In the Silver Linings column in this issue of Cloud Computing Magazine I introduced myself, discussed my new role at this publication, and touched on some of the trends and key players in the cloud space.
Then, today, I moderated a really interesting webinar called “The State of the Cloud in 2016” that featured speaker Paul Timmerman, who is the CTO and senior vice president of business development for technology infrastructure solutions provider Rolta AdvizeX. So I thought I’d use this space to tell you a little bit about that.
Timmerman talked about a variety of aspect of the cloud as it relates to enterprises and other businesses. He talked about how he’s seen huge uptake for the cloud relative to big data applications including search, storage, real-time analytics, and visualization. Leveraging the cloud for such applications makes a lot of sense, he added. Application development is another area of high activity for the cloud and providers like Amazon and Google (News - Alert), he indicated. In fact, this area saw an exceptional amount of action in 2016.
“2016 has really been the year of PaaS,” he added.
There are two major themes winning the market today, Timmerman continued.
One is companies like Amazon and Google providing the tools to enable developers to build applications. That can work, but it can be challenging in terms of operationalization, monitoring, and backup, he said. And moving the apps can be very challenging, which means businesses using these platforms can get locked in with a particular cloud provider, and if they decide to use a different stack in the future they have to switch or add cloud providers, and that can result in more monitoring and other operational headaches.
A second major trend Timmerman pointed out is the adoption of Cloud Foundry, which he said is blowing him away.
“Cloud Foundry seems to be winning that battle by far,” he said, “It is a great way to go.”
Timmerman also talked about the container movement. In fact, he predicted that in the future the Docker format will be the only way apps run.
The beauty of containers, he noted, is that they are portable. Once a company tries containers, he added, they want to use them all the time.
And when organizations begin widespread use of containers, he added, they require container management. Docker Swarm, Google’s Kubernetes, Mesos, Microsoft (News - Alert) Azure and Windows 2016, and VMware Photon are among users container management choices, he noted.
“All of them seem to work well,” said Timmerman. “But I’m intrigued by Photon, and all the Fortune 500 companies have VMware.”
Then he spoke a bit about the infrastructure side of the cloud, which he noted is making strides in the area of what have become known as hyperconverged data centers. In the next-generation data center, he added, 80 percent of workloads will run on software-defined storage, while there will also be all-flash arrays in place.
“That’s a data center model I like and that I think makes a lot of sense,” he said.
As businesses adopt the cloud Timmerman said the lift and shift model has become a popular one. That, he explained, essentially involves organizations taking what they already have and moving it to the cloud.
“We’re seeing it a lot right now,” he said.
But he cautioned companies to consider security, management, and the potential for sticker shock due to unforeseen expenses in these scenarios. Timmerman indicated there’s a lot of nickel and diming in such situations for things like load balancing, management, addition virtual machines, and more, and that that can add up fast.
He also talked about how some folks assume the path to the cloud goes from traditional environments to private cloud environments to public cloud environments. But he said that might not be the case for everyone, and that organizations need to consider regulatory and other requirements to decide what cloud journey is right for them.
Edited by Alicia Young