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Cloudistics 2018 Predictions: Why We Won't See More Than 50% of Workloads Running in the Public Cloud in 2018 or Ever

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Dr. Jai Menon, Chief Scientist at Cloudistics

Why We Won't See More Than 50% of Workloads Running in the Public Cloud in 2018 or Ever

As the cloud and cloud technologies continue maturing, and we become able to clearly see the woods for the hyperbole, it's becoming evident that a great many notions pertaining to public cloud are way off base. One such belief is that everything will inevitably go to the public cloud. Frankly, this is a myth and one that inspires my prediction that we will not see more than 50% of workloads in the public cloud - not in 2018, and probably never, and here's why.

Future workloads will need more real-time processing than the cloud can deliver. Let's not beat around the bush, many emerging workloads need the kind of processing power that only edge computing can deliver - not the cloud, and not (yet) the fog, but only the edge. Self-driving cars and drones are prime examples of applications that simply can't afford to send image data to the cloud and back for processing, because doing so would be too slow and require too much core/backhaul bandwidth.

Public-cloud-like on-premise systems are an increasingly viable alternative to public cloud. Indeed, it can no longer be argued that the agility and economy of the public cloud cannot be replicated on-premises. Instead, hyperconverged and superconverged systems increasingly provide the infrastructure for new on-premise app-centric scale-out cloud platforms that support public-cloud-like usage-based pricing and higher-level application services. The result is a public cloud experience on-premises, and one that the customer doesn't even have to own or manage in many instances. It turns out that you can have your cake and eat it. Plus, this provides the ideal public-cloud alternative to those 75% of workloads that have reasonably predictable IT resource requirements. The other 25% of workloads are spiky and unpredictable, and therefore clearly ideal for the public cloud.

Cost, performance and issues of governance/control are driving customers back on-premises. Granted, this is not so much of a phenomenon that you could call it a trend, nor do I foresee it becoming one, but there are around 10-15% of customers who, having tried public cloud, elect to "uncloud." Instagram is a case in point, and according to Jay Parikh of parent company Facebook, the decision to do so, not only led to an 80% improvement in upload times, but also cut their usage to one on-premises server for every three servers they had previously hired on AWS. I believe the decision to "uncloud" when faced with such benefits, is what you'd call a no-brainer. Finally, as companies grow, so too do their requirements for governance/control and this is often a leading cause of "unclouding" for such businesses.

Next, there are those customers that will never move to the cloud. This group includes those firms that can't move to the cloud for a variety of reasons that range from dealing in personally sensitive data and/or massive volumes of data, to having high-performance requirements or concerns regarding data sovereignty, regulations or perceived loss of security, and those that use legacy applications or fear cloud lock-in.

Finally, we're also see steady growth in popularity of alternatives such as co-location and cloud hosting among companies that don't want to deploy their own on-premise infrastructures.

These are among the many, compelling reasons that I predict we will not see more than 50% of workloads running in the public cloud in 2018 or ever.

Finally, I have another prediction for 2018 and it's one that I feel particularly strongly about, and which I addressed at length in a recent byline on this esteemed platform. It is this: I believe without hesitation that when it comes to storage, the SAN is back!

Read more here.


About the Author

Jai Menon 

Dr. Jai Menon, Chief Scientist, IBM Fellow Emeritus

Jai is the Chief Scientist at Cloudistics, which he joined after having served as CTO for multi-billion dollar Systems businesses (Servers, Storage, Networking) at both IBM and Dell. Jai was an IBM Fellow, IBM's highest technical honor, and one of the early pioneers who helped create the technology behind what is now a $20B RAID industry. He impacted every significant IBM RAID product between 1990 & 2010, and he co-invented one of the earliest RAID-6 codes in the industry called EVENODD. He was also the leader of the team that created the industry's first, and still the most successful, storage virtualization product. When he left IBM, Jai was Chief Technology Officer for Systems Group, responsible for guiding 15,000 developers. In 2012, he joined Dell as VP and CTO for Dell Enterprise Solutions Group. In 2013, he became Head of Research and Chief Research Officer for Dell.

Jai holds 53 patents, has published 82 papers, and is a contributing author to three books on database and storage systems. He is an IEEE Fellow and an IBM Master Inventor, a Distinguished Alumnus of both Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Ohio State University, and a recipient of the IEEE Wallace McDowell Award and the IEEE Reynold B. Johnson Information Systems Award. He serves on several university, customer and company advisory boards.

Published Friday, November 17, 2017 7:21 AM by David Marshall
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