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Weaveworks 2017 Predictions: Containers, Cloud and the Enterprise

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Alexis Richardson, co-founder and CEO of Weaveworks

Containers, Cloud and the Enterprise

In times of global uncertainty, the world of cloud infrastructure has been reassuringly boring in 2016.  Customer adoption of cloud services has grown fast - again - without anyone noticing or really caring much.  The hipster crowd has moved onto the internet of serverless things, and the enterprise has been buying "digital transformation in a box". So, what about 2017?  I predict a prime year.

Container Wars are over.  Non-standard tools are now toast.

Peace breaks out between rival camps as customers decide they want to run Kubernetes on Docker in a fully supported enterprise-grade stack that actually works. Everyone else moves to support this or packs their software back into their luggage. The ecosystem of dev tools, add-ons and extensions finally takes coherent shape. The OpenStack and PaaS communities explicitly endorse the emerging Cloud Native stack.  Enterprise app stores begin to get traction, starting with Docker's store.

Rise of the Container Cloud

Using the emergent Cloud Native stack, all cloud providers sell container hours, as well as VM hours.  With this in place, each cloud provider takes steps to fully integrate containers with their network, security, management and data services. This makes containers into a "first class citizen" for cloud applications, and accelerates adoption by cloud customers. However, customers want more than this - Cloud Native applications that can run at scale on any infrastructure.

Cloud Native washing breaks out

Customer demand for Cloud Native, and freedom from lock-in, leads to more solutions for enterprises that cannot move all their applications to the cloud immediately. Private enterprise application and container platform vendors fight for leadership - Docker, Pivotal and Red Hat shouting the loudest. Cloud Native follows the same hype cycle as big data and cloud before it. Meanwhile, developers ignore all this, and pick their own tools from the emerging Cloud Native landscape.

Compliance takes center stage

Political and economic nationalism lead to a far greater emphasis on data protection and repatriation. While enterprises seek to benefit from the flexibility of Cloud Native application architectures, their customers will want a clear privacy, security and data ownership story. This cannot be trusted to zombie operations teams using a pre-cloud compliance playbook. Vendors who can deliver "security that moves with your app" will benefit.

Big acquisitions as Cloud and Enterprise come together

When combined, these predictions imply acquisitions in the next 24 months. The big cloud providers hold all the cash, and the enterprise incumbents have the customer base for the next stage of cloud adoption. Google and Microsoft will probably make the banner plays, with Red Hat, Canonical, Docker and Mesosphere as the biggest prizes.  IBM may also buy Pivotal from Dell.


About the Author

Alexis Richardson, CEO

Alexis is the co-founder and CEO of Weaveworks. He is also the chairman of the TOC for CNCF, and the co-founder of the Coed:Code meetups. Previously he was at Pivotal, as head of products for Spring, RabbitMQ, Redis, Apache Tomcat and vFabric. Alexis was responsible for resetting the product direction of Spring and transitioning the vFabric business from VMware. Alexis co-founded RabbitMQ, and was CEO of the Rabbit company acquired by VMware in 2010, where he worked on numerous cloud platforms. Rumours persist that he co-founded several other software companies including Cohesive Networks, after a career as a prop trader in fixed income derivatives, and a misspent youth studying and teaching mathematical logic.

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Published Monday, December 05, 2016 7:05 AM by David Marshall
2017 Predictions Redux: Was Alexis Richardson Right!? – Integrated Code - (Author's Link) - December 7, 2017 11:55 AM
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