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Platform9 2018 Predictions: Innovating What We Have

VMblog Predictions 2018

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

Contributed by Sirish Raghuram, CEO and Co-Founder, Platform9

Innovating What We Have

Predictions tend to focus a lot on the cutting edge and what's new. And while it's important to look at how developing technologies will shape the year ahead, we must not forget the importance of where our consistently faithful platforms are headed. For instance some have made claims that Kubernetes' success is dwindling and OpenStack is dead, but in 2018 I believe these tools - which have vastly changed enterprise cloud infrastructure - will prove they are here to stay.

That's not to say we shouldn't focus on what's new too. Developments that have only begun to gain traction in recent years will reach the front and center of container orchestration. Serverless, for example, will become the number one initiative for those hoping to accelerate their cloud initiatives.

Kubernetes is dead. Long live Kubernetes.

It's no secret that Kubernetes is the leading container orchestration platform. As Platform9 found in a recent survey conducted at CloudNativeCon + KubeCon Austin, Kubernetes usage dwarfs competing solutions by greater than 3:1.

While adoption has soared, Kubernetes has now reached a local maxima - forcing vendors to innovate at a faster clip to stay ahead of the competition, especially from public clouds, in the year ahead. The value of the base Kubernetes platform will go to zero dollars in 2018 as the market becomes overcrowded with managed Kubernetes solutions. To succeed, Kubernetes solutions will need to offer capabilities that are differentiated from the base platform - such as those offering serverless as an easier onramp to use Kubernetes at scale. This brings us to our next prediction.

Serverless (and FaaS) is key

Last year, I predicted that serverless would become a reality in 2017 and looking back, this has certainly been the case. The recent Platform9 survey at KubeCon Austin showed that interest in  "functions-as-a-service" has shot up to more than 50 percent, making it the third most popular use case within the Kubernetes user base. With this momentum in the market, 2018 will be the year that organizations truly realize the benefits beyond the cloud that serverless provides - including simpler learning curve, faster conversion from legacy application architectures, accelerated time to market, and lower operating costs.

These functions offer a more intuitive way to build and run applications that are event-driven in nature - some stateless web applications will even bypass traditional microservices and go straight to serverless. Serverless' first use case was reduced costs on the AWS public cloud, but we will now see FaaS adoption in enterprises using a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud strategy.  

Rumors of OpenStack's death prove false

Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, began his keynote at OpenStack Summit this year with a tweet from 2013: "OpenStack is as good as dead." Ever since then, reports have continued to come out claiming that OpenStack is no longer relevant - but they are missing an inconvenient truth: the virtual machine aren't going away anytime soon. Older, existing applications make up more than 80 percent of enterprise workloads, which aren't easily run in containers without significant refactoring. For enterprises stuck with the virtual machine, there are only two major ecosystems to choose from: OpenStack or VMware; and virtually every greenfield infrastructure deployment in the enterprise will choose OpenStack because of lower costs, its DevOps friendly programmable APIs, and better integration with the Kubernetes ecosystem.

In solving for diverse workloads in 2018, CIOs will need to support the three horsemen of compute - VMs, containers and serverless functions. As long as VMs are around, OpenStack will continue to prove its naysayers wrong.

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About the Author

sirish raghuram 

Sirish Raghuram is co-founder and chief executive officer at Platform9. Having experienced virtualization, IaaS and cloud-native industry transitions first hand, Sirish believes that open-source represents the future of enterprise hybrid clouds. Prior to founding Platform9, Sirish was an early engineer at VMware who went on to technical and management positions. His work at VMware led to several products, features and patents. Follow Sirish on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Published Wednesday, January 10, 2018 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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