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Data Expedition 2018 Predictions: Cloud Migration to see a Consolidation of Best Practices

VMblog Predictions 2018

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

Contributed by Seth Noble, PhD, CEO of Data Expedition

Cloud migration to see a consolidation of best practices in 2018

The rollout of any new technology naturally begins with early adopters performing experiments and running ad-hoc projects. But with cloud computing changing the fundamental principles of IT management, its rollout period has been longer, more experimental, and more ad-hoc than anything since the advent of the world wide web. Huge corporations have gambled billions migrating from on-premise and data center models to infrastructure and software as a service (SaaS).

Without experience and precedent to guide them, each has had to invent their own tools, technologies, and policies as they go. Cloud migration stories from companies big and small often start with barely justified assumptions, and proceed through lengthy proof-of-concepts, and wholesale restarts. Those are the successful ones.

Cloud vendors have offered little help, generally preferring to provide only commodity services and leaving customer assistance and key enabling technologies to third-party vendors and consultants. As was the case with early web adoption, that pool of experts began with people barely a step ahead of their customers and learning as they went. The constantly moving targets of cloud services and the definition of cloud itself has also been challenging.

But over the past year or so, the core technologies of cloud have stabilized, cost models have become better understood, and the array of third-party technologies and services has matured. There is a growing pool of technologists who have survived multiple cloud deployments and now know what questions to ask and where to get answers. That experience is critical to reducing the unknowns of cloud adoption and bringing efficiency to what has been a chaotic process. Even while core cloud services are still evolving, the surrounding cloud ecosystem is maturing.

Key areas where I think we will see meaningful change in 2018 are: data transport to the cloud (hardware vs direct connect vs accelerated internet), data storage (object vs file vs database), and application deployment (lift-and-shift VM vs SaaS, vs pure serverless). All of these are areas where I've seen hidden costs and functionality tradeoffs create havoc in the past, but where I believe experience and more sophisticated product offerings will improve stability and value for everyone.

To date, Amazon Web Services has defined the entire cloud ecosystem. Customers, vendors, and competitors have mostly been following their lead with regard to new features like serverless computing and machine learning AI. But as the ecosystem matures, so will demand for improvements to existing tools and for more customer-driven features. Such industry needs, guided by hard-won experience, can now take over as the driving force in cloud computing in 2018.


About the Author

Seth Noble 

Seth Noble, PhD, is the creator of the patented Multipurpose Transaction Protocol (MTP) technology and a top data transport expert. He is Founder and President of Data Expedition, Inc., with a dual BS-MS degree from Caltech, and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Oklahoma for work developing MTP.

Published Friday, December 08, 2017 7:14 AM by David Marshall
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