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Red Hat Storage 2017 Predictions: Increased Hyperconvergence, Rise of Hybrid Cloud, Containers Following Virtualization Path, and Renewed Focus on Culture in DevOps

VMblog Predictions 2017

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

Contributed by Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager, Storage, Red Hat

Increased hyperconvergence, the rise of the hybrid cloud, containers following virtualization path, and a renewed focus on culture in DevOps

Prediction #1: Hyperconvergence will continue to change the IT organization as well as create consolidation, confusion and opportunities.

In 2016 we started to see the evolution of hyperconverged infrastructure from predominately hardware to predominately software and this is a trend that will gain momentum in 2017.

In 2017, as this shift becomes more prominent and more companies merge, there will be continued confusion around what hyperconverged infrastructure really is and where it makes the most sense. Vendor consolidation will add to this confusion. As storage continues to move toward being software-defined, more vendors will merge and shift directions, and the lines separating storage and server vendors will blur.

The good news is that the rise of hyperconvergence may give end users economic advantages. Without having to shop multiple vendors for each of the different pieces, users could find that their purchasing power is increased. They could also reap the operational benefits of an integrated system - hypervisor, storage, and operating system - rather than merging technologies from different vendors.

Prediction #2: Organizations will continue to embrace the open hybrid cloud.

There is no denying the migration to the cloud is real and happening at a breakneck pace, but organizations are growing more wary of putting all their eggs in one basket. Certainly, there are examples of companies that have chosen to do this, but in reality we've seen more companies embracing a hybrid cloud based on open technologies. They are deciding on a combination of public and private cloud because they don't, or can't, entirely place their trust in a public cloud provider. This will continue in 2017.

Additionally, there is greater pressure on vendors to deliver the benefits of the open hybrid cloud by addressing the fundamental issues of workload and data portability and this will come to a head next year. In 2017 we will see an increased focus on how workloads span across clouds and how workloads are abstracted.

The cloud has been a formidable factor in the rise of the data-centric times we live in. In order to realize the benefits of both, storage will be a huge element in this movement towards the open hybrid cloud. However, it's important to understand that the hybrid cloud is not just about running between public and private clouds, but also different types of public clouds. I believe that organizations that have a comprehensive plan around storage for their open hybrid cloud journey will be more successful with their journey overall.

Prediction #3: The container journey starts to look eerily familiar.

The container journey will mirror the virtualization journey from 10 years ago. There has been initial euphoria around containers and people tried to containerize everything -- just like they tried to virtualize everything. In the beginning stages of virtualization enterprises were virtualizing the first 20-30% of their workloads.

We're seeing the same reaction with containers. There's an expectation that every app will be containerized on day 1 -- but I don't think we are quite there yet. Organizations will find that once they get past the "test/dev" cycle, not all applications are suited to be containerized. Additionally, the other similarity between the adoption of these two technologies is that while the "hypervisor" is a core differentiator initially, over time, it's the ecosystem of operational tools to support the hypervisor which will gain in prominence.

With virtualization we quickly discovered a way to use server resources much more efficiently, but on the other hand there were many concerns. Those concerns took years to figure out, stabilize, and rationalize. Even though there has been tremendous adoption of containers, we're still at the very beginning and the enterprise is going to continue to grapple with what it means to operationalize it. Modern container platform solutions, like Red Hat OpenShift, are working to solve that problem.

Prediction #4: A renewed focus on the role of culture in DevOps acceptance

The biggest obstacle to widespread DevOps adoption is understanding that the DevOps methodology is not about tools and processes but has always been about organizational culture. In 2017 organizations will really start to grapple with the cultural and human elements of DevOps instead of just considering it a technology trend. Organizations will continue their increase in sophistication. We'll see new job titles, new career paths, and an entirely new approach to managing operational staff. It will become very clear, in retrospect, that organizations are far harder to change than their tools.

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About the Author

Sarangan Rangachari leads the Storage and Big Data Business Unit at Red Hat and is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of Red Hat's storage software and big data portfolio. Prior to this role, Rangachari drove Red Hat's cloud ecosystem strategy. He joined Red Hat in 2010 with more than 25 years of industry experience, including in-depth software product management and product marketing experience and 18 years in storage software.

Before Red Hat, Rangachari was the CEO for multiple start-up companies in the systems and storage management space. He founded Invio Software (acquired by Veritas/Symantec), was VP/GM of AP/J Region, and led the product management and marketing for Legato Systems (acquired by EMC). Earlier in his career, Rangachari worked in various product management roles at Sun Microsystems.

Published Thursday, December 22, 2016 9:04 AM by David Marshall
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