Now that cloud services have become part of IT’s “new normal,” commonly referred to as “Hybrid,” it seems obvious that the approaches and tools we use to manage IT would also evolve and mature, though the pace of evolution varies amongst companies, of course. According to a Gartner (News - Alert) survey, more than 55% of CIOs indicate they would host all critical apps in the cloud by 2020. Cloud services use cases can vary greatly, but often hold common themes around converting traditional application to SaaS (News - Alert), or adding disaster recovery to existing datacenters with RaaS.
So, what does this tee up for next year? Here are three key areas to watch in 2015:
Cloud-native security evolution
One of the biggest changes I anticipate for 2015 is a new definition of what security looks like in the cloud. Typically, security is handled as a complex, rigid component of your infrastructure. This limits your ability to grow and contract, as well as make on-a-dime changes, because security features are often clunking along behind your lightweight, flexible cloud environment.
New platform-based security services, like Illumio, will require everyone to rethink security complexity and how to approach security. Taking an agent-based approach guarantees an out-of-the-box hybrid cloud capability, and a single dashboard to see the security across everything at once – be it private, public or on-premises – provides visibility and transparency at an application-level.
The benefits of this approach lead the users to accumulate data that can be leveraged to make the host profiling capabilities stronger over time, which provides a stickier element than traditional, isolated single-tenant products. You can also derive best practice templates and profiles from the data, which can be analyzed and integrated into future projects.
In 2015, the trend that we’ve already started to see over the past few years with early adopters is businesses and business leaders (particularly SMB businesses) wanting to get out of the datacenter business and focus their teams and resources on their core business. They need their IT teams to do more than simply fix and adjust hardware. They need their teams to think more strategically and help the entire business become more technology-oriented.
Consider this datacenter atrophy in relation to how virtualization allowed us to get more out of our data centers. There’s a law of diminishing return on how much we can get out of that technology, so we need to lean into new concepts to get even more out of our innovative approaches. Because of that, more businesses are leaning in to get more for the business out of their resources and offload the data center business.
In order to truly be able to get your team out of the data center business, you need to be able to rely on a managed cloud provider which acts as an extension of your team. The providers manage all the aspects of the infrastructure – what they do best; and, your team focuses on the core business – what you do best.
This year many companies started to modernize their disaster recovery approach using Recovery-as-a-Service. This was driven by the business expectation that applications and data must be accessible at all times, from anywhere, regardless of what happens in the world surrounding those applications. Evolution of recovery technology allows businesses of all sizes access to affordable, simple, RaaS in the cloud, which bring single applications back online in minutes and whole data centers back online nearly as quickly. What’s going to change in 2015, however, is how we look at recovery and the components it involves.
For businesses protecting their infrastructure with RaaS, backup and recovery technology convergence means they can continue to back up applications and data while running in recovery, because the technology is integrated. Businesses will never be unprotected, unlike running recovery in a bubble-like trailer in a parking lot.
We’re seeing both backup and recovery vendors integrate the two ideas as well, over the past year. Veeam has added cloud-native capabilities to its backup technology for DR, and Zerto has added backups to its cloud-based DR product for additional protection.
This convergence will force the market to redefine the role of each technology, more strongly force integration of products and force businesses to redefine budgets and possibilities in the coming year.
We’re gearing up for another exciting year in the cloud industry and these are just a few core ideas that I believe we’ll see take flight and take over focus this year. Next year at this time, I’ll be sitting down again to consider how my scorecard looks heading into 2016 and we’ll see how accurate my crystal ball was for 2015.
Edited by Maurice Nagle