Enterprise virtualization vs. public cloud in 2018

Enterprise virtualization prediction for 2018 tl:dr — no drastic changes from 2017.

There are some interesting possibilities, though, and I’ve used Simon Wardley mapping to diagram them.

Enterprise virtualization 2018 prediction vs public cloud (click image to expand)

As shown in the enterprise virtualization map on the left, we can now argue that the consumption of virtual machines has trended all the way into commodity consumption (with standardized tooling, automation and operating environment).  If it hasn’t in your company, you may want to start asking why.

One of the more interesting possibilities for 2018, if the equipment vendors do this correctly, is composable infrastructure. This could completely displace traditional compute and push it into commodity consumption.  I’m going to leave it as a dotted line in the figure for now, as the business impact of technical accounting for corporations might make this a non-starter. That said, I have to imagine that a true utility in any premises would be good for the industry and the consumers.

In the public cloud map on the right, we may need to incorporate some changes based on enterprise use of public cloud to include the difference between “cloud native” capability versus enterprise hosting requirements.

Cloud native capability is the service consumption of the public cloud that relies only on the tools and capabilities built into the public cloud platform element. Using it for new application development, including things like serverless application design, is growing as AWS and Azure partners and consumers learn to take advantage of those cloud native features.

Cloud native platforms are not particularly well placed for traditional enterprise workloads, though, which often require more specific (as well as traditional) care and feeding. Furthermore, refactoring enterprise applications to take advantage of cloud native features may not be a worthwhile endeavor considering the cost of transforming those applications. The general thought is to give them a safe place to run until they are no longer needed.

The enterprise hosting data center exodus in 2017 provides some of the highlights of why workloads will move out of the data center. It may not be obvious, but the unifying element of both maps above is how hybrid computing will be handled between enterprise virtualization and public cloud. This integration still looks very much like early product (see maps above).

One of the possible next steps is being taken by both Microsoft Azure and AWS/VMware, who have announced methods to move non-cloud-native workloads to their IaaS: Microsoft Azure Stack and VMware Cloud on AWS. Over time, both of these services should drive workloads more than “smooth out the peaks.” This is a major movement and was reflected in the title of my prediction last year, “Why Public Cloud Wins Workload Love,” and it’s why I say this year that “Public Cloud Continues to Win Workload Love.”

If you’ve followed the mapping threads on my blog, here’s the historical links on these predictions: 2017, 2016

And if you want to know more about my Wardley mapping mis-adventures, follow this link.

This post originally appeared in Michael Nelson’s blog.

Michael Nelson is the product manager for DXC Technology’s Modern Platform capability. His responsibilities include product development in the platform space, as well as coordination with DXC partners in the coevolution of platforms for the x86 virtualization space. @abusedbits



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