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Skytap 2016 Predictions: The Year of DevOps ICEbergs - The Global Warming

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Jason English, virtualization author and Galactic Head, Product Marketing, Skytap

2016 The Year of DevOps ICEbergs: The Global Warming

This will be a year of glacial change in application development, as we finally start seeing some once-thought-permanent fixtures of our landscape calving off into large, but moveable icebergs. What I'm talking about is an increased ability to compartmentalize even some monolithic systems so software delivery can move forward. 

Last year I predicted 2015 would be the year of DevOps on ICE [or "Infrastructure-as-Code-as-Environments" see http://vmblog.com/archive/2014/11/07/skytap-2015-prediction-the-devops-on-ice-tour.aspx#.VmiyLYQ5nB8]. In hindsight this was a bit like forecasting that today we have a 100% chance of weather. Perhaps my bets were overly safe about enterprises increasingly leveraging cloud environments for dev/test, as it seems every company has some investment in cloud in the area of their business reserved for innovation. Same goes for well-defined IaC approaches like Chef/Puppet deployments, Vagrant and Ansible configuration - these toolsets are becoming widely used and adopted by the global software development community.

What's really cool for 2016 is the increased scale of cloud services. Large enterprise applications are starting to effectively break off and run in elastic cloud datacenters. To accompany this increased scale, expect the serious entrance of microservices and containerization approaches like Docker and Kubernetes as players in the mix. Again, I'm not going too far out on a limb here - according to the developers and IT execs responding to our 2015 Software Development Survey, container adoption is expected to rise from 25% to the same level as IaaS/Cloud usage (47%) in 2016 as the top tool for the modernization of software development.

The ability to make infrastructure not only well-defined, but self-contained is going to allow enterprises to start "unwinding" complex applications and replacing them one component at a time, so they can run predictably anywhere. There will be some heavy lifting and rearchitecture involved in getting non-service-ready apps ready for prime-time in this scenario, and the majority of business logic will still run in standard on-premises systems, but we'll see several real, referenceable enterprise examples of this new kind of stack in production this year that go beyond customer-facing apps and handle serious tasks.

In order to get ahead of this situation I also predict that at least 2 of the top 5 leading technology vendors will base their growth strategy on some reference to DevOps plus the above approach, and one of them will certainly include "-in-a-Box" in the title of their new branding and development initiative. That's purely speculation but I have only written one of these predictions so far, and I haven't been wrong yet. Industrialization of the software lifecycle will continue forward with or without the buy-in of executives, but technology leaders will make their mark this year by implementing DevOps strategies across their broader organizations. The vendors that help their customers componentize and separate application technologies from the slow-moving glacier of existing business systems to deliver functionality faster will separate themselves from the pack at the same time.

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About the Author

Jason English, virtualization author and Galactic Head, Product Marketing, Skytap

 

Published Monday, December 14, 2015 6:35 AM by David Marshall
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