In this dynamic and competitive digital age, it is a second nature for most professionals to keep abreast of trends and predictions in the IT applications and IT infrastructure space. The formation of new technologies with a potential to alter lifestyles and challenge traditional business models has made it imperative for business leaders to study what lies ahead and evaluate to be ready for it.
Cloud computing has become a scalable services consumption and delivery platform in the field of Services Computing. The technical foundations of cloud computing include Service-Oriented Architecture and Virtualizations of hardware and software. The goal of Cloud computing is to share resources among the cloud service consumers, cloud partners, and cloud vendors in the cloud value chain. The resource sharing at various levels results in various cloud offerings such as infrastructure cloud, software cloud, application cloud, and business cloud.
As the cloud computing market grows, there would be more expectations and pressure on the CIOs. Higher customer expectations and the competence will be a building stone for CIOs in the upcoming years. It is estimated that the entire range of IT enterprises would be cloud-based by 2020.
So what will be the development in the upcoming years?
- Multi-cloud: Over recent years, multi-cloud has been creating a major buzz in the information technology industry. However, it has often been confused with hybrid cloud because of certain similarities specific distinctions. While hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of on-premises private cloud and third-party public cloud, multi-cloud is a mix and match combination of cloud services from different service providers catering to specific workload requirements. In other words, multi-cloud is one form of hybrid cloud running in multiple public cloud environments.
A multi-cloud strategy enables several strategic benefits. Companies relying on a single cloud service provider might encounter problems such as cloud data center bandwidth issues that could potentially hamper their business and even result in possible loss of customers, especially when some of their critical applications are involved. Usage of multiple cloud services ensures that the risks of downtime and data loss are averted even if there is a failure with respect to any components in the software, hardware, network, etc.
Additionally, a multi-cloud strategy provides companies the flexibility to specifically cater to the divergent requirements of their different business functions, teams, and departments. These include security, privacy, performance or geographic reach of their cloud.
Companies need to involve their IT and business units and work with the right partner in setting up an ideal multi-cloud solution. This can shift their focus from managing technology infrastructure to investing in business transformation, thereby depriving the maximum competitive advantage.
- Serverless Computing: Serverless computing refers to a new way of creating cloud-based applications that shifts the burden of heavy infrastructure to cloud service providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google. This means that the developers can just focus on creating applications without needing to worry about the server provisioning or storage allocations.
The term ‘Serverless’ is a bit of misnomer. There are still servers involved, but their management and provisioning is hidden from the developers. It is a complex concept and is commonly referred to as Function as a Service (FaaS). Each function lives as an independent module, which is brought to life when triggered with an internal or external event. The server hosting the function is ‘spun down’ when the processing is complete. It is conceptually similar to Microservice Architecture, wherein every service in an architecture lives as an independent module.
Amazon was the first to introduce the serverless computing concept with its product named Lambda. This was inspired by Simple Storage Service (S3) one of their highly popular products and is concerned with storing objects.
How Serverless computing will function in the future?
On-demand Execution of Tasks: The serverless system executes the function when an event triggering it occurs.
Specific Function Coding: People can write code so that whenever they load some data into a database, it is instantly stored in a data warehouse.
Applications with IoT: In an IoT system, real-time responses are required on a massive scale – making serverless computing an ideal platform. It is especially helpful in areas of poor connectivity, so that routing through a data center can be avoided.
Cost and Time-Saving: Serverless computing can be thought as outsourcing – people need to pay only for managing stuff like application logic, databases, and servers, which was managed by companies earlier.
- Kubernetes: Kubernetes is fast becoming the operating system for the cloud. It has the potential to offer massive benefits for tech-firms and developers. However, the future advancements in kubernates are as follows:
Simpler microservices API: From a programmer’s perspective, microservices architectures are challenging to implement, because user requires complex APIs to enable communication between microservices.
Unikernels: The concept behind the unikernel is simple: provide just enough software to power the desired application. The unikernel is software minimalism in practice. Unikernels depend on specialized compiler systems to combine application software and operating system support functions at compile time instead of runtime. The result is a single application image that contains everything the application needs to run. All drivers, I/O routines, and support library functions normally provided by an operating system are included in the executable. None of the thousands of utilities, unneeded drivers, unnecessary I/O routines, or unused support libraries is included.
GUI-friendly containers: People can run applications with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) inside containers, but existing solutions for doing so are clunky. As a result, most of the container cases focus on applications that do not require a GUI to run, or whose GUI can be accessed via the web. If a technology can make it easier to deploy traditional GUI apps inside containers, it would open up vast new opportunities for deploying containerized applications.
Cloud technology is still growing as it continues to be more mainstream than on-premise deployments. Organizations must look to simplify their environments as they move more and more workloads into the cloud, especially if organizations are working with multiple cloud providers. To better utilize cloud technologies, a proper management of resources is important and automation backed by cloud technology will play a prime role in helping business succeed.