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RightScale 2016 Predictions: How 2015 Cloud Trends Should Impact Your 2016 Cloud Strategy

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

Contributed by Bret Clement, Senior Director of Global Communications, RightScale

How 2015 Cloud Trends Should Impact Your 2016 Cloud Strategy

Corporate management consultant and author Margaret J. Wheatley once wrote "Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful."

Maybe that's part of the reason we sometimes take a moment this time of year to reflect. Especially with a landscape as fast moving and transformational as cloud computing, it can be helpful to build our strategies for the future based on lessons we've learned in the past.

When we look back, one of the biggest trends heading into 2015 was the move to multi-cloud deployments. In the January 2015 RightScale State of the Cloud report, 82 percent of respondents reported a multi-cloud strategy as compared to 74 percent in 2014. As we close the books on 2015 and look toward 2016 however, we see a number of other trends that will greatly impact how enterprises define and use cloud.

Several members of the RightScale executive and technical team (Michael Crandell, CEO; Bailey Caldwell, VP Customer Success; Kim Weins, VP of Marketing, Brian Adler, Director Enterprise Architecture; and Tony Spartaro, Senior Systems Architect) recently sat down in a roundtable format to discuss ten of the major trends in cloud computing in 2015 and what this means for enterprises in terms of their 2016 cloud strategies.

You can hear the entire in-depth 60 minute discussion here. If you don't have time to listen to the entire conversation, here are a few quick highlights:

  • Trend #1 - Cloud Lines Blur: RightScale sees that larger customers often want to run applications across a diverse set of infrastructure choices, including internal data centers running vSphere, public clouds, or remotely managed OpenStack clusters. In 2015, we also saw cloud computing expand into two new big areas of growth: on demand bare metal servers (bare metal cloud) and containers. To manage this quickly evolving agile infrastructure, organizations are looking for a single management view across all of it.

  • Trend #2 - The Container Craze: When RightScale did its 2015 State of the Cloud survey in January of 2015, we found that 13% of respondents were already using Docker, and that 35% were planning to use it.  Our 2016 State of the Cloud will come out in the next few months, and we expect that number to be even higher.  The potential benefits of containers are increasingly understood, but the complexity and fast moving technology also require a new way of thinking. If organizations want to realize the benefits of containers, they need to keep pushing their use and learning what works (and what doesn't).

  • Trend #3 - Brokering Cloud Services: Cloud adoption might have started with individual business units or application development teams, but today central IT is trying to take on the role of offering cloud services internally using self-service portals. These portals give development teams the cloud infrastructure tools they need, while at the same time providing necessary levels of compliance and governance. Moving into 2016, it's important realize that there is a difference between traditional self-service catalogs that help you order a phone, a virtual machine, or a chair; and a self-service portal for cloud infrastructure. A self-service portal for cloud infrastructure is targeted at running your applications and achieving things like CI/CD in your software development life cycle. it is also about end to end work-flow controls over how resources get orchestrated in environments that cross multiple clouds and datacenters.

We've seen a lot of traditional enterprises in industries from banking to entertainment make bold strategic technology investments in 2015 around cloud and agile infrastructure. We expect that trend to continue. To go much deeper into what RightScale has learned and tips for 2016, please listen to our 60 minute roundtable discussion here.

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Published Thursday, December 31, 2015 9:26 AM by David Marshall
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