After writing pages of notes about the impact of Docker, microservice architectures, mainstreaming of Ops Automation, software defined networking, exponential data growth and the explosion of alternative hardware architecture, I realized that it all boils down to the death of cloud as we know it.
OK, we’re not killing cloud per se this year. It’s more that we’ve put 10 pounds of cloud into a 5 pound bag so it’s just not working in 2015 to call it cloud.
Cloud was happily misunderstood back in 2012 as virtualized infrastructure wrapped in an API beside some platform services (like object storage).
That illusion will be shattered in 2015 as we fully digest the extent of the beautiful and complex mess that we’ve created in the search for better scale economics and faster delivery pipelines. 2015 is going to cause a lot of indigestion for CIOs, analysts and wandering technology executives. No one can pick the winners with Decisive Leadership™ alone because there are simply too many possible right ways to solve problems.
Here’s my list of the seven cloud disrupting technologies and frameworks that will gain even greater momentum in 2015:
- Docker – I think that Docker is the face of a larger disruption around containers and packaging. I’m sure Docker is not the thing alone. There are a fleet of related technologies and Docker replacements; however, there’s no doubt that it’s leading a timely rethinking of application life-cycle delivery.
- New languages and frameworks – it’s not just the rapid maturity of Node.js and Go, but the frameworks and services that we’re building (like Cloud Foundry or Apache Spark) that change the way we use traditional languages.
- Microservice architectures – this is more than containers, it’s really Functional Programming for Ops (aka FuncOps) that’s a new generation of service oriented architecture that is being empowered by container orchestration systems (like Brooklyn or Fleet). Using microservices well seems to redefine how we use traditional cloud.
- Mainstreaming of Ops Automation – We’re past “if DevOps” and into the how. Ops automation, not cloud, is the real puppies vs cattle battle ground. As IT creates automation to better use clouds, we create application portability that makes cloud disappear. This freedom translates into new choices (like PaaS, containers or hardware) for operators.
- Software defined networking – SDN means different things but the impacts are all the same: we are automating networking and integrating it into our deployments. The days of networking and compute silos are ending and that’s going to change how we think about cloud and the supporting infrastructure.
- Exponential data growth – you cannot build applications or infrastructure without considering how your storage needs will grow as we absorb more data streams and internet of things sources.
- Explosion of alternative hardware architecture – In 2010, infrastructure was basically pizza box or blade from a handful of vendors. Today, I’m seeing a rising tide of alternatives architectures including ARM, Converged and Storage focused from an increasing cadre of sources including vendors sharing open designs (OCP). With improved automation, these new “non-cloud” options become part of the dynamic infrastructure spectrum.
Today these seven items create complexity and confusion as we work to balance the new concepts and technologies. I can see a path forward that redefines IT to be both more flexible and dynamic while also being stable and performing.
Want more 2015 predictions? Here’s my OpenStack EOY post about limiting/expanding the project scope.