2016 has been an inflection point for cloud computing. The cloud-centric IT landscape is unleashing major forces for change in legacy systems, business models, and IT infrastructure management. The cloud market will grow at a scorching pace in 2017 as organizations shift cloud efforts into high gear to power their core business systems while enabling their customer-facing applications.
Cloud computing has changed the entire playing field of technology deployment. IDC predicts that by the end of 2018, 40% of IT spend across hardware, software and services will be for cloud-oriented technologies, and by 2020, 45%-50% of all spend will be for cloud delivered models.
We are going to see a lot many enterprises migrating to the cloud in 2017, with more workloads moving to cloud-based platforms than ever before. The apprehensions around cloud deployment are fading away and the cloud model is now considered matured and secure enough for enterprise adoption.
As 2016 draws to a close, let’s gaze into the crystal ball to find out which cloud computing trends will dominate 2017:
1. Next-Gen Clouds Running on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
Industry pundits are substantiating what cloud service providers have been experiencing for some time now – only hyper-converged cloud platforms can eventually keep up with fast-paced growth that we will see in the future. Increasingly, cloud service providers’ next-generation cloud ecosystem will be built on a hyper-converged architecture as such platforms would help phenomenally speed up scalability and shave off maintenance costs.
Evidently, the pre-integrated, consolidated compute and storage resources of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) solutions help cloud implementations run faster, scale higher and respond quicker. It is well suited for new workloads that demand rapid and automated scale-up and scale-out. Forrester believes hyper-converged infrastructures should be the foundation for the development of private cloud networks, ensuring effortless and effective implementations. “HCI is quickly becoming the default infrastructure platform upon which to build the private portion of a hybrid cloud,” says Forrester’s analyst Dave Bartoletti.
2. Containers-as-a-Service Going Mainstream
Though no older than mere two years old, the new technology is fast gaining grounds. Enterprises are paying immense interest to the new phenomenon of using containers alongside VMs. Gartner suggests that containers are emerging as a critical technology for enabling agile development and micro-service architectures.
As microservices and containerized workloads go mainstream, new categories such as container management, orchestration, security, logging, monitoring etc are driving conversations pertaining to public cloud deployments. Undoubtedly, containers-as-a-service is well placed to emerge as the fastest growing delivery model in the public cloud. It is quite likely to witness that container-driven software code management will rise along with Linux containers that may soon become available in most of the public and private cloud platforms in 2017.
3. Adoption of Lift-And-Shift Cloud Migration Model
As hybrid clouds shall continue expanding their base, a number of organizations would strive for freedom to painlessly migrate from one cloud to another. With new age lift-and-shift tools, cloud migration will become easier in 2017. Organizations would increasingly adopt cloud migration applications to enable smoother implementation and transitions from public to private, or vice versa.
“In 2017, lift-and-shift migration tools will accelerate the rate of cloud migration, given their low cost for bulk application migrations,” Bartoletti says. For example, instead of looking to simply dump existing apps onto public cloud, organizations would leverage migration solutions and services to recalibrate apps to take advantage of cloud’s elasticity.
4. Asia-Pac Cloud Providers to Gain Foothold While Niche Players Make Their Mark
Growing at a CAGR of 22 percent, the global public cloud market will reach $146 billion in 2017, up from $87 billion in 2015. While a large part of this market will be serviced by dominant MNC players, they will not be able to service every unique request of the enterprise customers. This will create enough and more elbow room for regional, niche players.
In 2017, SaaS will move towards regional and industry solutions instead of the industry behemoths. In fact, the niche cloud providers are better poised to offer customizable, hybrid solutions available for organizations have specific compute and processing needs.
Moreover, IDC predicts that the impact for Asian players on the cloud is quite significant with at least 25% of all cloud players within an enterprise environment originating from Asia. By 2018, 25% of global enterprises will have service providers from APAC as part of their cloud ecosystem.
5. Cloud Management Platform and Cloud Service Brokers on The Rise
Industry reports suggest that enterprises today dabble with at least six variants of cloud on an average, with three being in a production environment and the rest in dev/test areas. As organizations continue to deploy a number of clouds across various providers to meet specifically unique requirements or for risk mitigation, IT teams are beginning to develop the cloud management headache.
That’s why in 2017, enterprises will increasingly leverage new cloud management platforms and services to manage various variants of their cloud instances across providers, audit cloud functions, and monitor and control the platforms. Along with cloud management platforms’ SIAM (service integration and management) controls, organizations will also see the rise of a new role: cloud service broker, a service provider that will help define and determine the optimum approach to cloud management and security.