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Armory 2021 Predictions: Cutting through Complexity and Moving Faster in The Era of Digitization

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Cutting through Complexity and Moving Faster in The Era of Digitization

By Isaac Mosquera, CTO, Armory

We're in the Era of Digitization which means big code, big clusters, database sprawl, endless security threats, and increasing emphasis on software development.

What does this mean? The choices your teams and developers are about to get 10 times more complicated. Cloud providers have been creating new services while at the same time there are so many great new tools being developed. As it turns out, Kubernetes may not be the silver bullet everyone expected -- not because it's not good, but as a result of all the great innovation taking place in other areas. Cloud providers are building new services and according to my crystal ball, serverless services will see a jump in popularity this year. Lambda, Cloud Functions, Azure Functions bypass servers altogether, so why learn Kubernetes if you don't have to? They have more features that obliviate the need for Kubernetes.

The complexity of software delivery will continue unabated due to multi-cloud/multi-target, as well as competition between the cloud providers themselves. When I first started Armory in 2016, the idea that companies would use multi-cloud wasn't on anyone's radar, but next year it's inevitable. What CIOs and CTOs have wanted to do is to make their lives simple by saying that they'll use AWS, have a single bill and gain efficiency through standardization. But that's not what we observe. Standardization at the enterprise level for a single cloud is a fool's errand given the unique requirements for each business unit. The pragmatic approach is to pick the right cloud for the right job by taking advantage of different clouds in all different ways. Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud are bridging the gap between datacenter workloads and cloud workloads, which is why we see so much emphasis from the cloud providers on Anthos, Outposts, etc. and I expect we'll see much more in 2021.

GitOps adoption will continue to grow beyond the Kubernetes landscape in 2021. GitOps gives operators and developers a single interface for controlling change (no need for kubectl, etc.), immutable audit trail and RBAC in Git. This is already becoming the standard in cloud native deployments, plus the CNCF has founded a new working group focused on this initiative. I see GitOps developing beyond Kubernetes in 2021 to multi cloud, etc.

In the enterprise, we'll see more automation of compliance, security and scalability for CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) in 2021. All enterprises understand that doing things manually wastes time, so there's an opportunity in 2021 to stitch together and automate everything. Previously, there were no good ways to automate because integration points and structured data didn't exist. Everything was custom built. Now, however, we're seeing an explosion of tools in the DevOps landscape and software platforms are being built on vendor offerings instead of using a DIY custom in-house approach.

The big benefit here is that they all come with structured data, well-defined APIs to integrate, a central place for CI/CD or DevOps events that provides more  integration points than before. This is what we all want and need to do -- a declarative way to push into production and have developers not worrying about pipelines and errors, what we call managed delivery which will become more of a reality and put into practice in 2021.


About the Author

Isaac Mosquera 

Isaac Mosquera is the CTO and co-founder of Armory, which builds on the open source Spinnaker project that codifies cloud-native software delivery best practices. Previously, he led an engineering team at a startup that built a CI/CD platform which significantly increased deployment velocity and as CTO at two other startups with exits.

Published Tuesday, January 26, 2021 7:44 AM by David Marshall
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