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DZone Research: Cloud Futures

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DZone Research: Cloud Futures

The future of the cloud is more companies pursuing hybrid multi-cloud environments and the number of services to meet specific customer needs.

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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 the future for the cloud?" Here's what they told us:

Hybrid Multi-Cloud Growth

  • Integral and going to grow for the next five years. Getting more educated. How to manage data correctly. As you get more educated you close the holes. More moving to the cloud as it becomes more secure. 
  • I think of the cloud as a transformational technology that will present enormous opportunities and capabilities but will also continue to grapple with fundamental problems. On the positive side, it’s simply miraculous that we are experiencing a confluence of three emergent capabilities. First is the cloud: our ability to ingest, store and process what previously would have been considered infinite amounts of data. Second is our ability to generate useful data in enormous quantities — through IoT, sensors, location technologies, etc. Finally, AI and ML technologies can turn that data into actionable insights in increasingly faster timeframes. And these three capabilities are happening almost exactly at the time that each one needs the other two. But the cloud will continue to be challenged by two things: entrenched norms that can’t be easily abandoned and the laws of physics. I’m not going to rehash an argument about data sovereignty or privacy, but our societies simply have decision-making processes that can’t keep pace with what technology makes possible. And it’s not just government. As we’ve seen recently, there’s accountability among the technology providers as well to understand the downstream effects. Second, let’s not forget the laws of physics. We are going to be generating more data at the so-called “edge” than we can feasibly or economically move to the “center.” Our networks can get ten times better, and we’ll respond by generating a thousand times more data. We’re going to have to deal with that. 
  • Cloud services are becoming a utility like power or water. In ten years, we may no longer think of the “cloud” as something we even call out explicitly, much like how “new media” became “media.” Before this happens though, we can expect increased government regulation,  because our society will depend so heavily on cloud services just like they depend on reliable distribution of clean drinking water and electricity. Enterprises, in their long-term planning, should prepare themselves for that eventuality and start putting in place their own best practices for demonstrating cloud compliance. 
  • Some standardization and integration of open source platforms. A leveling of the field and more multi-cloud strategies become real. As vendors become more differentiated use Google AI tools, compute in AWS, storage in Azure. Move service between vendors. All three open to the open source community = more democracy in the ecosystem. The aspect of keeping up will be exciting with the speed of adoption which continues to accelerate. 
  • The next couple of years will see consolidation of platform definition to establish the de facto software platform moving forward. Serverless with Cloud Foundry model coming together. Maturity. Expansion of the cloud into edge computing and the intersection between edge and cloud driven by platform. 
  • The public cloud will continue to grow as it provides obvious benefits for companies looking for easily scalable infrastructure, for variable or temporary workloads. But alongside this growth, new tools for cloud management and governance will become crucial for ensuring businesses are on top of their cloud spend, application sprawl, and security compliance. At the same time, we’ll see a rise in the use of multiple platforms by companies. As with any IT technology, one cloud doesn’t fit all, and the tools required to manage spend, compliance, and workloads across these platforms will be critical. 
  • Microsoft vision of the hybrid model. People will want to work with databases on their own desktop as well as in the cloud. New companies are using different technologies. A battle between database vending MongoDB on hosted service. How long they will live is uncertain. 
  • Multi-cloud is the future. There are certain use cases. Best of breed services are being adopted from different cloud providers. Amazon has more than 100 services. Azure and Google has some as will. No developer wants to be prevented from using the tools they want to access. Letting people move applications to have services they want. On-prem is part of multi-cloud as well with directories and data. Take multi-cloud and manage complex environment as one environment. Public cloud routing required for multi-cloud future. 
  • Hybrid multi-cloud on prem. Best of breed and risk mitigation. Can we get clouds to talk to each other? Azure plus GCP so data scientists have access to Google (TensorFlow). 
  • Hybrid multi-cloud will be the standard. Everything will be on the cloud with backups of back up. Terminals are access devices. 
  • The cloud growth will continue as enterprises move more workloads to take advantage of the flexibility, speed of deployment, and economics. Cloud vendors are moving toward a serverless platform and auto-optimized usage which spans across the entire data and application lifecycle. As cloud workloads increase the emphasis will be on data rather than application.  Cloud management platforms will grow in importance to optimize deployment models to workloads to achieve service levels and cost benefits, driving more portability between hybrid cloud and multi-cloud deployments. 
  • Pretty bright. 1) Every CIO has a cloud strategy. 2) Microservices, service meshes, cloud management, operator experience. 3) Data itself. It’s all about the data. Supporting hybrid deployments and Apache Spark. 4) Growing community around Kubernetes and making tools available. 
  • Vast majority of companies will move to the cloud. The notion of a multi-cloud strategy will be common. Are aware going in the direction of multi-cloud. Have plan B and plan C. Multi-cloud is a reality. Players providing a consistency of services across clouds for customers. 
  • We’ll continue to see growth trends around cloud automation as APIs are being leveraged more and more to help automate security controls. It will also become more critical than ever for organizations to understand public cloud environments in order to keep workloads and applications secure. There’s still a lot of confusion about security in the cloud, and much of that starts with responsibility. It’s important to understand that if your data and applications are in the cloud, it’s your responsibility to secure them. We’ve seen some great strides in public cloud functionality this year, and there’s no doubt it will continue to advance, but now it’s time for the companies using the cloud to catch up. I am optimistic that 2018 will be the year where customers begin to find their part of the shared responsibility model (SRM) more actionable and begin to accelerate the deployment of more risk-sensitive workloads into the public cloud. If this proves to be the case, there’s no reason we shouldn’t expect to see public cloud adoption continue to spike. Especially if you consider the reasons that organizations cite for not using the cloud — security often sits at the top of that list. And the timing for a better understanding of the shared security model would be ideal as well because if there’s one thing that history tells us about cybercriminal activity, it’s that the attacks typically follow large audiences. Public cloud adoption will go on, but there will be more pressure on IT to fully understand the public cloud and hybrid deployments, as well as unauthorized SaaS adoption across the company. Due to the potentially big payoff and increasing opportunities, attackers will continue to explore public cloud deployments for weaknesses to exploit. 
  • Hybrid multi-cloud is already here. 60% of workloads currently in the cloud. Full penetration, 80%, by 2021. AI will be necessary to control and need for intelligent data management. AI used to make intelligent decisions on data to be backed up, where and how long.

Services

  • The cloud is getting pervasive. Cloud-based services are becoming the norm from startup to enterprises. Cloud will continue to evolve to make the consumption easier and affordable for everyone.
  • More services, more capabilities, more quiet ways to lock in clients at higher and higher levels of value to their business. 
  • I think that we are going to see a proliferation of one-off services on the cloud. I went to an electronics and technology mall in Singapore recently. In it was floor-after-floor, shop-after-shop, of mom-and-pop vendors selling extremely specific tech items. One shop sold only cables. Another shop sold only capacitors and diodes. Yet another sold LCD screen. I imagine the cloud starting to look like this mall, but instead of tech components, the vendors will offer very specific, microservice, APIs that perform discrete functions. For example, a credit risk scorecard as a service, or a PEP screen as a service, or a Machine Learning prediction as a service. 
  • A platform that enables companies to learn more, get smarter and get more accurate with go-to-market strategies. Less about deploying infrastructure and apps and way more about delivering business value. 
  • Arms race between major cloud providers driving down cost. Homogenization of services to leverage multiple cloud environments without having to customize for vendors. Fog, edge, blockchain, distributed compute. Data on mesh network to drive down cost. 
  • We envision richer solutions moving up the stack into the software layers as public cloud providers broaden their solutions. Also, we see more HPC-style computing offerings, including high speed interconnects, broader bare-metal services, and packaged data management and synchronization solutions. In short, the cloud providers will become a better fit for developers and organization seeking to deploy applications. 
  • The future is going to be the rise of SaaS companies providing more highly specialized services. Pivotal is a great example of this, and so are companies like Algolia and AppBase.

Other

  • Serverless. 
  • The future from the backup point of view people are becoming aware of the need to backup and aware of the cost. The question of whether the cloud is right for everyone is still open given the cost of backups and archives. Not the case with on-prem. Security is going to be a bigger and bigger issue. Not from the infrastructure. Where the responsibility flips to the tenants. The range of issues not addressed like the model of pen testing is problematic. Can test website but gives you a result at a single point in time. CD/CI can be multiple updates multiple times a day, but the code still needs to be tested. Pen testing can take weeks to repeat that’s an unanswered question. How to ensure security on an ongoing basis. Another misunderstood area is that of data security. Assume the cloud is secure, do not back up or rely on encryption from the provider. HIPAA legislation was written before the cloud. If you use service-side encryption and leave to provider still vulnerable to access level control. It gets more difficult to solve when you’re running everything in the cloud you will need another set of access level control.
  • Infrastructure more distributed not less, part of a processing capability based on an overall priority. Not cloud only, or cloud-centric. The best-positioned companies will leverage assets in the most agile way possible to leverage data. How to understand a customer engagement, reduce risk and fraud, deliver at the best cost. Integrated AI is an infrastructure that requires network connectivity as a base layer and data as a base layer. Kubernetes will be part of the solution in the stack – movement across the stack. 
  • Will it be broken up by government due to lack of competition? Continue to see consolidation. Will it be more than three and may just be two if Google doesn’t continue to grow. 
  • Go in stages. Consolidation with niche market providers as well. Looking at Nvidia for GPUs for as a service. The raw power they bring may be more cost efficient. AMD, Umbrella chip manufacturers betting more on hardware distributed solution. The more AI/ML we go the more they will counter the large companies. Scalability and efficiency reduce false alarms, reduce staff to optimize business. 
  • We've had the cloud for last two decades. Ability to access computer or mobile device to access the cloud. It’s not cloud anymore. It’s going to improve the lives of the masses by giving them access and making them more productive. The ability to freely collaborate. 
  • First, there is still tremendous growth out there since it is a huge market. Many businesses are still moving to the cloud and want simplified services. There is continued abstraction and developer tooling being built so we expect to see a lot more integrations and infrastructure being abstracted from customers (i.e. serverless).

Here’s who we talked to:

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Topics:
cloud ,data limits ,cloud predictions ,multicloud ,hybrid cloud management ,serverless computing

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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