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Scale Computing 2018 Predictions: Why 2018 is the Year of the HCI and the Edge

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Jason Collier, co-founder, Scale Computing

Why 2018 is the Year of the HCI and the Edge

Organizations have adopted the cloud for a multitude of reasons, including lower costs, agility and mobility. As the industry has pushed for an all-cloud model, many organizations have transitioned to a 100 percent cloud model for all of their operations, whether private, public or hybrid clouds.

In the process, many IT professionals have discovered that an all-cloud model is not effective. It is not on-premises ‘versus' the cloud. It's on-premises ‘and' the cloud. A hybrid cloud model that incorporates micro-data centers at the edge, centralized data centers and on-premises, is emerging as a new reality, especially with the arrival of edge computing.

The Future is Hybrid 

In 2018 and beyond, the future is all about simplifying hybrid IT to accommodate new trends like edge computing that requires higher performance and higher bandwidth. According to a report from Market Research Future, the edge computing market is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent, reaching $33.75 billion by 2023.

This is why hyperconverged solutions with a hybrid cloud model will come into play in the coming years. Hyperconverged solutions will be needed to support remote and branch locations in addition to making the edge more intelligent.  

As more organizations utilize the hybrid cloud model, solutions will be sought that allow them to use their apps created for on-premises to run in the cloud, which will be a game changer for end users, channel partners and MSPs globally.

Computing at the Edge

Cloud computing has many benefits, especially scalability and elasticity. However, it also suffers from limited Internet connectivity and latency, which doesn't play well with edge computing. On-premises infrastructure assets for edge computing provide more reliable performance and connectivity to keep systems operational even if Internet connectivity fails.

Unlike full data center implementations, edge computing is small enough to run without a dedicated IT staff, which means the infrastructure must be easy to implement and manage. It also has to connect quickly back to the primary datacenter and cloud when needed. These requirements are what make hyperconverged infrastructures well suited to edge computing.

While the 2010s were all about cloud computing, the next decade will see a shift in focus to computing at the edge. In particular, hybrid cloud, public cloud and on-premises technologies will develop further - with on-premises, in particular, evolving to improve latency, manageability, compliance and costs.

Micro data centers at the edge will replace traditional rack volumes at centralized data centers. And while today's data centers will retain importance as the place where data is collected, key vertical markets such as government, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and agriculture will drive the creation of these edge data centers.

An Evolution in IT

This evolution in IT infrastructure will also alter the traditional concept of vendors and channel partners. A shortage of technical skills in the channel is shifting customer focus toward pre-integrated solutions rather than piecemeal integration of disparate vendor technologies. This will accompany continued growth in subscription business in the channel.

The hybrid world will also face a range of challenges in delivering high availability. If both public cloud and on-premises need to be online for things to work, then true uptime is the product of the individual uptimes. To illustrate, public cloud uptime of 99.6 percent multiplied by on-premises uptime of 99.2 percent yields actual hybrid uptime of 98.8 percent. By its nature, a hybrid is the sum of its parts and organizations will need to invest in technology that minimizes pain points across the board to capitalize on this wave of change.

Hyperconverged infrastructure solutions are already matching the hybrid cloud and edge computing needs of many organizations. These systems will need to be designed for simplicity, scalability and high availability, while still being small enough for micro data centers and scalable enough to meet the needs of growing business. These on-premises infrastructure solutions are already evolving alongside the growing needs of present and future hybrid IT.

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About the Author

Jason Collier 

As a founder, Jason is responsible for the evangelism marketing of the company. Previously, Jason was VP of Technical Operations at Corvigo where he oversaw sales engineering, technical support, internal IT and datacenter operations. Prior to Corvigo, Jason was VP of Information Technology and Infrastructure at Radiate. There he architected and oversaw the deployment of the entire Radiate ad-network infrastructure, scaling it from under one million transactions per month when he started to more than 300 million at its peak.
Published Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:55 AM by David Marshall
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