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Key Information Systems 2018 Predictions: Three "Next Big Things" in the Cloud and Beyond

VMblog Predictions 2018

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

Contributed by Clayton Weise, director of cloud services at Key Information Systems

Three "Next Big Things" in the Cloud and Beyond

In technology, we're always looking for "the next big thing." In the past, this has been social media, e-commerce, and even the very Internet itself. Maybe I'm getting old, but it doesn't seem like that long ago that virtualization was the next big thing.

The cloud space is no different. Starting with the very concept of the cloud to begin with, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, as a service offerings, and many other concepts have captured the minds of customer and providers. As we head into 2018, let's take a look at three things that have been a "next big thing" in the cloud world, and beyond, and see how they'll evolve in the coming year.

Commoditizing object storage

Object storage changed the way data is managed, allowing companies to store the incredible amounts of unstructured data we all generate on a daily basis. The model truly turned storage on its head. For 2018, though, something a little more mundane will happen: object storage moves closer to becoming a commodity.

Don't get me wrong, there are likely still great innovations coming in object storage, and commoditization is not a bad thing at all. We've already seen the price of object storage fall, as commoditization starts to happen, and I expect that to continue.

This will lead to a couple interesting discussions at companies everywhere. First, organizations will being to wonder about replacing tape with object storage as it becomes more price competitive. Second, and more importantly, organizations will start to talk more about easy access, affordability, security, and performance, and less about where their data is physically stored. This flexibility will end up being a real boon for the bottom line.

Containers become another tool in the bag

First, let's be clear, the container industry is an exciting place, with lots of innovation happening. While it's far from mature, it has reached that point on the curve approaching maturity. So, while the idea that containers are going to change the industry at a fundamental level may still be alive, in 2018 something closer to maturity will happen: containers become another one of the many tools developers just use.

Terms like "maturity" and "usable tool" seem to have negative connotations, but I see this as a real positive. There are so many great use cases for containers now - agility and the ability access to large amounts of data across a geographic area, application portability, shorter build times, accelerated development cycles, etc. - that those working with containers have come to rely on them as the lighter weight cousin of virtual machines. Again, this isn't bad. Maybe that time will come where containers change the industry. For 2018, their usability right now is at the forefront. Containers are the gateway drug to the serverless revolution that has yet to come.

Network shift

Looking at the near past, storage has moved to a software-defined model as smoothly as can be expected, and faster than most probably predicted. Even functionality like compute has made innovations, and virtualization is very mature. Network, however, has stalled a bit. Server virtualization actually provides a glimpse into the future of networking. These days, any company that isn't using virtualization is behind the curve, but even a couple years ago that wasn't true. Well, for the network, SDN will be what virtualization was for compute.

This won't happen as quickly as many would like, however. By 2019 or 2020, network portability will become reality for many organizations. That means in 2018, a lot of ground work will be put in place. This includes mundane tasks like detailed planning and evaluation of SDN/NFV technologies. Take-your-breath-away exciting? Maybe not. Critical to progress? Absolutely.


About the Author

Clayton Weise 

Clayton Weise is the Director of Cloud Services for Key Information Systems, where he is responsible for designing, architecting and implementing cloud solutions; managing production workloads; and employing cloud resources in disaster recovery, clustering and hybrid (cloud and on-premises) infrastructure solutions.

Published Tuesday, January 23, 2018 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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