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Cloud Foundry Foundation 2018 Predictions: We All Live in a Kubernetes World

VMblog Predictions 2018

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

Contributed by Chip Childers, CTO, Cloud Foundry Foundation

We All Live in a Kubernetes World

As a seasoned veteran of the cloud business, I have learned to recall lessons learned from the past before presuming to predict the future. So let start with a look back at cloud highlights in 2017 that will absolutely shape what we can expect to see in 2018.

First, it's all about Kubernetes. A container orchestration technology created and incubated at Google before spinning off to the stewardship of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (the sister organization to Cloud Foundry Foundation), this open source project has incredible industry momentum. The cloud application platform we support, Cloud Foundry, fully embraced Kubernetes in 2017. And by the time you read this, all three of the major public cloud providers -- AWS, GCP and Azure -- will have embraced Kubernetes and offer managed Kubernetes services. We even saw Docker radically pivot to support Kubernetes over its own solution, Swarm (the biggest surprise of 2017).

Is it safe to run Kubernetes in the enterprise? Google announced a partnership with VMware and Pivotal that validates enterprise adoption of Kubernetes in well-managed environments. It also provides access to Google cloud services via the Open Service Broker API. Are we seeing a repeat of Google's strategy to offer Android as an open source mobile OS to compete with Apple and the iPhone at a new place, the price of zero? It's early days in the cloud wars and smart people will watch Kubernetes closely in 2018.

What else do I see for 2018?

Three technologies to watch:

  • Machine learning
    • We will start to see real maturation in this space, evolving from hype to productive, industry-specific use cases.
  • Event-driven programing coming back (serverless)
    • See an explosion to make it more production-ready to prepare for it.
  • Streaming data systems -- mature in implementation but will grow as industrial use cases become larger and more interesting

What's going to surprise us:

  • Social media companies will spend a lot of time/money (even more) and get serious about catching fake news

Industries to watch:

  • Automotive industry will begin to diversify so it's not just about selling a piece of metal to consumers -- it's about the value of consumer interactions and the data that comes from that.
    • There will be a richer model around fleets, leasing and sharing;
    • A lot more autonomous driving used in municipal transportation.
  • Pay attention to the supply chain industry (logistics) -- interesting applications of blockchain technologies for goods tracking, as well as the continued push of advanced robotic automation into the logistics process.

The container ecosystem / market at the end of 2018:

  • ISVs will figure out how to use containers more effectively for software delivery, specifically improving on how they marry continuous delivery principles with the realities of supporting customer-owned environments.

How cloud adoption in the enterprise will look different (or evolve) by the end of 2018:

  • We will see accelerated adoption of public cloud for enterprise workloads;
  • There will be increased opportunity for price arbitrage -- price vs performance;
  • Public cloud providers will continue to drive the launch of new, higher value, services, giving them a way to differentiate beyond price vs. performance for commoditized parts of their offerings.


About the Author

Chip Childers 

Childers has worked nearly two decades in large-scale computing and open source software. In 2015, he became the co-founder of the Cloud Foundry Foundation. He was the first VP of Apache Cloudstack, a platform he helped drive while leading Enterprise Cloud Services at SunGard and then he served as VP Product Strategy at Cumulogic. Prior to SunGard, he led the rebuild of mission-critical applications for organizations that included,, Merrill Lynch and SEI Investments.

Published Thursday, November 30, 2017 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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