As part of Information Age’s Cloud and Backup Month, we are providing three CTO guides on cloud and backup: cloud migration best practice, how to manage cloud infrastructure and cloud predictions.
The first guide focused on cloud migration tips. Organisations are migrating to the cloud for digital transformation (or digitisation) efforts — they are doing this to keep pace with growing customer demands and an increasing need to scale services. The second guide focused on managing existing cloud infrastructure.
This guide will be more forward-focused looking at how the cloud is changing, featuring insights from CTOs and cloud experts.
Multi-cloud. All the way!
Speaking with Information Age, Stephan Fabel, Director of Product Management, Canonical, began with the obvious: “the world of cloud is changing.”
He added: “Hybrid cloud has been overtaken by its close relative ‘multi-cloud’, with 79% of businesses already admitting to working with more than one cloud provider. For those who are prepared to embrace a mix of providers across both public and private platforms, multi-cloud is now widely considered to be the future of cloud computing.
The move to the cloud
“Many businesses have previously shied away from true multi-cloud deployments by favouring public infrastructures due to the perceived expense of private platforms, rooted in the required expertise necessary to run them. However, recent technological developments that enable businesses to take a highly-automated approach have shown that this is now an outdated view of cloud infrastructure. When it comes to transforming with cloud technologies, multi-cloud is proving itself to be the correct endgame for businesses in all industries.”
Neil Briscoe, CTO, Cloud Gateway, echoed this in his predictions declaring: “It’s multi-cloud. All the way!”
He explained: “People at the moment are experimenting; wading through the marketing and figuring out for themselves what is good for what. Enterprises will realise that multi-cloud allows you to have your cake and eat it, without sacrificing on agility while getting the best-for-the-job services.
“An example would be that Microsoft Azure provides the best services for End User Computer services with a very rich feature set, whereas, Amazon Web Service provides a fantastic extensive eco-system for application development and SaaS/PaaS offerings for enterprises that want to create and manage services themselves. We’ll start to see enterprises realise that you can have both.”
The “stateless enterprise”
Aron Brand, CTO, CTERA Networks, thinks we’re moving toward a “stateless enterprise” – where the edge endpoints serve as extensions of end-user data that are stored and managed in a global file system in the cloud.
He claimed: “Enterprises are eliminating all the “state” from their endpoint devices, where any changes are stored only temporarily on the device and are quickly and efficiently on-ramped to the organisation’s cloud.
“One key benefit, aside from IT efficiency gains, is that it represents an elimination of the “dark data” that was previously stored in employees’ laptops or desktops. Suddenly, all this “dark” data is right at your fingertips – stored in the cloud– as a searchable, analysable and shareable repository.”
Luis Weir, CTO for the Oracle DU in Capgemini UK, said: “Beyond the obvious ones, (e.g. AI/machine learning, blockchain, etc.) in my view, as information becomes more and more federated and spread across so many cloud systems of many types and from many vendors, the need to consistently and securely access this information will also increase.
“I think the need for API-led integration will dramatically increase and we’ll continue to see a speedy evaluation of the tools and methods adopted for accessing data.
“Especially as devices and machines of all sorts are becoming smarter, they will drive a large portion of the demand for information.”
How can you design, deploy and manage your APIs?
Container cluster capabilities
Walid Negm, CTO, Aricent, thinks that next-generation cloud architectures will be containers and microservices-based; therefore, the cloud will need to provide container cluster capabilities.
He said: “Needless to say there will be more platform services, including but not limited to AI/ML that will come to reduce the time to market for products significantly.”
He also believes that serverless capabilities from cloud platforms will mean that operational costs will come down drastically.
He added: “There will be more federation of heterogeneous computing for seamless application deployment and networking across clouds and the edge. Furthermore, cloud 3.0 data centre software will provide developers with low latency networking and distributed compute – giving rise to supercomputing.”
A good CTO doesn’t overcomplicate: Simple is better
Adam Evans, Director of Professional Services at Rackspace, warned: “Complexity in the cloud is only going to increase, and this will make business value even harder to obtain.
“Organisations need to look at how they structure themselves to assess the strategic value, implement and deploy technologies in a quicker, more agile way.
“This will be critical to making assets work harder and deliver value faster.”