competitive expansion on the part of their cloud providers. It’s still early days in the multi-cloud process for most clients, but the trend is definitely there.
  • I think it’s the realization that public cloud is not a panacea and within the public cloud world, there are important differences between what you can get from hyperscalers and what you can get from the thousands of cloud service providers that maybe aren’t as well known. IT shops are getting much more sophisticated in developing hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies to optimize cost, agility, and scalability.
  • The recognition that the public cloud is not the end game, but rather a critical component of a broader infrastructure strategy. As with any seismic shift in IT infrastructure, there are simply too many legacy applications that cannot be shifted to the new paradigm, either due to missing requirements or concerns about interruptions to business. Even companies that previously went all in on the public cloud are now pulling some workloads back on-premise. The capabilities of the cloud cannot be ignored, however, and so hybrid cloud initiatives are growing at a substantial rate. In response, public cloud vendors are clamoring to partner with other infrastructure providers to offer more complete solutions. 
  • 1) The growth of multi-cloud strategies has changed the computing landscape. More organizations are using multiple clouds to host their data and are looking to flexible platforms to easily manage and store their data. This demand is driven by the need to increase agility and avoid vendor lock-in which can create various bottlenecks. 2) While we are often used alone, we also are commonly used in conjunction with one or more other cloud providers. This is another reason why we don’t see companies like AWS, Google, etc. as direct competitors — we offer a unique solution in this market that works beautifully with many other cloud platforms. 3) A further significant change has been the continued abstraction away from the cloud primitives - this has given way to new technologies to enter the landscape, such as serverless.

Other

  • Big providers are getting better, paying attention to security, seeing individual agreements with clients to ensure data is protected and available.
  • Today, cloud providers all roughly offer the same underlying primitives such as servers, load balancers, block and object storage, to name a few. They are now increasingly trying to differentiate themselves from each other by offering more complex solutions, such as big data analytics and warehousing, IoT, continuous delivery and deployment, container orchestration platforms, cloud development GUIs and so on. While customers can derive incredible benefits from these turnkey solutions, they also increase the likelihood of vendor lock-in as developers tailor solutions directly to a particular cloud provider.
  • Accelerated adoption. It’s the biggest change we’ve been through. I’ve been surprised by speed of adoption in the enterprise. The speed of adoption of the Microsoft Azure stack as multi-cloud. Azure has a good stack that has come along quickly. Clean, easy to understand. Just in migration.
  • Custom software is being developed in the cloud. It’s more difficult for the average business to protect all of its data because it’s stored in so many different places. The data sits in many different clouds. It’s a regulatory burden to ensure that every provider is compliant. It only takes one copy to leak to have one data breach. While the cloud solves problems, it provides new problems.
  • Now lift and shift versus much extra work putting your database in the cloud. With SQL server on-prem can move to the cloud.
  • 1) Forcing customers to buy holistically versus independently. The ecosystem approach to solving the problem. 2) Moving to public clouds. Providers building solutions to integrate. VMware is going to run on bare metal, AWS, and Azure. Maintain standards and best practices. IT has the option of what it wants to do.
  • Size and scale of company environments. VPCs are increasing quickly, they are becoming networks in and of themselves. Need orchestration and management that are software defined. Three VPCs – development, test, production. Virtual private cloud (VPC) for a region and an account. Akin to a LAN or a VLAN. Can run virtual machines. VPC is the routing layer with the LAN layer. VPC = a mini data center that’s where routing and automation come in. Azure = VNet. AWS and GCP = VPC.
  • Formerly unstructured data to structured data for auditing and compliance. Create a copy of the record in the cloud and secure it. As archive legacy database data have the ability to go in an edit an entry which is necessary for GDPR. Renditioning data. 1) Sunset applications to meet internal or external governance. Another application in read-only mode certain view, stored procedure, see representations of the data at record levels. 2) Learn the user view and extract the information and reconstruct the view. 3) Concern about privacy and IP need to redact and anonymize to meet GDPR requirements. Meet governance and privacy rules.
  • The speed at which it’s being adopted in the marketplace. Old technology but fresh in people’s minds.
  • One, the cloud is more reliable and secure. Second, there are much better tools and mechanisms to move data to the cloud. And third, migration services have emerged from cloud service providers and system integrators to move data and applications to the cloud. Both enterprises and cloud vendors realize that customers need the coexistence of on-premises and cloud deployment models that bridge all elements of the hybrid cloud/multi-cloud infrastructure.
  • Companies in the cloud are moving quickly with regards to agility and scalability. Finding people to manage infrastructure and run systems are getting harder and more expensive. The scarcity of skilled technologists has been a factor for companies.
  • Over the last year, we have seen a dramatic shift of cloud interest within our customer base. There was limited interest in cloud migration about 18 months ago, but now over 60 percent of our customers are planning or executing cloud migration strategies. We believe this is driven by new services that are more oriented towards HPC users, more flexible pricing options for compute, network and storage, as well as top-down driven initiatives to get out of the data center and systems management business.
  • For many customers, the most significant changes come post-migration. First, there’s the realization that outages do in fact occur with the most frequent outages occurring in AWS followed by Azure. The other big realization starting to dawn on many customers is that there is no real privacy in the cloud.
  • The last two years we’ve gone from our vertical to be able to use the video we put in there. AI/ML functionality with the cloud. Facial recognition. Cashier-less experience. Really fast change. Most other companies have not sold the basics of getting video in the cloud let alone being able to analyze it in real-time.
  • Fast applications. IaaS model. What are the terms of service – who owns the data? Where does the data reside? GDPR has driven the importance of protecting the data. Make sure privacy is paramount. Make things clear and transparent. Cloud providers now take privacy seriously.

Here’s who we talked to:

Join us in exploring application and infrastructure changes required for running scalable, observable, and portable apps on Kubernetes.

Topics:
cloud ,serverless computing ,hybrid cloud ,hybrid multi cloud ,containers

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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