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Red Hat 2018 Predictions: Visionaries on Virtualization, Containers, Cloud, IoT, Security, AI and More

VMblog Predictions 2018

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

Contributed by Visionaries from Red Hat

Virtualization, Containers, Cloud, IoT, Security, AI and More

Continued disruption in the virtualization market

Rob Young

In 2018, expect to see the market for virtualization solutions disrupted, as customers will be less willing to pay a premium for virtualization and expect it as part of the infrastructure they currently run or are planning to run. Automation, management and orchestration of on-premise, remote and cloud-based application deployments will also become even more of a business-imperative for enterprises. We'll see users with Mode 1 legacy applications shift some existing workloads, as well as new development investments, to Mode 2 infrastructures -- think hybrid-cloud running VMs within containers.

Rob Young leads the Red Hat Virtualization technical and business product management and development efforts at Red Hat. He has over 20 years of development and operational experience with commercial and open source technologies. He has spent the last 12 years in organizational leadership and technical product management roles focused on open source product, community, and ecosystem development.

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The merging of containers and virtualization

Gunnar Hellekson

It's all about containers in 2018 -- and virtual machines running on containers will gain momentum in the new year as Kubernetes continues to evolve. It's important to remember, however, that virtualization and containers are not competitive, but rather complement one another. I expect we will continue to see the vast majority of containerized infrastructures operating on hypervisors, with early adopters actually merging the two with Kubernetes.

Gunnar Hellekson is the Director of Product Management for Red Hat's Linux, Virtualization, and Atomic container product lines. Before that, he was Chief Strategist for Red Hat's US Public Sector group.  He is a founder of Open Source for America, one of Federal Computer Week's Fed 100 for 2010, and was voted one of the FedScoop 50 for industry leadership. 

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The heat is on for IoT to deliver

James Kirkland

In my opinion, the biggest occurrence in 2017 was that IoT reached peak hype, giving way to new hype-cycles for machine learning (actually, an offshoot of IoT) and for Artificial Intelligence (a familiar topic area, and one that requires IoT data as fuel for its intelligence). We saw a combination of several companies making very large investments in IoT, while others are scaling back or reorganizing their IoT teams. This combination of investment push and pull means that we're at an inflection point. For IoT, this means we're now at a point where projects have to deliver results. IoT vendors invested ahead of demand, with all sorts of claims of IoT one-stop shopping. With more capacity in the industry than there is demand, I expect we will see players drop off or shift focus.

What's on the horizon in 2018?

1.    Expect quantifiable results. In 2018, you'll be hearing from organizations that have implemented IoT (those early adopters) about actual projects and demonstrable ROI. They will be talking about successful business outcomes and process improvements. Up until now, most gains expressed have been theoretical, based on desired outcomes rather than measurable success.

2.    It takes an ecosystem. Users are learning that IoT is not a technology; it is a complex multi-part solution that cannot be delivered by a single vendor. Vendors with IoT offerings that have been trying to go solo and have not engaged with complementary partners are having problems. I expect users with projects relying on a single vendor will continue to experience the negative effects of vendor lock-in.

3.    We have the data. Now we need the knowledge. Now that organizations have started IoT projects, many are finding that they are not sure how to derive value from the data they are collecting. They have built the infrastructure and are collecting data, but do not have the right technology, the skills (data scientists, for example), or knowledge to complete the entire information lifecycle.

4.    Follow the business needs. On the horizon, we will see interest in IoT increase, especially in industries that need to drive cost out of their business. For example, lower energy prices are driving the increased demand for IoT solutions from the oil and gas industry. Also, traditionally low-margin businesses such as retail will continue to look for ways to increase efficiency and reinvent the customer experience to increase demand. Businesses with large capital assets that require maintenance (such as manufacturing) are also seeking process improvements through IoT predictive maintenance and machine learning solutions.

5.    Human knowledge transfer to machine learning. We will see more and more use cases where human knowledge is being used to create predictive models. For example, a machinist who has been responsible for equipment over many years can identify the unique sound generated by each part of the machinery. Those audio identifiers can be added to predictive models and used to trigger alerts that a part is about to fail.

6.    New economic models. Delivery of IoT services will take on a new dimension as expectations change for tracking, billing, paying, and accounting for transactions as the number of connected devices grows.

7.    Security and privacy. With each new IoT device added, the vectors of attack increase. Stop looking for the magic security bullet - no one vendor provides a single solution - and adopt a defense in depth, end-to-end, layered security strategy for dealing with threats. Privacy issues such as the use of facial recognition technology by retailers to identify and target offers will continue to increase.

James Kirkland is the Chief Architect for Red Hat's initiatives and solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). James serves as the lead subject matter expert and global team lead of system architects responsible for accelerating IoT implementations for customers worldwide. James also helps integrate product strategy with customer and product needs across Red Hat and partner product lines. James is a member of the Eclipse IoT working group's steering committee and is a frequent public speaker and author. 

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IT Security: No longer "no" people

Mike Bursell

Businesses are going to start paying more attention to what workloads they put where, and what controls they have over them. Those may be contractual (SLAs), architectural (placement) or technological (software or hardware controls). Examples could be: SLA and privacy policy, or employee background checks (contractual); Openstack or Openshift workload placement policies or API authentication requirements (architectural); use of HSMs or Trusted Execution Environments like SGX or SEV (technological). None of these is sufficient on its own, and are of little use unless they are coordinated. I believe the mapping of governance to policies, and incorporation of them into process, is the way forward, but even this is insufficient unless you can log, monitor and audit what is actually going on.

In addition, I predict IT security departments are going to spend less time saying "no" (and being ineffective at halting deployments that will go ahead anyway), and more time learning how to explain risk to business owners, developers and operations. Being the "no people" helps neither security departments nor those with whom they work. Businesses want choices, for example, "We could either shut down the servers and be entirely safe or we could run at 75 percent efficiently, with a one percent chance that you lose some data." The tools for this level of detail are not always available, but we need to start thinking about what is actually useful: although we were trained that "fail to closed is failsafe," a closed system is a useless system to the business. Equally, a developer is more likely to accept security controls if asked, "what would happen if somebody misused this interface and corrupted your data," rather than "you must use authentication and authorization on this API or you can't go live."

Mike Bursell joined Red Hat in August 2016, following previous roles at Intel and Citrix working on security, virtualisation and networking. After training in software engineering, he specialised in distributed systems and security, and has worked in architecture and technical strategy for the past few years.  His responsibilities at Red Hat include forming security strategy, external and internal visibility and thought leadership.  He regularly speaks at industry events in Europe, North America and APAC.

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"Hybrid by default" becomes the new operations mantra

Radhesh Balakrishnan 

The worlds of containers and OpenStack will blend: Increased collaboration across OpenStack, Kubernetes and other key open source projects, driven by the customer need to get to a unified fabric for physical, virtual and containers, will bring compelling benefits by reducing redundancies and leveraging the ecosystem. Additionally, I predict private cloud efforts will gain further momentum in 2018 driven by application modernization efforts, resulting in "hybrid cloud by default" to become the standard operating procedure for enterprises.

As the global leader for OpenStack at Red Hat, Radhesh is responsible for driving business strategy, product management, partner strategy and worldwide go-to-market strategy across enterprise & Telco/NFV segments for Red Hat OpenStack Platform. Radhesh has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry across various enterprise technologies. Prior to joining Red Hat, he was with Microsoft where he held various  product management and product marketing roles across Azure, System Center, Windows Server, Windows Storage Server, Exchange Server and Windows desktop products and technologies.

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The emergence of convergence: mobile, AI and IoT

Clare Grant 

In 2018, I expect we will see enterprises more fully embrace the convergence of artificial intelligence, mobile, and IoT. In many regards, mobile is the more mature technology and many of these organizations will find that they face similar challenges in developing applications for IoT and AI as they did with mobile, such as integration and security; however, many of the lessons learned with mobile will be valuable in terms of helping organizations recognize and overcome challenges quicker.

Clare Grant is currently general manager of mobile at Red Hat and has over 20 years of experience in mobile software, telecommunications and hi-tech electronics markets and is responsible for Red Hat's global business strategy for their leading mobile application platform. Clare joined Red Hat as part of the acquisition of FeedHenry in October 2014 where she was VP of Marketing. Prior to FeedHenry Clare has held senior leadership positions in both fast growing pre-IPO companies through to large corporates including Antenna Software (acquired by Pegasystems), Velti a B2B mobile marketing software company, Virgin Media and Sony. 

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Published Wednesday, January 03, 2018 8:04 AM by David Marshall
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