Cloud predictions for 2019 and beyond

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 14 Feb 2019
Jai Menon, futurist and chief scientist at Cloudistics.
Jai Menon, futurist and chief scientist at Cloudistics.

Only 50% of all global applications will run on public cloud in future, as organisations opt to run their workloads on private and edge clouds.

This is according to Jai Menon, futurist and chief scientist at Cloudistics, discussing the evolution of cloud at ITWeb Cloud Summit 2019, held in Johannesburg, this week.

"The future of cloud is clear, and it's not all about Amazon Web Services (AWS)," Menon pointed out.

Forecasting what we can expect in the enterprise cloud arena in 2019 and beyond, Menon gave five key predictions.

"We are entering a third phase of cloud adoption, where customers understand they will need private clouds (possibly more than one) and multiple public clouds at the same time.

"My predictions for the near future is that we will see fewer than 50% of global applications being run on public cloud; secondly, only about five general-purpose public cloud vendors will survive in future; thirdly, there will be a significant rise in cross-cloud services," he explained.

"Fourthly, micro services and serverless architecture will become the most successful programming paradigms; and lastly, public and private clouds will be much more accommodating of each other."

The first phase of cloud, explained Menon, started in 2006 with the launch of AWS. In 2010, Microsoft Azure launched, IBM Public Cloud entered the market in April 2011, and Google Cloud Platform joined in 2012. During this phase, organisations that enjoyed having someone else take care of their infrastructure requirements signed up for these public cloud services.

"As the public cloud improved and more companies adopted a cloud-first mandate, we entered the second phase of cloud computing, which I call the 'irrational exuberance phase', where customers went from being cautious about using the public cloud, to being overly aggressive."

Fewer public clouds

We are now in the third phase of cloud development, where a second generation of private clouds have been made available through offerings such as Microsoft Azure Stack and Lenovo ThinkAgile CP. This phase will see more organisations opting to run their applications on private rather than public cloud, continued Menon.

"Every public cloud vendor now has their own private cloud offering. Even Amazon recently announced AWS Outposts. These private cloud services are easy to deploy appliances that can be upgraded and managed remotely without any training, providing organisations with a true public cloud-like experience, but behind their own firewall."

Only about five general-purpose public cloud vendors will survive in future, noted Menon. This is because public cloud vendors will need to spend a lot of money to become successful, and few can afford to spend as much as the top two (AWS and Microsoft Azure). However, public and private clouds will be much more accommodating of each other.

"More and more of the services provided by a public cloud vendor, such as artificial intelligence, will become accessible to apps running on private clouds. At the same time, there will be more and more examples of private cloud capabilities extended to the public cloud?, ?such as VMware Cloud running on AWS. Finally, federated orchestration and management of workloads across private and public clouds will become commonplace."

The two most successful programming paradigms of the future will be microservices (small, independent services that work together) and serverless computing (where applications are structured as a collection of event-driven actions), predicted Menon.

"Serverless applications don't require provisioning, maintaining and administering servers for backend components, while microservices are easy to enhance and failure in one service does not impact other services."