Virtualization Technology News and Information
Cloudistics 2019 Predictions: The Year the Cloud Changed

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Christopher Myhill, CMO of Cloudistics

2019 - The year the cloud changed

Each year, come December, analysts, pundits, and prognosticators of various types and talents bestow upon us their technology predictions for the year ahead. By this time next year, some predictions will have proven eerily accurate, while others will leave their advocates wiping egg(nog) from their faces. Still, we hold forth at the risk of being proven wrong, because ours is an industry of risk-takers, innovators, and big thinkers.

So for better or worse, at Cloudistics we have strong opinions about what 2019 will bring. For starters, we believe that the shape of cloud is changing. A new wave of thinking is sweeping across organizations of all sizes, and opportunities exist for leaders who are willing to think outside the status quo. At Cloudistics, we're already playing a pivotal role in making some of these changes a reality.

The future of cloud is multi-cloud, multi-site, geo-distributed

To put it simply, public cloud isn't right for all workloads. It's not the magic bullet some evangelists predicted it would be, but it isn't going away either, and it will continue to grow, but will be steadily augmented, extended and expanded with complimentary technologies, platforms, and stacks. Why? Because certain use cases and workloads aren't a great fit for public cloud.

Issues of performance, compliance, data gravity, locality, security and sovereignty will continue to drive organizations to a mix of clouds - some to edge clouds close to the data and users, others to regional on-premise private cloud infrastructures, and still others to global public clouds- each cloud or mix of clouds chosen based on their particular features, costs, and benefits.

In short, the world is moving irrevocably toward a multi-cloud, multi-site, geo-distributed model. Many customers will continue to use multiple vendors and most will have a mix of on-premise and off-premise infrastructure. Some companies, including some public cloud vendors, know this and are doing a good job of integrating on-premise infrastructure. IT departments are going to be challenged to cope with the complexity of a multi-site, multi-cloud world and there will be opportunities for vendors who can help them streamline operations.

Composable / Disaggregated Infrastructure emerges as a viable approach

Two years ago, if you wanted composable / disaggregated infrastructure (CDI), you were buying massive installations from a few major hardware vendors. Now, startups are delivering smaller-scale CDI that is completely software-defined, not based on legacy approaches, and suitable for organizations of all sizes. These innovative platforms suppress complexity, simplify growth over time, maximize efficiency, and offer real advantages over a do-it-yourself infrastructure or hyperconverged infrastructure. Some even offer a price point that is more attractive than public cloud.

Organizations are beginning to understand that stacking one management layer on top of another at a time, the default approach for most on-premise infrastructure, just doesn't work when organizations seek to accelerate time-to-market and time-to-value for the business. Thus, the "one management interface for everyone" model offered by CDI platforms is appealing. Many traditional hardware vendors are scrambling to react by offering turnkey cloud stacks that accelerate planning, design, implementation and deployment by pre-validating the hardware and software work together. However, they don't offer the advantages of composable infrastructure.

OpenStack continues to be appealing, but challenging

OpenStack is, and will remain, a mature, feature-rich cloud offering that's proven at scale for very large deployments. But it's in an ambiguous position. The pending IBM Red Hat acquisition confuses matters-will IBM decide to pin its hopes on OpenStack, OpenShift, both, or do something different, innovative and unpredictable? How will other vendors-Dell EMC, Cisco, and others-who partnered with Red Hat on OpenStack, react? How will the OpenStack market react?

Though the experience of designing and deploying OpenStack clouds has improved over the years, OpenStack remains a challenge, requiring specialized skills and expertise that many organizations will see as unnecessary impediments to success, particularly as feature-rich, simplified cloud stacks become more popular. We see many vendors rethinking their involvement with OpenStack, particularly as many of them have their own hyperconverged infrastructure offerings, cloud offerings, and tightly integrated cloud partnerships, like the partnership Lenovo recently launched with Cloudistics. Time will tell, but it's our considered opinion that in all likelihood, the OpenStack world will change significantly in 2019.

Microsoft's hybrid strategy continues to succeed

Microsoft has stood out as a thought leader in hybrid cloud since 2016, with its combination of Azure Public and Azure Stack on-premises cloud platform. Making a common API available to developers, regardless of whether they are using public or private cloud resources, is smart and will drive success. The company's belief in "learn-once, deploy and use anywhere" will see them continue to take market share from other clouds.

Google, Oracle, VMware and IBM will be chasing Amazon and Microsoft while trying to fend off regional providers, MSPs and private cloud startups. It will be interesting to see whether any other public cloud platforms launch or expand their own hybrid cloud offerings in 2019. It would certainly make sense for them to do so.

Cloud Specialist demand is constrained by supply and the IT Generalist makes a comeback

The job market remains strong and IT Specialists, both for infrastructure and for cloud, are currently in high demand. IT Specialists cost anywhere from $85-135K, with some in select markets costing even more. Supply of some critical skills remains tight, particularly outside key West and East Coast markets.

Managing infrastructure complexity has been part of the IT imperative for decades. But as platforms work to deliver operational simplicity, as software-defined everything becomes more widely adopted, and as integrated hardware/software stacks become more popular, IT Generalists will begin to become more important to organizations.

Imagine if a cloud platform enables an IT Generalist to monitor, maintain, and manage cloud operations through innovative improvements in automation, orchestration and optimization capabilities. What would happen? Organizations could be in a position to limit their dependency on IT Specialists, cutting costs and reducing concerns about skills availability.

Container adoption accelerates

Microservices and virtual machines will continue to co-exist, but the shift will accelerate toward cloud containers and microservices. We see support for containers to be a feature that organizations will increasingly leverage, whether they're using public cloud, private cloud, or a combination of the two.

Kubernetes will remain the most relevant orchestration framework for containers on any platform, as it drives a consistent management experience and application portability and has been widely adopted by many cloud providers. The pending IBM acquisition of Red Hat may also accelerate innovation because of Red Hat's focus on OpenShift.

Developers will be trained to create applications for both containerized environments and in virtual machines, and organizations will increasingly value the agility and efficiency containers bring to application development and deployment. Whether the added agility and efficiency drives organizations to refactor existing apps to work on containers, remains to be seen.

Demands for performance become paramount

Organizations optimizing for agility and responsiveness are driving the need for accelerated application performance in the cloud. Traditional public cloud often comes with performance constraints that cause friction and frustration. Organizations will be rethinking their physical infrastructures as 40Gbps/100 Gbps networking and all-flash storage become mainstream. IT leaders will look at performance as a factor in buying decisions, both for public and on-premise infrastructures.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. Will 2019 render us the Nostradamus of the cloud industry or serve us a helping of humble pie? That remains to be seen, but we're pretty confident you'll be looking out for our predictions this time next year! If you're interested in learning more, visit us at


About the Author

Christopher has over 20 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, with a specialty in the Hyper-Converged market. He joins Cloudistics from Lenovo where he was the North American Sales Director of Hyper-Converged Systems and built from the ground up the original team as well as developed and implemented the go-to-market strategy resulting in dozens of new logos in excess of $20M bookings. Prior to Lenovo, Christopher was VP of Sales for the Americas for Data Direct Networks (DDN) selling the largest High-Performance Computing clusters in the world. Prior to DDN, he worked for Dell leading sales, marketing and product development teams. While at Dell his team deployed the 5th fastest supercomputer in the world at UT's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

Christopher received his BBA from the University of North Texas with an emphasis in Corporate Finance and his MS from Southern Methodist University in Data Sciences.

Published Thursday, December 06, 2018 7:51 AM by David Marshall
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<December 2018>