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December 23, 2016updated 20 Jan 2017 3:09pm

2017 cloud predictions: Hear what Microsoft, Salesforce, VMware & more see for the future of cloud

Some of the leading players in the industry have their say on what 2017 will bring for cloud computing.

By James Nunns

Computer Business Review is here to help you ring in the new year with some predictions from experts in the industry. 

The cloud industry showed no signs of slowing down in 2016 as the leading players continued to innovate at a rapid pace. 

Will 2017 bring more of the same? Here’s what the experts have to say. 

 

Multi-cloud on the rise in 2017
Kaushik Balasubramanian, Sr. Director of VMware practice, Rackspace. 

“Just as the combination of public and private clouds is here to stay, major cloud providers like Rackspace, VMware and Microsoft are now enabling the use of multiple cloud vendors to work in tandem across different cloud deployments — a trend we call “multi-cloud,” and one I see growing in 2017.

“Different clouds serve different needs for different businesses, and we’re seeing that most enterprises will consume different clouds across multiple regions for varying use cases/workloads. The cost of migrating a legacy workload to be “cloudy” and move out of the customer datacenter can be prohibitive.  

 

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OpenStack will become the API to the software-defined data center

Bryan Thompson, General Manager, OpenStack Private Cloud, Rackspace. 

“In 2017, as the OpenStack community delivers the 15th and 16th major releases of the integrated projects (Ocata and Pike), this collection of projects will continue to represent one of the fastest growing open source communities in the world and will have unquestionably asserted its position as the de facto standard for building private clouds.

“The power of OpenStack continues to be the API – a standard interface allowing users and systems to interact with all manner of infrastructure including compute, network, storage and other fabric services.  As more and more organizations leverage OpenStack to power their private clouds, they will begin to realize the potential of the software-defined data center and the agility and innovation it can bring. 

 

The year of serverless computing?
John Engates, Chief Technology Officer, Rackspace

“Serverless computing is making developers’ lives easier, and if what I’m seeing and hearing holds true, 2017 is the year it will really take off. “Serverless,” of course, is a misnomer.

“There will always be servers; serverless architecture refers to applications that depend on third party services (backend-as-a-service) or custom code (function-as-a-service) — AWS Lambda being the most popular vendor host today. What serverless really means is that developers no longer have to worry about infrastructure. And as those barriers to IoT entry continue to fall, we’ll continue to see new players and their devices muscle into what appears to be an almost limitless potential market.” 

Advanced workloads in Microsoft Azure will be the primary catalyst to fuel datacenter defection to Azure
Jeff DeVerter, CTO of Microsoft Technologies, Rackspace. 

“Advancements in Azure like the Cortana Intelligence suite, Machine Learning, and the Azure Security Center will drive workloads to Azure in much greater numbers given the benefits of existing natively inside of Azure.  

“DevOps transformation and DataCenter Consolidation has been the primary advantage to moving to Public Cloud up to this point.  The beneficiaries have been primarily the IT community within a business. The higher-order capabilities mentioned above will have significant impacts on all areas of a business with significant tools to dynamically mine data, learn from actions of all type (not just machines), and keep the data and results secure. 

“Microsoft’s cloud isn’t just focused on making computing more efficient – it’s focused on transforming business as we know it.”

 

 

The release of Microsoft Azure Stack will make Azure the cloud of choice for enterprise workloads
Jeff DeVerter, CTO of Microsoft Technologies

“As belts tighten in all IT organizations and higher-order IT skills remain in short supply, IT organizations will be seize the opportunity to standardize on Azure – public and private – as a platform of choice. 

“Since the Azure Stack code is primarily derived from the same codebase as Azure – companies will be able to standardize on its own set of API’s and native Azure capabilities for their private cloud needs. These two products will bring a level of efficiency and capability to IT organizations not available before. 

Aaron Auld, CEO, Exasol. 

Deployment of cloud-based IT infrastructures will rapidly accelerate in 2017: “For companies of all shapes and sizes, irrespective of the market segments that they are active in, cloud is no longer something that only startups will embrace. In addition, analytics will move to the cloud and we’ll see AaaS (Analytics-as-a-Service) become standard practice for business.”

Hear from Salesforce, Fujitsu & Hortonworks on the next page. 

The use of Cloud for digital services will become accepted as the new norm as relative perceptions about security become accepted.

Steven Cox, Vice President and Head of Public Sector at Fujitsu UK&I.

“Concerns will move onto “orchestration” and how you manage both the technology and services provided across multiple suppliers of public and private, as well as on and off premise, Cloud.

“In shaping faster IT using Cloud, there will be greater recognition of the role that existing or legacy IT assets can play in enabling systems of innovation through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). It will be easier to securely extract data and that will see Departments seek to share information on a scale not seen before through cross departmental and government data lakes.”

 

 Welcome to the age of the customer
Andrew Lawson, SVP, North Europe, Middle East & Africa and Managing Director, UK & Ireland at Salesforce

“Cloud computing in itself is not a new technology, but it’s this maturity that makes it such a key technology. In fact, research from IDC shows that spending on the cloud will skyrocket from $82 billion this year to $162 billion in 2020.

“For companies that are not using cloud computing, or that are still on their journey of cloud transformation, it’s important to remember that customer expectations are growing exponentially – customers want a seamless, personalised experience. If you’re still straddled with information silos that leave your organisation inflexible and slow, it’s virtually impossible to provide this type of service.

“Quite simply, organisations relying on legacy, on-premise IT systems can’t effectively compete in the new Age of the Customer. With customer experience as the indicator most businesses are competing on these days, you can see why I think cloud computing will be so crucial next year.”

Integration of Cloud platforms will be at the forefront of business transformation
Mike Sewart, Director of Fujitsu Digital, at Fujitsu EMEIA.

“2017 will start to see more Cloud platforms than ever before come together to provide business services for the Enterprise.

“Public Cloud platforms are maturing, and we are seeing more opportunities for organisations to integrate multiple public and private cloud services into their legacy systems. Soon, businesses who don’t adopt Cloud platforms will risk falling behind competitors and face high costs – organisations can no longer afford to rely on legacy systems.

“The challenge now comes in integrating the legacy estate into an ecosystem of 3rd party Public Cloud platforms in a seamless way, that all provide “best of breed” business services.”

 

Intelligent Networks Lead to the Rise of Data Clouds
Hortonworks Chief Technology Officer, Scott Gnau

“The Internet of Anything (IoAT) and machine-to-machine connectivity are driving:

  • Intelligent environments where devices understand each other and work together in real-time, in the context of a larger need or purpose.
  • The ability for networks to expand and contract on demand as well as for messages to be routed and prioritized in real time.

“In this world, silos of data will be replaced by clouds of data. Freed from the need to conform to the rules of on-premise batch processing, we will see intelligent self-configuring networks that can enable the meaningful connections between devices.

“These intelligent networks also provide the flexibility to enable new and faster delivery of data to the right place to be analyzed.”

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