Let’s talk about 2019 cloud tech anti-trends. A lot of those anti-trends are nothing but cloud myths, which are still widely spread and talked about.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some anti-trends and try to understand where’s the myth part in them.
Private Cloud Is Not Popular Anymore
According to the IDC research organization, by 2021, companies from around the world will spend more than half a billion dollars on cloud tech. This is two times more than in 2016. At the same time, there is a clear tendency: The public cloud workloads are growing, while the situation is exactly opposite for the private cloud. Cisco said, after three years 73% of the company’s applications will move to the public cloud, while just a year ago this figure was around 50%.
Such a shift is partly caused by cloud providers, who offer users of public clouds more and more features that simplify the development of services. For example, tools that allow creating machine learning models, manage software deployment processes and analyze logs.
That’s why many felt the active development of a public cloud meant the final decline of the private cloud niche. During his speech at a conference last year, Anthony Lai, senior vice president of the cloud-based division of NetApp said private clouds would “die out.”
I wouldn’t expect the private cloud to disappear completely. The statement that it will cease to exist is only partly true. The private cloud may disappear as an independent unit, but it will remain part of the hybrid IT infrastructure.
As noted in Gartner, 72% of companies in the world use a hybrid strategy. And it is expected this figure will grow. According to analysts from Market Research, the market for cloud object storage systems will reach six billion dollars by 2023. This will definitely spur further development of the hybrid IT infrastructure.
One reason to use private clouds is predictable business processes.
Yes, the public cloud offers flexible scaling. The company does not have to urgently buy new hardware if the load on the services has increased dramatically (for example, the application became a success and tons of new users came in). In this case, you can simply rent additional computing power. But if the load can be predicted (say, it is static) a private cloud is often enough.
Also, a private cloud is often used to create object storage. Sure, object storage services are also available in the public cloud and a number of companies use them. Just a couple of years ago, Netflix migrated its entire infrastructure to the public cloud.
However, not all companies need to build a distributed infrastructure as Netflix did. There are cases when companies have object storage in a private cloud because it already has an appropriate low-cost automated infrastructure. CERN is one of them. All the data generated by the Large Hadron Collider is stored in a private cloud.
The IT-Infrastructure Market Is Oversaturated with Specialists
Today, companies are actively abandoning their own infrastructure in favor of cloud solutions. That is why the need for in-house specialists engaged in its maintenance, gradually disappears. The IaaS provider takes on many issues related to the management and administration of the infrastructure, and the specialists need only ensure that everything is set up correctly.
That is also why companies often abandon their own IT departments. At first glance, it seems this will gradually lead to instability in the labor market. Experts in the field of IT infrastructure, system administrators and data center operators will have to compete fiercely for the remaining jobs. But will they really have to?
This does not mean such specialists have become completely unnecessary. In reality, in-house specialists simply change the focus of their activities. Most of the IT infrastructure administration tasks are now on IaaS and IaaS providers are now the ones who need and are actively fighting for such specialists.
Even when you do use third-party solution, that is what happens sometimes:
When customers start using intermix.io for the first time, they can see the set-up and configuration of their Amazon Redshift cluster in the context of their queries and workflows.
At that point, customers experience one common reaction: Knowing what we know now, how would we set up our Redshift cluster had we do it all over again?
However, sometimes it happens that migration to the cloud stimulates the company to strengthen and develop the IT department more, attracting new cloud employees. These people study the cloud ecosystem, analyze the trends and evaluate how the transfer of an application to the cloud will affect the company’s work. If the company is already working with the cloud, then cloud specialists are also exploring new features of the current platform and exploring services that will benefit a business in the future.
Clouds Don’t Hold New Technologies
Four years ago, IBM listed seven cloud technologies to help businesses. The list includes IaaS/PaaS, private/hybrid cloud, test and application development environments, big data processing and disaster recovery solutions, along with data storage and backup systems.
These technologies served as a standard technology stack for a long time. It was all developed with the efforts of IaaS providers. Therefore, there was an opinion that the cloud ecosystem was finally formed and no other use cases will be foreseen in the near future.
New Directions Still Appear: The blockchain technology was born in 2008, gained worldwide popularity 8 years later and came to the cloud about a year ago. Based on the virtual infrastructure, a new direction has started to develop: Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS). In this case, the client receives a virtual environment prepared for working with blockchain technology. Users can create their own applications on the blockchain (for example, for processing financial transactions) and run them in a secure virtual environment.
Quantum Computers: the most recent, fresh cloud trend. The quantum machine uses qubits instead of bits we are used to. Unlike bits, qubits can take the value of zero and one at the same time. Thus, a quantum machine can be in several states at once. The more qubits a quantum computer has, the faster it performs the tasks assigned to it. Imagine how much faster it can brute-force passwords or simulate chemical reactions.
Quantum computers already have practical applications. IBM has recently opened access to its 20-qubit developments via the IBM Q cloud platform. And this year, Alibaba partnered with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to deploy an 11-qubit quantum device in the cloud. Quantum Computing as-a-service (QCaaS) opened the way for experiments on the infrastructure of providers and proved the cloud industry can adapt to the emergence of new technologies.
Another Trend Is Fogging or Fog Computing: IT-industry experts are trying to solve the problem of delay in transferring data to the cloud. In the case of fogging, server components are not located in the centralized data center, but on the periphery, close to the end-user devices.
In such an architecture, a main, large cloud still remains but has additional networking and computing layers: cloud, fog, edge. The Cloud (cloud layer, primary) solves expensive tasks for periphery machines (edge layer, end-user): data analysis, system logging, etc. The fog layer does local calculations in real-time to generate reports and send them to the central hub. This architecture improves the performance of the entire infrastructure by significantly (up to 10 times) reducing the delay in data exchange.
To Sum It Up on Cloud Myth-Busting
So, as with everything, rushing into extremes doesn’t help. That’s what we figured out:
- Even though public cloud seems to be a mainstream option, private cloud infrastructure still makes sense for certain use cases.
- Most of the IT infrastructure administration tasks are now on IaaS and IaaS providers are now the ones who need and are actively fighting for Engineers i.e. market is more than far away from being oversaturated with specialists.
- Clouds don’t hold new technologies. Did anyone really believe this one anyway?