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Platform9 2017 Predictions: A Year Determined by Developer Preference

VMblog Predictions 2017

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

Contributed by Sirish Raghuram, CEO, Platform9

A Year Determined by Developer Preference

Developers are seeking more flexibility than ever in consuming infrastructure, and their preferences will determine which cloud technologies rise and fall in the year ahead. The wave of consolidation that has engulfed the enterprise cloud market over the past year-plus, as well as the soaring costs that public clouds are locking enterprises into, has caused businesses to increasingly embrace open source alternatives.

OpenStack and Kubernetes have become popular alternatives to proprietary offerings and the associated vendor lock-in that comes with them. As bickering over rising cloud consumption bills and vendor-dominated ecosystems persists -- and cost-effective alternatives like OpenStack, which is projected to be used by every Fortune 100 firm within the next three years, gain traction -- it's clear the mega-vendors of the cloud market are feeling the pressure to be more relevant to developers. In fact, half of Fortune 100 companies already use OpenStack and nearly one-third of enterprises are now using open source container technologies.

Today's enterprise IT leaders are being asked to quickly deliver modern platforms to their CTOs in the quest for ever more agile development practices - this growing pressure in the market is causing some exciting technologies take hold.

Serverless will become a reality

We will see serverless technologies gain real traction in 2017. Adoption will be led by the same, forward-looking DevOps communities that have championed container technologies, like the Kubernetes community did in 2016.

The first use case that will drive adoption in 2017 is bot development. Today, a lot of DevOps automation involves writing bots that integrate with various systems using webhooks. Serverless makes this incredibly natural and easy. Another major use case is making it easier and faster to start using containers without having to fully learn and understand all the concepts to systems such as Kubernetes.

With an intuitive experience that abstracts away the underlying layers of clusters, pods, networks and storage, serverless presents a developer-friendly consumption paradigm for containers and Kubernetes. By the time the holidays come around next year, you will have used a system that is using serverless internally, and perhaps even write a bot or two!

Hybrid wars will heat up... and boil over

As major cloud providers vie aggressively for developers' loyalty, the year ahead will see hybrid wars heat up as each tries to leapfrog the other in products, services and support. Just as Google's Kubernetes surpassed Amazon's Elastic Container Service in 2016, Microsoft Azure will look to do the same to Google Cloud by offering a developer-friendly public cloud and on-premises hybrid offering. And now that Microsoft has joined the Linux Foundation, their place in the open source community has been seeded. I expect Google and Amazon to respond -- and for the hybrid wars to continue until one vendor establishes supremacy with developers, once and for all.

Maturation of the container market

There will be a reality check on valuations for container companies in 2017, and container orchestrators whose names aren't Kubernetes are in for a rough surprise. Kubernetes has all of Google's experience inherent in its design, and is simply the better system - and as Mesosphere and Docker begin to realize that they can't compete and attempt to pivot to Kubernetes, their valuations will reflect challenges to their fundamentals.

In 2017, as enterprises consider flexibility a top priority, they will refocus on how they cater to the DevOps teams who are increasingly dictating the future of a cloud infrastructure market projected to surpass $200 billion in the next six years. By aligning with the IT professionals on the front lines of deployment for these technologies, developer-centric infrastructure will win out in the long run - and frankly, we've already seen it begin to pull ahead.


About the Author

Formerly an early engineer at VMware, where he spent over a decade, Sirish believes in the potential for a flexible open source alternative, without vendors' lock-in pricing or OpenStack's configuration headaches. He now leads a company making that alternative a reality.  


Published Thursday, December 29, 2016 7:05 AM by David Marshall
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