10 Defining Moments for Cloud Computing from 2021

In a year marked with instability for many industries, the cloud computing space continued to see strong and significant growth. With most organizations migrating their workloads to the cloud, this makes complete sense. From change in leadership to a record number of acquisitions, this year had plenty to offer. 

Here is a round-up of 10 of the biggest happenings from the year.

1. AWS launches EKS anywhere

Amazon announced the general availability of its EKS Anywhere service in September. The service is an open-source extension of the Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service that enables organizations to run Kubernetes on AWS without the need to install, operate and maintain a Kubernetes control panel or nodes. It simplifies the creation and operation of on-prem Kubernetes clusters using VMware vSphere and provides tools for automated cluster management. 

EKS Anywhere provides an installable software package and reduces the complexity of building or purchasing management tools to create Kubernetes clusters, update software, and configure the operating environment. This launch will enable enterprises to leverage EKS features with their on-prem infrastructure and accelerate adoptions with partner integrations consistently.

2. AT&T moves its 5G cloud network to Azure

Microsoft saw a key win in the cloud race with AT&T’s Network Cloud Technology early this June. This acquisition was built on a 5G partnership formed by the two companies in 2019 and paves the way for Microsoft to eventually manage all of the wireless carrier’s 5G traffic. Microsoft essentially took over AT&T’s cloud network deployment which is responsible for operations and transformed it with a combination of hybrid cloud assets. This alliance, on one hand, helps AT&T increase cost efficiency and productivity while focussing on delivery of large-scale network services and on the other hand, helps Microsoft gain access to AT&T’s technical expertise and intellectual property to grow its teleco flagship offering – Azure for Operators.

3. Google introduces Google Distributed Cloud

Google announced Google Distributed Cloud – a set of hardware and software solutions to help extend Google infrastructure into the edge and customer data centres – at the Google Cloud Next ‘21 conference held in October. Depending on an enterprise’s needs, the solution can run across multiple locations and is compatible with most of Google’s 5G/LTE communication service provider (CSP) partners. The Google Distributed Cloud is built on the open-source platform Anthos and has a collection of well-known vendors. It is optimized to support low-latency use cases and is designed to support customer-owned edge or remote locations.

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4. Amazon introduces OpenSearch

Amazon announced the OpenSearch project – a community driven, open source search and analytics suite. An open source fork of Elasticsearch and Kibana, this project was created in response to Elastic changing its open source software licenses that prevented Amazon from using the open source version of Elastic stack as their AWS Elasticsearch managed service. The OpenSearch project makes it easier for independent developers, enterprise IT departments, software vendors and managed service providers to use, modify, extend, monetize, offer, resell and monetize OpenSearch as part of their products and services. Although Amazon is the main driver behind the project, few other big name companies including Red Hat, SAP, Capital One and Logz.io have also given it their backing.

5. Okta buys Auth0

Okta announced the successful acquisition of Auth0 in May this year. The two bigwigs leverage their individual experiences in the enterprise and developer communities to create an independent platform that provides secure access for customers and employees. Their flexible and comprehensive identity platforms solve every identity use case, regardless of the user or audience. Together, Okta and Auth0 provide an enhanced depth and breadth of identity solutions, quick integration with the modern tech stack of current developers and flexibility.

6. VMware launches VMware Cross-Cloud Service

VMware, Inc. announced the launch of VMware Cross-Cloud Service, a strategy to help customers navigate the multi-cloud era, at the VMworld 2021 event held in October. The group of integrated services will help deliver a faster path to the cloud for businesses. It will also equip customers with the ability to build, deploy and secure applications across any cloud. VMware Cross-Cloud Service is a multi-cloud approach that increases app velocity and allows enterprises to be more agile and resilient. It does this by eliminating tough choices customers have to face by providing them with a dynamic combination of control and freedom.

7. The Pentagon shelves its JEDI contract 

The Pentagon cancelled its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contract in October. Although the award was entangled in a litigation filed by chief rival AWS, who claimed the DOD had misjudged its evaluation of the cloud providers’ bids for the contract, it was initially won by Microsoft. The DOD decided to shelve the project citing that it no longer met the requirements of the evolving cloud landscape. It looks like the Pentagon might be going multi-cloud as it announced a new multi vendor contract, the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC), which would require enterprise scale cloud capabilities. 

8. IBM goes on a multi cloud shopping spree

IBM really wanted to be the one-stop multi-cloud dealer and hence went on a multi-cloud shopping spree this year. It kickstarted the year by acquiring a leading Salesforce consultancy firm 7Summits in early January. This move helped IBM extend its portfolio of Salesforce services, experience design capabilities and advance its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) strategies. 

In the same month, IBM went on to acquire a leading cloud professional and managed service provider Taos. The expertise and public cloud partnerships required to drive the growth and adoption of IBM’s hybrid cloud platform was added to and supported by Taos.

Among other acquisitions, the last one that stands out is its acquisition of ARM and NPM software provider, Turbonomic, in April. This merger helps create a single vendor approach for AIOps and observability.

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9. Deloitte acquires HashedIn and CloudQuest

In a year marked with multiple acquisitions for Deloitte, the two that stand out are its acquisitions of HashedIn and CloudQuest.

Deloitte acquired HashedIn Technologies Pvt Ltd, a leading cloud software engineering and product development company in January. This acquisition helps them enable customers to imagine and run their futures with cloud technologies as well as support digital transformation at a global scale. 

Deloitte acquired a cloud security posture management (CSPM) provider CloudQuest in June. CloudQuest’s cloud security capabilities will boost Deloitte’s existing cloud cybersecurity offerings. This move facilitates improved protection for enterprises against the next generation of security threats.

10. Accenture acquires Advoco

Accenture acquired a leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) suite for enterprise asset management (EAM), Advoco, in October. One of the largest systems integrators for Infor EAM, Advoco provides clients with the ability to enhance the reliability and extend the life cycle of their sensitive assets. Its acquisition by Microsoft will help bring Infor EAM capabilities to individuals and organizations at scale. 

Conclusion

In a world where the cloud is definitely the future, it isn’t surprising that the cloud-native industry is constantly making headlines. In addition to this, the constant battle between cloud providers to come out on top and be crowd favorites further drives the growth of the industry. It’ll be interesting to see what 2022 has in store for us. 

Featured Image Source: istockphoto

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