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Volterra 2020 Predictions: Microservices, Multi-Cloud and the Edge Point Toward the Age of the Distributed Cloud

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

By Ankur Singla, CEO, Volterra

Microservices, Multi-Cloud and the Edge Point Toward the Age of the Distributed Cloud

Microservices and AI are two of the key trends that are changing the way organizations design and deploy applications, as well as the infrastructure that runs them. To support these technologies, organizations are no longer relying on traditional datacenters or a single centralized cloud, and instead are spreading deployments across increasingly distributed cloud and edge locations. In 2020, this broad architecture evolution will result in true multi-cloud adoption, the edge becoming "cloudified," and microservices going mainstream. Looking beyond 2020, we will see the birth of a fully distributed cloud architecture.

These trends will define next year and beyond:

2020 Predictions

  • Multi-cloud beats multiple clouds: "Multi-cloud" has gained a lot of buzz these past couple years, but very few organizations have adopted a true multi-cloud strategy. Most enterprises are indeed deploying apps in several public cloud platforms, but they're typically keeping one app entirely in one cloud and another app entirely in another cloud rather than deploying a given app across several clouds. This siloing has partially been driven by creeping shadow IT practices. In 2020, this will change, however, as more and more apps will each be deployed across two or more public clouds. This true approach to multi-cloud allows organizations to better embrace microservices and enables them to optimize apps by leveraging unique features in each cloud. Furthermore, it yields better availability for each app (if one cloud goes down, you have the app in another) while also meeting certain compliance requirements (in case you need an app's data to be located in a specific region).
  • The edge gets cloudy: In 2020, the edge will start to get cloudified, as demonstrated by the recent launches of Google Anthos and Azure Arc. Organizations will be able to deploy, support and connect a given app and its related infrastructure across disparate edge environments. This provides a cloud-native experience at the edge. This trend will begin at the app and compute layer first. Higher-level services in the stack, such as containers and security, won't see widespread support in the cloudified edge next year, but those services will start to materialize from more innovative vendors.
  • Microservices go mainstream: Microservices will see broad enterprise adoption next year. It's historically been difficult to debug and maintain apps designed via microservices, and only the most innovative development teams were releasing them. But leading tech players will be releasing open source toolkits and frameworks that address microservice challenges and ultimately allow other organizations to properly adopt microservices. This will modernize apps significantly and end users will benefit the most.

Looking Beyond 2020 (2021-2023)

  • Birth of the distributed cloud: According to Gartner, over half of enterprise-generated data will be produced and processed outside traditional data centers or a single centralized cloud by 2022, compared to just 10 percent today. By 2025, they forecast that number will climb as high as 75-90 percent. Because of trends like IoT and 5G, apps and data, along with their supporting infrastructure, will be increasingly being spread across multiple clouds and edge sites, introducing several serious operational and security challenges. The distributed cloud will rise to meet these challenges: Organizations will eventually manage these sprawling deployments that span edge sites, multiple clouds and corporate data centers as a single distributed cloud and operating model that integrates all the disparate environments. This won't all happen overnight. But by 2021 to 2023, we'll see the pieces slowly come together, bringing order to chaos and giving birth to the distributed cloud.

More and more, apps and infrastructure are being deployed across increasingly distributed cloud and edge locations. Managing, supporting and securing these deployments is a hefty challenge, but the distributed cloud is on the way to address those issues. While the fully distributed cloud won't arrive for a few years, critical milestones on that journey, such as true multi-cloud, the cloudified edge and the mainstreaming of microservices, will unfold in 2020.

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About the Author

Ankur Singla 

Ankur is the founder and CEO of Volterra. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Contrail Systems, which pioneered telco NFV and SDN technologies and was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2012. Contrail is the most widely deployed networking platform in Tier 1 telco mobile networks (AT&T, DT, Orange, NTT and Reliance JIO), and is used in many SaaS providers' cloud deployments (Workday, Volkswagen, DirecTV). Prior to Contrail, Ankur was the CTO and VP Engineering at Aruba Networks, a global leader in wireless solutions. He holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Published Friday, January 10, 2020 7:20 AM by David Marshall
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