Cloud computing is growing exponentially at the moment. Some of the biggest technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are in a race for cloud supremacy. They believe it’s just the start of cloud computing. In the last decade, we saw companies just make the migration from on-premises to cloud. But what does this decade hold for organizations that are midway through this migration? That’s what we discuss in this post — the top trends and predictions that will shape this decade of cloud computing and what this future means to you.
1. Managed Kubernetes in the cloud will be a big focus
Kubernetes is incredibly complex and hard to set up and manage on your own. This is why many organizations are turning to cloud vendors to help run their Kubernetes clusters. Today, you can run Kubernetes clusters on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and other public clouds. You can leverage these clusters to build and run your applications as easily as you would a bare-metal server on-premises.
The promise of Kubernetes lies in the ability to use the same set of tools and toolsets on any cloud. You can write your applications on the cloud, deploy your applications to the cloud, scale your applications, manage and monitor your clusters, and then reap the benefit of all these features and functionality without having to lift a finger. And you can create and operate a cloud cluster in a matter of minutes. With every corner of the enterprise backing Kubernetes, it is set to play a vital role in how the cloud shapes up over the coming decade.
2. The idea of multicloud will become clearer
The idea of multicloud is still taking shape today, but over the decade we can expect it to become clearer what this term actually means in reality. For example, though smaller cloud vendors tout the ability to manage resources in other cloud vendors like AWS, the larger cloud vendors talk about the “portability tax” of moving from one cloud to another. Instead, they advocate to keep things simple and focus on just one cloud platform. Which way this debate will head is still up in the air. But we can expect organizations to have more choice in where to run workloads — a single cloud vendor if they choose to, or a mix of multiple cloud vendors if that is a better fit.
3. Serverless computing will quicken and simplify cloud operations
It is a computing paradigm where your business runs without the need for dedicated hardware in the cloud, and it is done through the use of a variety of IaaS services provided by third-party vendors. Serverless computing is making the delivery of applications faster and simpler.
People migrate to serverless computing to save money and scale their applications without worrying about downtime and scalability. In the next decade, we’re going to see more sophisticated use cases for serverless computing that do much more than execute a single function.
AWS and Azure offer a huge array of options for enterprise-level applications, but most of these are aimed at large, established organizations with IT resources dedicated to scaling, administering, and maintaining the applications. The next decade will see the rise of applications that are small, simple, and inexpensive.
4. Managed open-source services
We live in a golden era for open-source projects. Inspired by the container and Kubernetes revolution, thousands of open-source projects power applications in production. From automated software delivery pipelines to monitoring tools and security, open-source offers a ton of value. Open source will all the more become a necessity in the coming decade.
There are two key drivers to this trend. First, managed open-source services are a lucrative opportunity for large cloud vendors. Think of the many open source-based cloud services like AWS Elasticsearch, Istio on GKE, Apache Spark on Amazon EMR — These cloud services are built on the success of hugely popular open-source projects. Things can get ugly when the open-source project owners cry foul and want a share of the profits - as was the case with Elasticsearch. The open-source community is going through growing pains to navigate these uncharted waters.
The second driver for managed open-source services is the championing of open source by the largest technology companies. Microsoft is a big supporter of Linux today, something most would have deemed impossible. Oracle is changing its stance on open source to stay relevant in a changing world. With companies like Google, Facebook, and Netflix all pushing many of their projects to the open-source community, managed open-source services like those discussed above will become more common.
5. Service mesh networking will become the norm
One of the big trends that the cloud computing space is witnessing today is the emergence of the service mesh. A service mesh network allows interconnecting several services with one another across the network at any point. A service mesh enables communication between different systems that interact via the service mesh.
While Istio is the most popular of the service meshes, it is also the most complex. The CNCF has adopted multiple service meshes like Linkerd and Kuma. There are independent vendors like Hashicorp innovating with their product Consul. All these diverse efforts are going to converge in the coming decade. While service mesh is the way forward for networking, its implementation will get simpler.
As networking becomes more complex with the rise of IoT and the edge, service meshes will play a key role in enabling those advancements.
6. Automation and policies will ease cloud management
From high to low, automation will impact everyone, and the need to implement intelligent automation will drive every business to adopt it. From technical to business, automation has many levels. In the cloud, automation will be implemented to simplify and ease cloud management. This leads to more frequent releases, better resource utilization, and a more security posture.
A key enabler of automation is to take a policy-based approach to operations. Whether this is policy-based networking or policy-based security — automation needs to be mature enough to handle the quirks of complex cloud applications. Implementing these policies requires strategic planning at the start and consistent tweaking to keep the policies relevant. Policies will be used to do things like control traffic flow in the network, and allowing or disallowing access to users. It will ease the workload of the Ops team and enable maturity in cloud operations.
7. Better integration between cloud and datacenters
Datacenters are still important to many organizations unable to abandon their legacy applications and infrastructure for whatever reason. As the cloud is being adopted, it becomes harder for organizations to manage their datacenters alongside it. When they try to push more resources into the cloud, they struggle to do so without impacting the performance of their on-premises workloads.
The cloud vendors are aware of this challenge and have been going the extra mile to bridge the gap between the cloud and on-premises. Google Cloud Anthos, Azure Arc, and AWS Outpost are efforts to blur the lines between on-premises and cloud.
Cloud computing trends: An exciting time
The trends are in place, and the future of cloud computing is a great place to be. Cloud is evolving, and these are just the innovations that are pushing the boundaries. It’s safe to say that there’s always something new and exciting coming up, which makes it exciting to be a part of. As your organization looks ahead to the next decade, consider how these trends will shape the playing field.
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