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CloudHealth Technologies 2017 Predictions: Top Cloud Predictions for Next Year

VMblog Predictions 2017

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

Contributed by Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies

Top Cloud Predictions for Next Year

Big names will exit....

Between 2009 and 2015 there was a flurry of large companies entering and exiting the cloud market. Take HPE, EMC, Verizon, and VMware for example, who looked at AWS and thought "I can do that!" and launched or acquired cloud platforms. It only took a year or two before they all realized they couldn't compete and backed out. By 2016, it seemed that most of the tech giants had learned their lesson and were content to partner and extend the capabilities of the cloud leaders. Most, but not all. Despite the fact that in 2008, Larry Ellison called public cloud "insane", Oracle is not only hanging on with their IaaS offering, but even doubled down on it in the Fall of 2016. Our prediction is this hubris won't last much longer into 2017. For comparison's sake, in Oracle's most recent quarterly filings, they reported $171M in IaaS revenue, with a whopping 7% growth. In their most recent quarterly filing, AWS reported $3.23B in revenue, representing 54.9% growth. It won't be much longer before Oracle throws in the towel.

...and enter the public cloud market

On the entrants side, we predict 2017 will see at least one major new contender in the public cloud space: Apple. The end of 2016 saw Apple's quarterly revenue decline for the first time since 2001. At the same time, there have been reports of Apple quietly moving much of its infrastructure out of AWS and Azure and into their own data center. While it's possible that Apple is pulling a "Box" move -- transitioning out of the public cloud because they believe they can save money by running their infrastructure in house, we believe there is something bigger going on. With iPhone and Mac sales down, Apple needs to reinvent themselves again, which they have successfully done several times now. They are uniquely positioned to begin offering enterprise public cloud services, but will they take the plunge?

OpenStack dies a slow and friendless death

OpenStack has been on the decline for years, but the real nail in the coffin will come in 2017 when the last of the major tech vendors supporting OpenStack abandon them. The primary supporters of OpenStack have been the tech and telco giants: HPE, IBM, AT&T, Cisco, etc. Even OpenStack admits that 82% of their users come from the telecom or IT industry. For a few years we've heard rumblings about these giants cutting ties with the platform, with complaints about security and manageability. In 2017, we predict that one of the highest profile OpenStack partners will publicly abandon OpenStack, which will create a rapid domino effect.

Heterogeneous cloud advances...

Everyone is talking about the hybrid cloud today, with a realization that the dream of One Cloud To Rule Them All is fading into our distant memories. I won't predict the hybrid cloud since... well, the world was hybrid long before the public cloud started to gain its current enterprise momentum. Instead I'd like to predict something different: the heterogeneous cloud. What you may ask is a heterogeneous cloud? It's an application / workload that takes advantage of the services of two or more public clouds. Why would you want to do this? Simple: as cloud providers continue to innovate further up the application stack, they are producing highly differentiated value-add services that almost necessitate the use of their clouds to leverage this advantage. For example, who does natural language processing better than Google, stream processing better than AWS, or search better than Azure.

This next year will bring a substantial increase in the applications using more than one public cloud, and a growth of a product and open source ecosystem to make applications that utilize best of breed services from multiple providers easier to deploy and manage. 2017 will be the time to quit complaining about the challenges of managing multiple public clouds, and the time to start realizing the potential of incredible services that providers deliver.

Migration takes center stage

There is a dirty little secret we don't often talk about in the cloud. It is that while we are seeing rapid adoption and huge growth in the public cloud, the vast majority of infrastructure (90%+ or > $65B) still resides outside the cloud. If you've noticed a rapid uptick in migration services, features and partnerships from cloud providers, it's not coincidental. Failure to reduce the friction of migrating workloads in the public cloud has the potential to slow down growth of adoption, and therefore rain on our cloud party. 2017 will be a big year for migration applications and services. Private to public will take center stage including; data center assessments, migration readiness and lift-and-shift. These new applications will also begin to facilitate migration between public cloud providers.

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About the Author

Joe Kinsella is CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, one of the fastest growing companies in the emerging Cloud Service Management field. Joe is focused on helping organizations realize the full potential of the cloud, without having to sacrifice cost, performance, availability, or service level. With 20+ years of experience delivering software for companies of all sizes, Joe sees CloudHealth bringing the cloud to the enterprise by enabling the next generation of IT service management for the cloud.

Joe Kinsella 

Published Friday, December 09, 2016 9:09 AM by David Marshall
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