The top five upcoming cloud developments

five clouds

Strap yourself in. We’ll be going to some interesting places with the cloud in the near future.

1. Hybrid Cloud Takes Off

For the longest time, the hybrid cloud didn’t really go much of anywhere. That’s because it wasn’t easy to integrate private and public clouds. Then, along came Kubernetes and everything changed.

With Kubernetes, so long as a cloud platform supports it–and they all do now–it’s possible to run clusters of containers across clouds. So, want to manage containers in Kubernetes clusters on say your private OpenStack cloud and on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud simultaneously? You can do that. For that matter, you could run your jobs on all those clouds and more if you really wanted to.

Helping to make this happen is that pretty much every vendor you can think of is supporting Kubernetes as the foundation for their hybrid cloud stack.

2. The Rise of Service Mesh

Another contributor to hybrid cloud’s rise is the growth in service mesh architectures. Those hybrid-cloud containerized applications need to network with each other over different cloud architectures. While there are several service meshes, the one I think will win out is Istio.

Istio networks microservices and containers. More than that, though, it also provides discovery, failure recovery, load balancing, metrics, and monitoring services. You can use it to support access control, A/B testing, canary releases, end-to-end authentication and encryption, and rate limiting.

You haven’t heard much yet about Istio. You will. Just, as Docker transformed how we ran and stored applications and Kubernetes changed how we managed containers. open-source project Istio builds on both to provide their network service mesh. In its own way, Istio could prove just as important as Docker and Kubernetes.

3. Serverless: The Next Generation of Applications

OK, so the term serverless is more confusing than helpful. There are still servers–we’ll always have servers. Serverless computing provides developers with back-end services. Then, when developers are writing an application, instead of calling functions in the traditional sense, they’ll call an already working program to provide a service for their program. This provides developers with an easy-to-use abstraction to access compute resources.

The poster-child for serverless service is AWS Lambda. With it, you can run programs without provisioning or managing servers. Officially you can only run it on AWS, but TriggerMesh, an open-source multi cloud serverless management company, is seeking to enable you to run Lambda functions on — surprise! — Kubernetes-enabled clouds.

You should also keep in mind Lambda is far from the only serverless program. Check out Azure Functions, Apache OpenWhisk, and Auth0 Webtask for alternatives. So it is that I expect serverless designs to be up and running on pretty much all clouds by the end of the year.

4. Managed Cloud Security

Securing a cloud is not easy. There are no simple, one-size-secures-all programs. Because of this, I expect managed security service providers (MSSPs) to become an increasingly popular business. This new spin on IT service providers gives cloud users much needed help in making sure that their cloud really is secure.

5. Cloud Provider Consolation

You probably noticed that cloud companies have been buying each other. That trend is only going to continue in 2019.

Don’t ask me who’s going to buy whom or for how much. I don’t know. What I do know is that there are still too many cloud companies.

In particular, with everyone and their dog jumping into Kubernetes, clearly not everyone will be successful at cloud container orchestration. Some of these companies may not be bought out, but instead they’ll just walk away once it becomes clear they won’t get enough customers to make a viable business.

Consider this a word for the wise. As you work on your cloud strategy, look carefully at your potential vendors and partners. The technology may have changed, but the business concerns remain the same as always.



  1. Thomas B says:

    Hej there, how do you see the PAAS future. Especially while talking about istio? Imho ist the merge move, integrating OPENSHIFT in IBM a big one for all cloud considerations.
    my best


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