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Canonical 2019 Predictions: The Continued Evolution of the Cloud

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

Contributed by Stephan Fabel, Director of Product Management at Canonical

The Continued Evolution of the Cloud

Leading Public Cloud Providers will Differentiate

I believe in some ways 2019 will be business as usual for the major public cloud providers. Their IaaS model is well-entrenched, and any new technology which drives CPU and RAM consumption on their platforms will be more than welcome.

However, with multi-cloud quickly becoming the norm, the major players will have to prove their worth more than ever before in an enterprise's IT strategy. Price wars between the leaders have proven to result in a race to the bottom, so instead they're looking to differentiate. Expect to see Google focus on its AI credentials, Microsoft on its workload migration capabilities, and Amazon to continue pushing AWS hard in the public sector space.

This differentiation will be important for the incumbents as it could be the year they come under increasing pressure from other public cloud players. IBM's acquisition of Red Hat is a signal of potential competition, while eastern players such as Alibaba and Tencent continue to improve their capabilities locally, undoubtedly with an eye on international expansion.

Cloud Strategies Will be Multi-Cloud by Default

Multi-cloud strategies reached new levels of adoption last year, with Virtustream finding 86% of enterprises to be taking such an approach. But, despite considerable uptake already, we expect multi-cloud's prominence to grow further still in 2019. Multi-cloud is almost becoming the default cloud strategy as organizations look to avoid vendor lock-in, granting themselves greater flexibility in deploying the most relevant cloud across different departments and functions.

While such an approach offers the added bonus of improving ROI, it is the increased performance and autonomy which are most appealing to enterprises. Instead of being restricted to the ecosystem of one vendor, a multi-cloud approach permits organizations to deploy a mixture of cloud apps to suit their needs across the business, while at the same time technologies such as Kubernetes can be used to containerise and deploy applications across different cloud providers when necessary.

Shifting from Automation to AI in the Cloud

The increasing size and complexity of cloud deployments means that the old habit of not caring about where and how the cloud runs until you have to is dying. Instead, there has been a widespread shift to the automation of monitoring, resource allocation, and troubleshooting within the cloud.

Upscaling this automation of processes into true AI which can adapt is the next step, and one which we'll see in 2019 arising out of necessity due to the fluid nature of cloud usage. The rise of multi-cloud, alongside a fear of vendor lock-in, has resulted in cloud strategies not being as static as they once were - meaning non-adaptable automation of processes isn't sustainable in the long run.

Concepts such as auto-healing are of undeniable value to any cloud team but, without truly adaptable AI, it will be increasingly difficult for them to succeed and keep up within the shifting complexity of the cloud landscape.


Stephan Fabel is Director of Product Management at Canonical


Published Tuesday, January 29, 2019 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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